Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo Explorer

Dogs large and small have a special play place at Largo's Walsingham Park

Having a high-energy dog means exercise is a daily necessity.

Bred to tree big game, our 2-year-old Plott hound, Clyde, can't help that he's happiest when he's on the hunt — webbed paws moving at full speed and floppy ears flapping like flags in a stiff breeze.

But our long walks and games of chase in the back yard were becoming routine and a bit boring.

So we made a mutual decision to check out the paw playground at Walsingham Park in Largo. The 3.5-acre dog park is on the southwest side of the park.

Three fenced areas separate small and large breeds, so chihuahuas don't get run over by Rottweilers.

Despite the wear and tear caused by frenetic paws, each section has large grassy areas for dogs to run and play.

Benches are scattered throughout, offering owners — and sometimes their dogs — a spot to rest.

Watering spots and plastic bags for clean-up are provided, alleviating the need of bringing your own.

The park is less crowded on weekday mornings, regular visitors said. Late afternoons and weekends are busiest.

On a recent Friday, several dozen dogs wrestled playfully, gnawed on sticks and chased a seemingly endless supply of tennis balls lobbed by the nearest human.

They broke into impromptu races along the fence line and patrolled the yard's perimeter. The red, faux fire hydrant was a popular stop.

Gathered in small groups amid the controlled canine chaos, owners chatted about different breeds and traded pet care information.

Nearly everyone Clyde and I met during our two visits to the park said they came often.

Jim Kenderdine of Largo said he brings Nakia, his 4-year-old pit bullterrier and Australian sheepdog mix to the park each day. "Every day, she wakes me up in the morning and waits to get in the truck," Kenderdine said.

The doting dog owners can't always remember each others' names, but they rattle off the names of the dogs with ease: Snickers, Riley, Duke.

"Everyone loves Kanga-Rue," said Wendy Wilson, of Largo, when a 1-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback and Lab mix arrived.

The dog is a buddy of her 1-year-old husky and Shetland sheepdog mix, Nelly "Sugar Lips" Wilson.

Being the new kid on the block, Clyde wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole thing at first. But on our second visit, Clyde started to break out of his shell and even ran a little. I suspect he wanted to show his new admirers his speed.

The best part: two minutes into our ride home, he was fast asleep.

Rita Farlow can be reached at or (727) 445-4162.

Dogs large and small have a special play place at Largo's Walsingham Park 03/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 17, 2008 2:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree


    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  2. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  3. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  4. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.