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Dogs like their parks in Lathrop, Modesto
lathrop dog
A pair of curious dogs come over to check out a new playmate at the Lathrop Dog Park.


209 Reporter

Tommy runs.

Tommy jumps.

Tommy barks like crazy.

It’s just another day in the life of a canine at the Lathrop Dog Park.

Earlier this week Jim Barton brought his five-year-old black Labrador retriever down to Lathrop’s lone dog park so he can get the running and the exercise that he can’t get in his zero lot-line backyard.

It’s as therapeutic for Tommy as it is for his owner, who heard from a friend that if he could get him into an arena where he could run and be free he’d stop doing thing like chewing up shows and destroying pillows – something he never grew out of as a puppy.

Now both pet and owner are as happy as can be.

“They did a really good job here because with the way they’re building houses today there isn’t a whole lot of room for dogs to run around like they were able to when I was a kid,” Barton said. “And there’s no way I’m going to be without my dog – he goes everywhere with me and there’s just something about the bond that you have with an animal.

“He knows when I get the special leash out that we’re coming down here and starts spinning circles at the door. I can definitely say that the animals enjoy it here.”

Located at Mossdale Landing Park, the park gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from Yelp reviewers that praised fellow dog owners for picking up after their pets and doing what they can to leave the park in better shape than they did when they arrived.

With a small dog area and a large dog area, owners can have the comfort of knowing that their dog won’t be outsized by larger pets like Tommy – who Barton admits can be a bit rambunctious.

“He loves to come out here and play, but in all of the time I’ve been here we’ve never seen a problem,” Barton said. “You’d think with so many different dogs that there would be a fight or two, but they just seem to enjoy being out there and running around and playing.”

*Modesto Dog Park – It’s almost fitting that Modesto’s premier public dog park is in one of its older neighborhoods – surrounded by the mid-century craftsman style homes near Modesto Junior College.

And when the City of Modesto moved forward with plans to install the park, they made sure they kept up with the spirit of the neighborhood.

In a sense – it’s nice.

Almost all of the Yelp reviews by those who frequent it say it’s one of the best around – from the unique layout and design to the two-tiered entry system that prevents dogs from escaping when owners come in to take them home.

Located at the corner of Enslen and Morris Avenues, the park has picnic tables for owners to sit on and a large waste bin for disposal.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.