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article imageOp-Ed: Photo Essay — Fun, frolic and friends at Centennial Dog Park Special

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By Greta McClain
Jan 6, 2013 in Lifestyle
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Nashville - To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, dogs just want to have fun, and there is no better place for pooches to have a great time than a nice dog park.
Centennial Dog Park is my pup's favorite dog park, and it just so happens to be my favorite as well. What makes Centennial Dog Park such a wonderful place for pups and their two legged parents is the fact that it actually has two separate dog parks, a large dog park, and a small dog park. This sets Centennial apart from the rest because it is the only dog park in Nashville that offers a park specifically for puppies and small breed dogs.
I also love the fact there are plenty of benches and picnic tables in both parks, so the "parents" can sit and relax while the "kids" have fun. I typically enjoy sitting back, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper while Nubbi meets and greets the other visitors.
Located at the corner of 31st Ave. North and Parthenon Place, these dog parks sit adjacent to Centennial Park in the heart of Nashville, making it an easy drive from most any part of Nashville.
The small dog park is great for those not quite ready to "run with the big dogs". Many puppy owners will take their dogs to the small dog park to get them socialized without worrying about them getting run over by an overly exuberant game of chase by large dogs. The square footage of the park is also smaller in size, so you don't have to worry about wondering as far trying to find your tiny "son" or "daughter" when it is time to head home.
The small dog park is also great for dogs who get a bit nervous over large dogs towering over them. My first rat terrier was quite content at the small dog park, but her 12 pound body began to quiver when a 100 plus pound Mastiff or Great Dane got a little too close for comfort.
A small dog heads into the small dog park at Centennial Dog Park.
A small dog heads into the small dog park at Centennial Dog Park.
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This petite pooch is keeping an eye on new visitors as they enter the small dog park.
This petite pooch is keeping an eye on new visitors as they enter the small dog park.
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These sisters enjoy a stroll through Centennial s Small Dog Park.
These sisters enjoy a stroll through Centennial's Small Dog Park.
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There are those height challenged pups who don't mind hanging with the big dogs however. It is not unusual to find tea cup Chihuahua, Pug, or other pint sized pooch making friends or playing with a German Shepherd or Labrador. I once witnessed a 7 week old Pug trying to get a full sized Great Dane interested in a game of chase. The Dane wasn't sure what to do at first, but before long the two were having a great time, with the Pug literally running circles around the Great Dane.
Whether it is making new friends or playing a game of chase, the dogs seem to always have a great time.
Making new friends is also one of the best parts of visiting the dog park.
Making new friends is also one of the best parts of visiting the dog park.
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Exploring and  making their mark  is another favorite past time for many of the dogs.
Exploring and "making their mark" is another favorite past time for many of the dogs.
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Hunting and just relaxing after a good romp is also a favorite past time.
There are a lot of squirrels that enjoy the park as well  and many of the dogs  especially the terri...
There are a lot of squirrels that enjoy the park as well, and many of the dogs, especially the terriers, love to try and find them.
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After a long game of chase  this worn out pup needed to take a nap.
After a long game of chase, this worn out pup needed to take a nap.
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This sweet girl takes a breather while still keeping up with the action.
This sweet girl takes a breather while still keeping up with the action.
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Fetch is also very popular among the dogs. Visitors to the park with often bring old tennis balls and leave them in baskets set up around the park so other dogs can enjoy themselves as well.
For the retriever  or retriever at heart  there are several baskets of tennis balls located througho...
For the retriever, or retriever at heart, there are several baskets of tennis balls located throughout the large dog park.
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Whether it is a visit to the small or large dog park, a game of fetch or chase, or making new friends, the dogs at both of Centennial's dog parks always seem to leave with a smile on their face.
A visit to the dog park seems to always bring a smile to the pooch s face.
A visit to the dog park seems to always bring a smile to the pooch's face.
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This little guy not only had a great time at the large dog park  he took time to pose of a picture.
This little guy not only had a great time at the large dog park, he took time to pose of a picture.
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A game of chase has worn this Beagle out as well.
A game of chase has worn this Beagle out as well.
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This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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