We spent a few days in Irvine with friends who are U.C. Irvine faculty members, and were spoiled rotten by the UCI faculty neighborhood dog park three blocks from their house. It was blissful — huge, grassy, equipped with ChuckIt throwers and a water fountain (also a picnic table) — but it was also just for UCI folks who have the magic UCI key.
Boy, did we miss it yesterday. We went to dog parks in Long Beach and Costa Mesa, and here’s our report.
Long Beach (Recreation Park Dog Park)
This got four paws from The Dog Lover’s Companion to Los Angeles, so we arrived in high spirits. We quickly learned, though, that it’s the big-dog side of the park that deserves the raves. The small-dog area — and at least they had one! no complaints there — is large enough for modest ChuckIt hurls and has a water fountain for the dogs, some chairs and benches, and plenty of shade. Otherwise, it’s a pretty bleak place, and, not to put too fine a point on it, it smells badly. Also, the very fine gravel covering the ground coats a ChuckIt ball, and after a while I started to worry about Chloe’s teeth. Off we went to…
Costa Mesa (TeWinkle Park Dog Run)
This too got four paws from The Dog Lover’s Companion, and this time even the small dog side was a pleasant place. Things we liked: It was thoroughly fenced and gated, there were plenty of trees and benches, it was quite large, and although it is heavily-used, there are still largish patches of grass. We didn’t stay, however, because recent rains had turned the middle of the park into a mud pit. You just couldn’t throw a ball without landing it in a swampy patch, or sending your dog through a swampy patch to get it. The regulars knew this, and were all sitting around the edges with their dogs by them, but we learned the hard way.
Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies
On the bright side, Costa Mesa is home to a branch of Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, with stores as big as a Petco or a PetSmart, but way, way better. It has all of the healthy, high-end dog and cat food you could want, including several brands of raw food, and plenty of good-quality toys, grooming supplies, carriers, crates and beds. There are thirteen Centinela stores in Southern California, and they’re worth seeking out.
Recreation Park Dog Park
4900 E. 7th St.
Long Beach, CA 90804
(the dog park is on the north side of 7th, next to the park’s maintenance sheds)
TeWinkle Park Dog Run
970 Arlington Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(the dog park is at the corner of Arlington and Newport Blvd.)