Crescenta Valley Park was a dog heaven on Saturday as canines brought their humans to the one-year anniversary of the CV Dog Park, the first for Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.
The event brought out everyone who holds a special place in his or her heart for dogs. It started with the organization CV DOGS and pet parents who wanted a place to walk their dogs off-leash. The park has become the place where all dogs want to be, and all pet parents love to go.
The one-year anniversary celebrated all things canine and included the Pasadena and Glendale Humane societies, Andersen’s Pet Shop and Pet Portraits by Marcy and Gary Prather Photography from Pasadena.
Disc Dogs in Southern California flew high as they caught Frisbee-type discs and displayed their agility and speed. LARPBO Dog Training showed just how loving well-trained pit bulls could be.
But there was one dog at the park celebration that was more than just a pet; she was a veteran and working “deputy” for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.
Ruby has completed three tours in Afghanistan and found 40 IEDs as a bomb-sniffing dog before coming onto the LASD. Her partner, Dep. Danny Cassese, has been with Ruby since April.
“The [U.S.] Marine Corp. downsized,” said Cassese, explaining how he got Ruby.
Some of the dogs that were taken out of military service could still be used in civilian service. Cassese and Ruby are assigned to the Countywide Services Division but work closely with the LASD bomb unit.
Cassese went through intensive training when Ruby first arrived.
“We continue to train every day,” Cassese said. “Part of what we do is proactive. [We search] likely targets in densely populated areas.”
Cassese said Ruby has adjusted to her new assignment. He takes her home with him every day and even to the firing range where she remains calm, not showing any signs of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which has been known to affect some dogs that have served in the military.
Ruby seemed to enjoy her day at the park being petted by kids and adults alike.
Though the major work of the CV Dog Park is complete, the organization is now raising funds for a second water fountain to be installed at the far north end of the enclosed park. The park was paid for through funding approved by L.A. Supervisor Michael Antonovich and strong support from the L.A. County Parks and Recreation. The second water fountain was not part of the original design. CV DOGS is now taking donations for the addition.
“Parks and Rec has been very supportive, “ said Cheryl Davis, president of CV Town Council and a founding member of CV DOGS. “This is a community park and the donations are coming from the community.”
To make a donation, contact Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.