You would not know that the Canton Paw Park in Canton, Georgia is remarkable when you first see it. It is a nice dog park, substantial in size at nearly three acres, with a smaller enclosure attached for dogs under 30 pounds. The small dog enclosure also accommodates older, shy, and disabled dogs. There are also the usual familiar things you would expect in a nice dog park.
There are benches and poop bags; there are fountains and, of course, there are fences. There is even some agility equipment in the main section of the dog park. As far as dog parks go, it is quite nice. You would never know that it is actually a very special place. What makes the Canton Paw Park special is that it is truly a community affair. That means that it was established, funded and is now maintained by local volunteers.
And you can really see the love and respect that they have for their park. The Canton Paw Park is impeccably maintained, the poop bag dispensers, which were designed to look like little bird houses, are kept full, and the trash is emptied regularly. The volunteers often hang out at the dog park, showing the Southern hospitality that Georgia is famous for.
Canton is in suburban Atlanta, which can be a very difficult city to navigate, so the dog park is a wonderful place to get directions and advice on getting around in the city. Atlanta is known for having awful traffic and locals are obsessed with how to deal with it, so this is a very common topic of conversation. The Canton Paw Park is located in a suburban neighborhood, so parking can be a bit of a challenge.
However, the park is surrounded by mature trees, so there is lots of shade in the Georgia summer, which can be blazing hot. The volunteers are just as serious about keeping the park clear of fallen leaves in the autumn as they are at keeping the grass trimmed in the summer. The Canton Paw Park may not be the most spectacular dog park you've ever been to, but it has the most heart.