fOur dogs are the descendants of wolves, wild and free. And every dog, in her heart, retains those wild impulses. The Pekingese that snuggles on your lap, the German Shepard that dozes at your feet lightly snoring, each of them in a wolf somewhere deep inside.
A domestic dog's life is confining. She is always in the house, her territory is a small backyard, and if she can get out of these safe places, she is on a leash. She is always under control. Which dogs don't seem to mind very much. They are usually warm and dry, they are generally safe and well-fed, and they don't have to compete (much) for the attention of the pack leader. And yet, she still hears the call of the wild, however faintly.
So, we take our dogs to the dog park so hopefully, they can get some off-leash time to just be themselves. Some dog parks are better at this than others. One of the better examples of a dog park that lets a dog indulge her inner wolf is the Prairie Wolf Slough Dog Park, in Lake Forest, Illinois. Prairie Wolf Dog Park is a 44-acre dog theme park. It is a combination of open prairie field and trees. There is a field that has been mowed, and one that has been left natural.
There are literally miles of trails throughout the park. The trails are unpaved and not improved, so they can be quite muddy, not that will matter to your dog, of course. There is a small lake in the middle of the park. The lake is fenced and there are posted caution signs for owners to be sure not to let their dogs use the lake if the owner is unsure of their ability to recall their dog. There is no dock, so be prepared to get muddy waiting for your puppy.
There is a $10 parking fee to use the park, and according to locals, park rangers keep an eye on the lot. The fine for illegal parking is $85, so be sure that you are in compliance with the law. Prairie Wolf Dog Park has few improvements. There are some benches and a few picnic tables. The fencing is maintained, and there is a gravel path that is regularly combed, but other than that, the park is left to nature. It truly is canine nirvana.