The Westridge Open Space Off-Leash Dog Area is a lot of words to describe this 10.41 multi-use park, but it hones in on the stuff dog walkers love to hear. In the first place, the Westridge space is in Petaluma, California, a city of about 60,000 residents that is 37 miles south of glorious San Francisco. And this is a city that has an extremely pro-active approach to dog parks, so long as you understand the rules.
In total, there are 13 (count 'em, thirteen!) off-leash dog parks in Petaluma, which is an astounding number for a city of this size. The basic rules apply. Dogs must be accompanied by a two-legged guardian of some kind. They must be voice controlled, and owners should clean up after them. Most critically, all dogs must be on a leash at all times unless they are in the park during off-leash hours and these are different for each park.
Other parks, the city's Prince Park, for example, has split schedules, allowing off-leash dogs early and late, but the hours are more restrictive, and they change, not only from summer to the rest of the year but they also change from weekdays to weekends. There is also, pass the biscuits, one park, Rocky Memorial Park, located at the end of Casa Grande Road, that is nine acres of space where … Dogs Rule!
By that, we mean it is a place where “licensed dogs can run free,” every day from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. For woof, let's just say, “that rocks.” So, what can you expect at the Westridge Open Space Off-Leash Dog Area? You will find drinking fountains for bipeds, playground apparatus, and walking paths, which tells you this park is designed for humans with dogs expected to be on leashes during the more populated times of the day.
During off leash times, you still have to respect the non-dog walkers, and there are apt to be kids and the elderly who are not comfortable when Woof gets too friendly or too aggressive. Other than that, thank Petaluma for their pro-active approach to canines, despite the point that the city's name means shiny flowers or something like that.