Trumbull Dog Park: Pavilion keeps dogs shaded and dry (SLIDESHOW)

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Trumbull dog owners will be glad to hear that there’s a place that keeps their pets shaded from the hot summer sun, as well as protected from the drizzle of spring rain.

Thanks to members of the Trumbull Dog Owners Group (TDOG), Trumbull Home Depot and Trumbull Rotary, a pavilion has been built at the Trumbull Dog Park that’s aimed at protecting  animals — and their owners — from the harshness of Mother Nature.

“The top benefit is that it’ll shelter dogs, as well as attendees, from the wicked sun come summertime,” said Bill Urban, vice president of TDOG. “There’s no shade out here in the summer, so it becomes pretty brutal midday and very uncomfortable for everyone.

“Now dogs and seniors can enjoy the shade and they can also use it on days when there are clouds and some slight rain,” he explained, noting that a majority of the park’s regulars are senior citizens and veterans.

The Trumbull Dog Park, which is located below the soccer fields in Indian Ledge Park, is preserved and maintained by TDOG leaders and volunteers. Recently, the group has developed a positive relationship with the town’s parks and recreation department, which has helped remove trees of potential hazard outside the park’s gates.

That’s not the only help dog owners have been receiving.

To get the new structure built, TDOG held four fund-raisers, including a dog wash at Pet Valu on Monroe Turnpike earlier this year, that netted $2,000.

Most important to its fund-raising efforts for the pavilion was a $1,500 grant from Trumbull Rotary, as well as assistance from Trumbull Home Depot, which helped supply materials, expertise, and skilled labor through a national program called Team Depot.

“They send volunteers all over the country to help with community projects,” Urban explained. “They assign labor volunteers to build structures like this one here in Trumbull.”

Mike Melendez and Shawn Quinn from Trumbull Home Depot chipped in at the local level, drawing up a plan and coming up with the appropriate list of materials needed.

“The three of us got a plan together, and that helped us getting a building permit through the Trumbull Building Department,” Urban said. “It was a very positive and supportive process.”

Cement for the pavilion was poured the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the project’s structure began to take shape Dec. 4.

The following week, Dec. 7 through 11, volunteers helped build the support arches, and the roof was completed Saturday, Dec. 12 — marking two weeks total of construction time.

“Team Depot sent in eight people, which were a huge help along with all our volunteers,” Urban said. “I can’t thank Mike and the guys at Home Depot enough — they were critical in this coming out the way it did and getting us over the edge.

“Their guys even planted evergreen trees as well, which was really awesome,” he said.

Structure symbolization

The pavilion serves as a great symbol of the things that can be accomplished through community partnership, Urban said.

“I think it serves as a manifestation of good relations in place now between us and the town,” he added. “Leadership changes required us to step up and get involved with the town more.”

While the days get shorter with the cold winter approaching, many dog owners are looking forward to when they can enjoy the park and its newest addition when the weather gets warm again.

“We’re here until 7:30 at night or even later in the summer,” Urban said. “It’s about 4 p.m. in the winter months — we’re really running out of daylight quickly.”

Supporting something special

All the dogs owners who attend the park know the names of the other dogs running around, which makes the experience extra enjoyable, Urban said.

“The camaraderie here is special,” he added. “It’s supportive and robust. …

“We’d probably remember all the dogs’ names before we remember our own,” he joked.

In the spring, Urban and the rest of the TDOG leadership will be looking to add dog agility equipment in the park as well as making some of its gates larger so that it’s more accessible to trucks that carry fresh mulch in.

For now, there’s no plan to add benches underneath the pavilion.

“We want the maximum through area for the dogs,” Urban explained.

Although it was a process to make the building a reality, he said, he’s looking forward to seeing all the possibilities the structure can bring to both dogs and their owners.

“It wasn’t easy, there were a lot of moving parts,” the dog owner said. “But we can’t wait for our next fund-raiser in early 2016 and bringing more volunteers aboard and hopefully filling some of the empty seats on our board.”

For more information about TDOG’s leadership and the dog park, call Bill Urban at 203-768-1534.