It is not unusual for Craig Beachler, a medical device representative and territory manager, to drive hundreds of miles in between hospitals every week. After all, an important part of his job is being there during surgeries to ensure doctors don’t run into any snags when it comes to using his company’s products.
And good thing for Craig – or I should say Captain – that hospitals happen to have covered parking because where ever Craig travels for work, Captain travels too. A large dog bed in the utility vehicle’s back makes the long drives comfortable. By the way, Captain is Craig’s large 60 pound plus mixed breed who knows how to open door knobs that aren’t securely locked.
The roommates live in a downtown Cincinnati apartment surrounded by large buildings, busy streets and lots of concrete…but no grass. Lucky for them, there is a dog play area in the neighborhood called Fido Field.
Okay, so really, it’s not because of luck that they have a place to run and play fetch.
One man’s determination.
The year was 2005 when Craig and his dog (then a different dog) moved to downtown Cincinnati for a job at P&G, but there weren’t a whole lot of options close by for people and their pooches.
If you’ve ever met Craig, you know he’s not one to sit back and not take action on things that are important to him. He met with city leaders. Together they found a site on Eggleston Avenue and began drawing up plans for a dog park, but when the economy took a hit the park was no longer a city priority.
So Craig was given the plans and moved forward independently, recruiting volunteers and raising money on his own. A lofty endeavor seeing as the budget he came up with for it was over $300,000. Procter & Gamble was the largest donor – giving Craig $50,000 toward the park.
Fido Field has been open now for several years and the responsibility continues for Craig, who continues to fundraise and spends time on weekends maintaining it with help from friends. Among them are Erin Kidwell who is helping with communications and Tiphanie Hodges who helps with special events.
Fido Field is located at 630 Eggleston Ave; 45202. Donations and volunteers are always welcome. Please visit their Facebook page for updates.
We are so blessed in Greater Cincinnati to have so many beautiful, lush parks. I was reminded of it as I drove on Winton Road recently on my way to the Hamilton County Park District office.
It was a brilliant, sunny day, the kind of day that calls to you to come play. And, as I looked to my right I saw the body of water where I remembered feeding ducks as a child and grilled marshmallows and hot dogs on its banks. Only as an adult, what I saw in the over 2,500 acres surrounding me was a wonderland of lush greenery. It was inviting me to walk its trails and etch ripples in its mirror-like lake. “I will definitely be back soon,” I thought as I looked for the turn.
I was headed that day to the administrative offices for the Hamilton County Park District and Hamilton County Parks Foundation to talk with Amy Hoffman about the new Simmonds Family Dog Park, which, when it is finished will be our region’s largest and probably most beautiful dog park.
I heard about it at the SPCA Cincinnati Walk and I couldn’t wait to learn more. Play has such an important role in our dogs’ physical and psychological success, and it is so important in building strong relationships with our pets. It is no wonder dog parks are becoming so popular.
What makes the Simmonds Family Dog Park different is that is part of Hamilton County Parks. Actually it is being designed on over 11 acres at the scenic Miami Whitewater Forest. And if you have ever spent time at Miami Whitewater Forest, you know it is a spectacular setting for relaxing, learning, playing, and growing.
The new Dog Park, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014, will include four separate fields including an all-season play field; trees and structures to provide needed shade on hot summer days; strategically placed benches; dog agility and a play zone.
Also part of the project, the SPCA Cincinnati is building an adjacent facility to provide care for large animals and provide farm educational opportunities for school age children.
Can you imagine? 11 acres of total fun for you and your dog in one of the region’s most beautiful settings!
Hamilton County Parks Needs Your Help
While the land for the new park was donated, there are still a lot of expenses in preparing the land, purchasing and building the structures, building roadways and other infrastructure. Not to mention the maintenance expenses.
They are $500,000 away from their fund raising goal of $1.1 million to pay for the project. There are a variety of contribution levels.
If you can help, please visit HCParksfoundation.org
In this world there are truly special people who go out of their way to see the potential in others, to rescue those who need saving, and to give love freely. This is the story of some special people and a dog that, until they came along, had no hope. Such a beautiful ending. A great dog rescue and dog adoption story.