Cosmo Park: A desert oasis for dogs


How do you go from drainage pit to the nation’s top dog park?

You take a giant leap.

Of course, it also takes imagination, planning, dedication and money. But with enough of all four — as was the case with the birth of Cosmo Park in Gilbert, Arizona — the results can be impressive

Cosmo Park was one of the first stops Ace and I made in the Phoenix area. Impressed as we’d been with Millie Bush Dog Park in Houston, Cosmo Park, though smaller, was a true gem (or oasis, pick your cliche) in the desert.

With four fenced acres to romp, a large lake complete with diving pier, nighttime lighting, a washing station, tables and benches for the humans, agility features and a separate area for “timid” dogs, I’m sure it’s destined to end up on my top 10 list.

It has already landed on most everybody else’s.

In 2007, Cosmo dog park was named the top dog park in the nation by Dog Fancy magazine. This year it dropped to fourth, with another Arizona dog park — one we’ll get to shortly, called Jackass Acres K-9 Korral– taking top honors.

“It offers a great opportunity for dogs and families to get active and socialize. Everywhere you go in the park, you see the celebration of dogs,” town spokeswoman Beth Lucas told the Arizona Republic. The park averages more than 600,000 visits annually.

Residents were so psyched up for the new dog park that some climbed over the fence before the July 2006 opening for an early look.

The park is named after Gilbert’s first police dog.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)

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