Friday, August 9, 2013

Memphis Life: Overton Bark

I have a dog, Petunia:

And my roommate has a dog, Campbell:

130 lbs worth of dog.

In an apartment.

So sometimes, even though it's hot and Petunia gets mad at me for making her wake up, we take them to the dog park.

Shelby Farms has a great park, but it's not fenced - Campbell would come back, but Petunia is kind of an ass. She'd just run away and then panic 3 hours later when she couldn't find me.

Luckily for us, Overton Bark is really close to us, in Overton Park.

Also I love puns.

The dog park is really nice and well-maintained. There are two separate parks, actually, one for all dogs and one just for small dogs. 

Here's the official description:

Opened in June 2012, Overton Bark is a dog park for Midtown Memphis and the surrounding area.  This 1.3-acre enclosed dog park borders the Old Forest and the Rainbow Lake Playground.  The area includes water fountains, clean-up stations, and separate areas for large and small dogs.  Rustic log benches provide a natural seating area for people to relax while their dogs socialize.  Overton Bark is open from dawn to dusk each day.
When park users were surveyed prior to the formation of the Overton Park Conservancy, a dog park came up consistently as an amenity that would add tremendous value to the park.  Research from around the country shows that dog parks universally see some of the highest traffic levels in parks, and Overton Bark has proven those statistics true from its first day.
Overton Bark is sponsored by Hollywood Feed, which hosts monthly events at the park with special treats for the dogs and their human friends.  Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for future events at Overton Bark.
Find Overton Bark on Facebook to see what’s happening at the park and chat with other fans!

*Overton Bark is #5 on that map - Poplar is to the south, and the #2 hole on the golf course is right next to it. It's also really close to the Shell, so taking the dogs before concerts is a great plan - get them worn out before you expose them to the public. via

It's also right across from the brand new playground. I need somebody to lend me their kid so I'm not that creepy childless person at the park. 


There's plenty of parking (my roommate usually runs over but it was really hot and we were on a tight schedule - it's an easy walk though from a ton of places in Midtown), and everything is just really...clean. 

*View from the inside of the park. There are a ton of trees, and a lot of little stumps that the dogs can jump on and places for people to sit. If you've never been to a dog park before, you go in the first gate, shut it, take your dogs of their leashes, and then go into the park. Like one of those things you get in with your space suit before you go into space so your friends' eyes don't get sucked out of their sockets and you don't pollute space with all your un-secured stuff that was lying around. 

That's just the responsible thing to do people. 

In reality though, this is really important. It keeps the dogs in the park from being able to run out, and taking your dogs into the park on a leash is a terrible idea, and against the whole idea of a dog park. 

And my dog, in particular, stands by the gate and waits for someone else to take her home to the air conditioning, so she tries to sneak out with anyone. 

Evidence of her laziness: 

*This is after repeatedly asking her to get out of bed. 

                    Once you're in the park, your dog, like mine, will immediately decided it has to go. 

*There are a few of these scattered around, and, honestly, most people use them. Good job Memphis! This is too nice of a park to not keep up.

*There's also a really cool water fountain - the top part is for people and the bottom part is for dogs. Campbell made himself a nice little puddle to lay in and get as disgusting as possible. Petunia is afraid of it. 

*The park is pretty big, and it has nice mulch, plenty of shade, and plenty of room for the dogs to burn off some of their craziness. 

It was really hot the day we were there (and kind of hot the day I went with my friend Katie last weekend - stupid summer), so there weren't many dogs, but here's a pic from the Overton Bark website with a ton more puppies:

The only times I've ever been uncomfortable at the dog park are when people bring tiny children (Petunia loves kids, but not all kids love her/not all dogs love kids), or tiny puppies, like too young to even have all their shots. And bring them to the "all dogs" side. They just get trampled and it makes me nervous the whole time. Other than that, people are super nice and responsible, both for their dogs and this great place we have in our community. And if you go by yourself, don't worry - you and your dog will make friends really fast!

Overall this is a great asset for Midtown, and Memphis as a whole. And it gets me one step closer to this: 

NATALIE PORTMAN & RASHIDA JONES Speak Out from Natalie Portman



  1. I've been wanting to take Cloe to the new park since it opened and still haven't gotten around to it. We'll have to get on that :)

    1. She's exactly the right age to start liking it too, I think. Someone brought a baby (like, no more than 3-4 months) one time, and that was weird, since they're kind of breakable and dogs are running and jumping all over the place. We should go some weekend!