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updated: 10/20/2011 4:46 PM

New Cary park is dog's best friend

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Cary's first dog park promises to be quite the treat for pooches small and large.

The park, which opens Nov. 1, is within Hoffman Park; it includes a fenced 18-acre open play area with mowed grass, a meadow and tall grass area with walking trails, plus a separate area for small dogs, waste bag stations, water fountains for humans and dogs, restrooms and electronic gate access. There is also a training area for dogs that are not used to being off the leash.

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Resident Ralph Chermak, who checked out the dog park a couple of weeks ago, said it's all he had hoped for his two Wheaten Terriers, Epson and Abby. Chermak had served on a task force that examined where and how to outfit a dog park in Cary.

"I was stunned that everything that was on our wish list for a wonderful dog park was there," he said.

Annual fees for residents are $55 for one dog, and $10 for additional dogs. Nonresidents pay $110 annually and $25 for additional dogs. Seniors get discounts. All dogs must be vaccinated.

The cost is more than worth it for Chermak and his wife, Bibby, who already got dog tags and electronic keys. "The park should be paid for by dog owners as much as possible," he said.

But that's not the only news coming out of Hoffman Park.

The park's fishing pier and new trail were completed in July, said Katie Hughes, director of communications and marketing for the Cary Park District. "We are finishing up community gardens; they should open in the springtime," she said.

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