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RRUFF celebrates first anniversary

Or seventh, in dog years
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald and Press Tribune editor
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A pack of dog lovers and man’s best friend will lead the way into the Christmas Tree Lighting festivities Dec. 8 in the Reindeer Pooch Run, a celebration of dogs, owners and the first anniversary of Rocklin’s first and only dog park.

The Rocklin Residents Unite for Fido Dog Park turns one year old Dec. 23, and organizers and members will celebrate in style with a party at the park starting at 2 p.m. It will include “doggie cake” for the four-legged crowd, and RRUFF will roll out two new programs: the Mobile Sponsor Connection Program and doggie theme parties.
 
At 3:30 p.m., participants will line up for the Reindeer Run, which will start at the dog park inside Johnson-Springview Park and makes its way to the Christmas Tree Lighting on Front Street. Santa Claus and Rudolph will be present, as will RRUFF sponsors including MJB Homes and Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital. The Reindeer Run will join up with the Christmas Tree Lighting parade at 4 p.m. to kick off the party.
 
Vicki Bottini Curtis, founder and RRUFF board president, explained that the park is a success because of the collaboration in creating and maintaining it, from the eight-member board of directors and sponsors to the members and park users.
 
Bottini Curtis praised park users for helping keep the park clean and informing board members about any issues.
 
The fenced, off-leash dog park is open to the public and includes a large dog area, small dog area and a special-needs area for shy dogs or park newcomers getting a feel for how things work. Bottini Curtis said that in the past year park amenities have grown to include 12 benches (provided within just 48 hours of asking for donations), a message board, concrete pads for the water feature, a garden and two dust-control irrigation areas provided by the city of Rocklin. Services offered include training classes and free monthly presentations (postponed for the winter).
 
Deborah Hayes said that watching the animals interact is similar to watching kids play.
 
“It’s almost like Starbucks for dogs,” she laughed.
 
Bottini Curtis said that as the park continues to grow, RRUFF needs members, money and volunteers to assist with events and park maintenance. RRUFF recently obtained a $2,000 grant from The Nutro Company “Room to Run” program, which will go toward making the park Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant. Bottini Curtis added that a goal of the project is to someday offer a place for service-dog training. Concrete work is also planned for the special-needs area that will provide a space for puppy training.
RRUFF is nominated this year for the Nonprofit Achievement Award from the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.
 
In the end, it’s all about dogs and people having fun.
 
Betty Robertson brings her 13-year-old dog, Holly, to the park regularly, despite the fact that Holly is deaf.
 
“That doesn’t matter,” she said. “She has great eyesight. She can’t hear, but her eyesight is wonderful. … She goes and sniffs and visits with the other dogs that are here and the people that are here.”
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Reindeer Pooch Run and anniversary party
When: Celebration 2-4 p.m.; Reindeer Pooch Run 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
Where: RRUFF Dog Park, 5480 5th St.
Features: Pictures with Santa, $5; $5 jingle bell collars, $10 antlers; doggie cake
Info: rruff@rocklindogpark.org, Vicki Bottini Curtis, 435-0196