The christening by the little dog couldn’t have come at a better time.
It happened on Saturday Nov. 22, during dedication of a new “decorative fire hydrant” in the My Best Friend’s dog-park area inside Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. Just as canine lover Mike Wyatt of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas was beginning to address the crowd about the whimsical new amenity, a small Papillon or chihuahua mix ambled up to the cast-iron hydrant, hoisted one leg, and proceeded to give the hydrant its seal of approval.
“Look!” exclaimed John Zogg Jr. of Crescent Real Estate Equities, who’s a board member of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, which operates Klyde Warren Park. “That’s what we’re talking about!”
The spontaneous blessing capped a two-year-long campaign for the hydrant by Wyatt, a big supporter of downtown redevelopment in general and Klyde Warren Park, open since 2012, in particular. (“I’m not a tree hugger,” he says, “but I love trees.”) After Wyatt suggested off-handedly a couple of years ago that “every dog park needs a fire hydrant,” Zogg and Linda Owen, a chief fundraiser for the park and the foundation’s former president, got behind an effort to install one.
First, though, there were multiple approvals to win. While Zogg and Klyde Warren Park president Tara Green shepherded the proposal through the park bureaucracy, Green located the perfect hydrant in Burleson and had it painted light-sea-green, so as not to confuse firefighters with the real thing.
When Zogg suggested the park’s newest amenity would need to be accompanied by a sign or a quotation, Wyatt came up with this: “Whether you’re a big dog or a little dog, you’ve gotta AIM HIGH.”
Roughly 75 people—and about as many canines—attended the Nov. 22 dedication, which also featured the breaking of a three-foot-long dog biscuit over the hydrant. The new dog-park landmark was sponsored by Zogg and his daughters Ellie, Georgia, and Gwyneth, along with Wyatt and his wife, Piper.