Volunteers in Holden bring dog park to life

Posted March 21, 2010, at 8:37 p.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — The town needed a dog park. A small business that happened to cater to dogs had some extra land. A public-private partnership was born.

Maggie and Richard Burgoyne, who opened Renaissance Dogs, a canine day care, three years ago, have agreed to turn more than a half-acre of their property off Route 1A into a fenced park for dogs.

“I know they are trying to create one in Bangor, and it looks like that’s going to take forever; we had the opportunity to do something here in Holden,” Maggie Burgoyne said.

About two dozen volunteers spent most of Saturday helping the Burgoynes clear brush and cut down trees near their home and business. Later, volunteers helped erect 600 feet of chain-link fence and set up benches inside the enclosure.

When it’s finished, the park will be open to customers of Renaissance Dogs throughout the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays it will be open to all Holden residents.

“The town has no liability, which made it easy for them to support this,” Burgoyne said.

One volunteer, Annette Plaumann, has been bringing Jules, her red-nose pit bull, to the Burgoynes’ facility every week to socialize with other dogs.

“She was a rescue — not abused, but neglected,” Plaumann said Saturday while picking up dead branches and putting them into piles to be chipped. “I can’t take her to the [Bangor] City Forest because a lot of people are prejudiced against pit bulls. This is going to be a great resource for the town.”

The Burgoynes’ daughter Rebecca Henderson is a dog trainer who lives in an apartment next to Renaissance Dogs and works with many canine clients, including Jules. Maggie Burgoyne said she and her husband, originally from Massachusetts, bought the property not far from the Holden-Brewer line after they retired and decided to open the business with their daughter.

“I think we work more now,” she joked. “But there is a great need out there for kennels and [dog] day care.”

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