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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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A Dog’s Life: Who’s Walking Whom?

It’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Most Southwest Washington residents are snoozing. Not so for Sam, Buddy and Jesse. Ditto for Pink and Gidget. The Ross Off-Leash Dog Recreation Area in Vancouver is animated with wide-awake canines and, of course, their owners.

The 8-acre park is managed by DOGPAW, the Dog Owners Group for Park Access in Washington. The group’s Mission is “to work with dog owners and the community at large to promote awareness and acceptance and to increase the availability for safe off leash areas for dogs in Clark County.” Located on BPA Complex grounds at NE Ross St and NE 15th Ave, the park offers a large, hilly off leash area with walking trail and collection of benches, plus an adjacent park for smaller dogs.

The owners may be walking the dogs, but the dogs are exercising their masters, too. Many a dog owner has gotten in shape following his or her hound up and down the hilly park. Some walk the 3/4 mile loop multiple times for a human workout.

So who is out there?

Bruce and Sam


Don and Pink



7:30 a.m. - Surrounded by dogs

Pink and Gidget, who longingly looks out from the small dog area

Where are the sheep?

Hanging out in the flowers

Kings and queen of the bark dust hill

Buddy of Buddy and Bosco

Bosco looking for friends

Love in the dog park: Bosco finds Sparky

8 a.m. - More canines and companions hit the trail

Pure joy...

“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” (author unknown)

Enough said.

August 14, 2011   No Comments

The 10 Minute Conversation: Carol Johnsen and Bruce Bryant

Carol Johnsen and Bruce Bryant moved to Clark County in 2006 from North Hollywood where they designed logos and story openings for series like Frasier (remember the Seattle skyline?), Cheers and the X-Files, among dozens of shows and movies, and won seven Emmys for their work. They are principals of Bryant/Johnsen Media Design and own , an online gift gallery. We spoke at Brewed Awakenings in Orchards.

Carol Johnsen and Bruce Bryant

ZEST: How did you get here?

Bruce: We were thinking Oregon. We lived in North Hollywood and started looking in Oregon and crept our way north including the Portland area. We went up north as far as Yelm. Our house had been sold. We had to get a place up here. Our Realtor showed us around and we got this place. We love it. Our focus was on the dogs. (They had four dogs and two cats.)

ZEST: What do you love about living here?

Carol and Bruce: We love the seasons, four real seasons. We love the dogs at the Vancouver Farmers Market and the dog parks. The dog park (Ross Complex Off-Leash Dog Park) is the best place. It’s a daily event now for us. There are all kinds of people there. People talk to each other. It’s the classic situation where I can name the dogs, I know the people but cannot name them.

Love the people, the different kinds of people. We like it that people are not all in one industry. There is a lot of community involvement and creative people. There is a good educational system.

The scale of Clark County – it’s just perfect. Portland is too big but it’s there if you want it. Having lived in LA, we are happy not to be in the big city.

ZEST: What is the best kept secret about SW Washington?

Bruce: It really is an animal friendly place. Our newest dog came from the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society in Washougal. Talk about a wonderful outfit! That’s a real bond for us – people who care about animals.

ZEST: Where is your favorite place to relax and play in SW Washington?

Carol: Tommy O’s. It’s good for vegetarians and has good happy hours.

ZEST: If you didn’t live here, where would you live?

Carol: Cambria California, near San Luis Obispo

ZEST: What is coming up in your lives that you are excited about?

Carol: We are going to be doing a Web site for an author friend, Paulette Callen, in New York. We just finished up a project for OPB.

ZEST: What would surprise people to know about you?

Carol and Bruce: People are surprised we moved here from LA. Every year we are here, we love it more.

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September 2, 2009   3 Comments