The Ohio Valley is filled with a variety of different people, all of whom have unique personalities. We all have different careers, stories and experiences. Although many of us may not know each other, there is one thing that we may have in common; a love for animals. Last year, an announcement was made that the city of Wheeling had formed an association with hopes to open a dog park. Sure there are plenty of parks throughout the valley, but not all dogs like being on a leash, and the bigger the dog the more they want to run. People may wonder what the difference is between a park, like Oglebay, and a dog park. Although our local parks are all dog friendly, the dog park will have a different set of rules. At the Wheeling Dog Park, pets will be allowed to run and play in an environment where they will be allowed off of the leash. The park will have an area for both large and small dogs to sniff and play. Pets need to socialize just like humans and at the dog park, both pets and humans can associate with one another. The canine park not only benefits our four legged friends, but it is also good for the elderly and disabled citizens who need a service dog by their side when exercising. It also builds tourism for people driving through the area and allows for the community to be more open to animals. Many states have become pet friendly, allowing dogs in restaurants, clothing stores, and even car dealerships. This summer, I went to Florida to visit my family and I was amazed by how animal friendly the state is. My aunt's Doberman Pinscher, Mya, has been inside many public places from a Mercedes dealership to an Outback Steakhouse. Yes, she took a nap on the dealerships couch and had the chefs cook her dinner at the restaurant. I thought that southern states were more accepting of animals than northern until I did a little research. Other states like California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and Texas are the most dog friendly states in the country. I think that a dog park in Wheeling could possibly open the doors for the Ohio Valley to be more canine friendly. Let's be honest, we all hate backing out of the driveway and seeing our pup staring at us through the window. Each time the Wheeling Dog Park posts an update on their Facebook page, I get more and more excited for the new establishment. The association recently announced that they have exciting news to deliver. I am hoping that it is the grand opening date. I plan on attending the dog park on a regular basis and I encourage all pet owners to go over and check it out when it opens.