by Al Radick

On a typical gloomy June morning in San Diego, eastbound on Flanders Drive, a car emerges through the morning fog as it arrives at Maddox Dog Park. The first of Mira Mesa’s unsung volunteers arrives to await their cohort. Soon another car arrives from the north on Parkdale Avenue and their daily routine begins.

Up the path they go, to the dog park. There awaiting them are the water jugs that need to be emptied, rinsed and refilled and the souvenir droppings of the many dogs that visited and played in the park the day before need to be removed. It must have been a busy day yesterday.

Victor, the Park & Rec. GMW arrives in his white pick up truck with a fresh supply of doggie bags for the dispensers and quickly leaves to get on with his chores in/around the park. Soon coming up the path they hear the familiar woof woof of a local black Lab on the way to “his park”, with his human in tow, to stretch his legs and burn off energy.

With the arrival of Gizmo, Duke, Blackie and Oliver the park once again comes alive with the sound of fun loving dogs greeting their friends and chasing each other around and around.

And then, all to soon, the sun is setting and another day at the Dog Park is finished, the same routine as the other 364 days this year. Tomorrow morning the Dog Park’s Stealth Angel’s will do it all over again.

Who are these stealthy, under the radar, angels of the dog park? Well they’ve both been Mira Mesa residents for many years, one since 1974, and have a mutual great love of dogs.

Don Castor, a “seasoned” citizen, is one. He’s a former Chairman of the Mira Mesa Recreation Council, circa 1980. Hmmm, I guess Old Rec. Council Chairman don’t fade away, they just go to the dogs.😂

His cohort is Terry Ellison. Terry works two jobs, dog park duty in the morning and VONS in the afternoon where she actually gets paid for her work.

These angels have been watching over the dog park since it first opened. They’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. They’ve been pleased, thrilled, disappointed and frustrated but through it all they keep showing up every morning, day after day after day…….for over twenty years!

If the dogs could speak, I’m pretty sure I know what they’d say, Thanks, we love you…….now go get us fresh water and a biscuit.