Dog park dedicated to Geary

Published 12:54 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Earlier this year many Farmville residents buzzed about the possibility of a dog park being built in town, and now that possibility is closer to becoming a reality.

Not only will the park bring dog owners a sense of enjoyment for being able to let their dogs run and play in a safe environment, but it will also bring remembrance to a special person that the community has missed since early April.

Dr. Erica Dawn Geary, a former veterinarian at Ridge Animal Hospital, died from injuries from a car accident on Friday, April 3, when traveling to Maryland to visit her family for the Easter holiday.

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Since then, many town residents have mourned the loss of the 26-year-old vet that cared for every animal that she came in contact with.

The dog park has been dedicated to Geary for her tireless efforts and dedication to animals and pets across the region.

Plans for the Dr. Erica D. Geary Dog Park, which will be constructed at the intersection of First and North Virginia streets, are in display on the town hall.

Plans for the Dr. Erica D. Geary Dog Park, which will be constructed at the intersection of First and North Virginia streets, are in display on the town hall.

“I think it is very appropriate that it is being dedicated to her since she worked for Dr. (Mark) French (in the Farmville area),” Town Manager Gerry Spates said. “I had an opportunity to go to her myself with my pet and she was a very caring vet. She really took a lot of interest in the animals. I think the dog park is going to be a great thing. I am really looking forward to getting it completed.”

French, who worked with Geary for almost one year, said that the park will help carry out Geary’s memory and love for animals.

“She was a young lady that early in her life decided to be a veterinarian and work with pets and animals, and a bit later in her life she decided to work for the Lord … Here in Farmville, her mission and her memories can continue. This dog park will forever have her name on it and we think that is wonderful as well,” French said.

The dog park idea came about when Farmville residents brought the Farmville Town Council.

“About two-to three-months before I became a member of council, a few people came to me about getting a dog park established. We had an interest meeting and [about 50 or 60] people came to the train station wanting the town to have a dog park,” said Dwyer. “It’s about dogs, but mainly about people. People get together and meet new friends and dogs get to be dogs and have a space to run and play. It is a win-win (situation).”

After the tragic news of Geary’s death, Dwyer explained that dedicating the dog park to the young veterinarian was a choice that needed to be made.

“She was someone who was obviously young and dedicated her life service to the animal world. It is completely fitting to tribute the park in her name. I didn’t know her, but I understood that she was special and touched a good number of people’s hearts.”

Although the park has been approved to be built, the decision of when it will be built is one that needs to be heard by town council. As of now, the time frame to build the dog park has not been decided.

This is a corrected version of the original story.