Dogs on the Roof

February 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

NEX is the new suburban shopping centre in Serangoon. Special amenities featured at NEX include a public library, SkyGarden, KidzPlay, and K9 Park (the first of its kind in Singapore to be integrated with a mall). Foot traffic in-and-out of NEX has been brisk since its soft opening in December 2010—then again, it sure helps to have an MRT station right at the doorstep of the mall’s entrance. The weekend crowds can be dizzying!

If you recall, there was an earlier post about Maple’s meetup with Brownie and Cabbage at the Doggie Style Cafe located in NEX. This time around, I will be reviewing the K9 Park (dog agility playground) which is situated on Level 4R—the rooftop terrace. Finding your way to the K9 Park from within the mall can be confusing. The shortest (but not necessarily fastest) and only route for dogs to the K9 Park would be via the designated Pets Lift, which can be accessed through the back of the mall. The rooftop terrace provides an open space for children and pets (although dogs must be leashed) and overlooks the zen-inspired SkyGarden one level below. KidzPlay is a waterpark for children that, on a hot sunny day, offers hours of fun and amusement for tiny tots. Right next to the KidzPlay zone is the K9 Park. This dog agility playground is a double-gated fenced enclosure with two separate areas, one for large dog breeds and another for small dog breeds (it appears, however, that few handlers actually comply with this rule).

The agility installations are brightly painted in cheerful colours that resemble a circus ring. Indeed, that is sort of the experience you may encounter when you and your four-legged friend are testing out the agility equipment while spectators outside are oohing and aahing. I suppose that is bound to happen when the children’s and dogs’ playgrounds are side-by-side. If you and Fido prefer to enjoy the K9 Park in peace and quiet, then it may be best to visit on a cool/overcast weekday as there is no shade cover to protect you and Fido from the hot afternoon sun. Operating hours of the K9 Park are 11:00am to 9:00pm daily.

I like the fact that there are benches inside the K9 Park for owners to sit and chat while the dogs are at play. There are also two public doggie water fountains, so your Fido need not become dehydrated from all that running around. Speaking of running around, there is very limited space for that, especially on busy days when both dogs and their handlers (and sometimes non-dog owners who just want to take part in the fun) are packed inside the K9 Park like sardines. Nonetheless, even if Fido doesn’t get the chance to gallop around, at least there is the opportunity for Fido to socialize and make new friends. Last but not least, be prepared for unexpected pee and poo accidents; owners are expected to clean up after their dogs.

For residents living in Serangoon, NEX can be a one-stop shop for all things dog-related. You can enjoy a meal at the Doggie Style Cafe and have Fido groomed at the same time, then later have Fido shake it all out at the K9 Park, followed by a visit to The Pet Safari where you and Fido can pick up some supplies before heading home. In time to come, I hope to see pet-friendly facilities integrated into more shopping centres across Singapore—what a great opportunity for Fido to feel like he or she is part of your family by accompanying you on your errands!

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