Niko and Queen have to get their exercise. Thousands of people depend on it.
The two German Shepherds train in search and rescue and explosive detection for their owner Rick Brun, a private security operator for award shows, stock holder meetings and special events.
He takes his dogs to local parks up to three times a day for scent tracking and agility training – it amounts to roughly six miles of exercise daily.
"It's pretty exciting to watch," Brun said. "We have decoys of people that hide or I'll lay scent articles around three or four hours in advance. I'm able to do this at some of the parks in Aliso Viejo."
Brun is one of many residents who want a dog park in the city. It's a project that has been stalled for five years, and now the Aliso Viejo Community Association is ready to discuss the issue that has unleashed countless complaints from its members.
The AVCA board on Monday will update the community on the development of Aliso Canyon Community Park and its master plan using a list of proposed amenities from the Parks and Landscape Committee, which was presented before the board in December.
A dog park was placed third on the list with a children's play area, a parking lot, workout equipment along the trails, a community garden and picnic tables. Finding a specific spot within ACCP for the dog park is the first of many steps, according to AVCA President Ross Chun.
"We've got to find an appropriate place, look at costs, start the budgeting process and review recommendations from the committee," Chun said. "We're going through a very careful planning phase to make sure the best decisions are made."
He added that a detailed timeline or finish date could not be set because the board is establishing one right now.
The Parks and Landscape Committee researched the installation of a dog park five years ago, but received conflicting information about insurability and cost from the AVCA board at that time, Chun said.
Following the resignation of some of those board members, plans for the dog park came to a halt.
"We are still conscious that a large segment of the community is interested in a dog park," Chun said. "It's not just the dog owners, but those who want the regular parks maintained without dogs running off-leash. There is a demand for the dog park, and the city's community survey reinforces that understanding."
Theresa Vinciguerra takes Sophie and Cha-Cha on walks through Westridge Park, the closest grassy area to her home. She keeps their leashes on, acknowledging a rule many dog owners often ignore.
"If we had a local park where our dogs could run free, it would alleviate some of the problems," said Vinciguerra, a 17-year resident. "It will be nice when people won't have to worry if their dogs are bothering other people."
The board meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at City Hall, 12 Journey.