On her way out, Comini stops to talk to the family of the Marley puppy, checking to make sure the dogs have had all their shots. "OK, good," she says, then continues out of the park, her three little dogs bouncing comically at her heels.

Across the path, Jim Christian is gathering his dogs. Lucy Jane walks slowly next to him on her short, old-lady legs, while Luke and Journey have one last tussle as he untangles their leashes at the gate. As the sun arcs over the dog park, the crowd here changes, swelling in the late morning, winnowing out around noon, then growing even bigger and rowdier in the afternoon.

Stephen Foster, a member of a group of big-dog park regulars at White Rock Lake, takes a moment with his dog, Smokey.
Brandon Thibodeaux
Stephen Foster, a member of a group of big-dog park regulars at White Rock Lake, takes a moment with his dog, Smokey.
A Saturday morning visit to the big-dog park finds Huckleberry, the park’s famed mischief-maker, taking a break from a frenetic game of go-fetch.
Brandon Thibodeaux
A Saturday morning visit to the big-dog park finds Huckleberry, the park’s famed mischief-maker, taking a break from a frenetic game of go-fetch.

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Web extra:Take our quiz to find out what kind of a dog owner you are.

More photos: Dogs and owners in costume at the Easter pooch parade at Unleashed, in our slideshow here.

Plus, see the Cotton Bowl turn into Dallas' biggest dog park for a day -- photos from this year's Dog Bowl in our slideshow here.

Night comes slowly, and everyone goes home. In the moonlight, the dog park looks like a jumbled mess of overturned chairs, half-chewed sticks and forgotten toys. But before morning begins, and as long as there isn't rain, Christian will be back, with Luke and the ladies by his side, to awaken the park again.

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