One day, a group of dog lovers in and around Blue Springs met with that city's Parks and Recreation director, Roscoe Righter. The topic: an off-leash dog park. The pet owners were giving their spiel when Righter pulled out a folder and said he had been working on the idea for years. Ultimately, the city provided land in Gregory O. Grounds Park, and the dog owners, calling themselves Responsible Unleashed Fun for Fido (RUFF), raised money for the park's amenities. Mature trees inside the fence keep humans out of the sun as they watch their animals frolic. Dogs, meanwhile, can take a dip in an adjoining pond during the warm-weather months. "The swimmers, they just get out there and have a ball," says RUFF organizer Dena McLean. This year, RUFF cordoned off an area for little dogs so they would't be trampled by larger breeds.