Wandering Lyon Oaks on a Winter’s Day

A man walks along a winding trail in the woods on a gloomy winter day.


Lyon Oaks County Park is tucked away in Lyon Township in the far southwestern corner of Oakland County. It’s best known perhaps for its Arthur Hills-designed 18-hole golf course and a very popular 13-acre fenced dog park. The busy I-96 Freeway parallels the southern property line. An industrial park saddles up to a large section of its eastern perimeter, and a major underground natural gas pipeline bisects the park almost straight down the middle in a north-south orientation. With those thoughts in mind I decided to wrap up my weekly 2018 “wilder side” trail treks with a slow-paced 5.8 mile “discovery” meander at Lyon Oaks to see what secrets of nature would be exposed on a cold and heavily overcast end of December winter’s day, my first time at Lyon Oaks in over four years. Continue reading

Honoring Working Dogs on National K9 Veterans Day

On National K9 Veterans Day we honor and remember our faithful military and service dogs. These hero dogs are trained in a number of areas, including security and explosive detection, and work to help sustain the protection, safety and freedom of our citizens here and abroad.

Here in Oakland County, the Michigan War Dog Memorial in Lyon Township provides a peaceful outdoor setting where you can gather to remember and honor fallen canine heroes. What was once a humble, overgrown, and all-but forgotten pet cemetery has been transformed into a beautiful and somber space.

Phil Weitlauf, president and founder of the Michigan War Dog Memorial, discovered the pet cemetery back in 2010. He, and his non-profit team, have since cleared out the overgrowth and continued their work to give four-legged veterans a proper military burial. You can join them on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at noon for a K9 Veterans Day Event with special keynote speakers at 25805 Milford Road, South Lyon, MI.

Learn more about the Michigan War Dog Memorial in our video from their 2016 K9 Veterans Day event.

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Michigan War Dog Memorial – Pride, Honor and Sadness: A “Wilder Side” Special Report


Lyon Township might well be considered the southern gateway to the 900 square miles of Oakland County. The township has deep-rooted history in the growth of our county and state; some aspects of that history are well-known, and some are not. This is the tale of a small roadside greenspace on the southwest corner of Milford and 11 Mile Roads, a lesser known story from the wilder side of Oakland County. That site was once known as the Happy Hunting Grounds Pets Cemetery and is the final resting place for several thousand pets and some farm animals. The site also hold the remains of some historic pets, including a parrot that was on Admiral Dewey’s Spanish-American war flagship, and Blizzard, one of Admiral Byrd’s sled dogs from an Antarctic expedition.

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That walkable, open to the public, historic cemetery is partially shaded by a canopy of mostly large oak trees, and is now known as the Michigan War Dog Memorial. It has special significance for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, and holds a high degree of reverence for everyone that has an appreciation for dogs, especially Military War Dogs, Service Dogs and Law Enforcement K-9s. Continue reading

A Tribute to the Fallen: The Michigan War Dog Memorial

A procession of flags made their way to the cemetery. The wind whistled through the trees, ruffling the edges of the leaves.

A crowd stood quiet surrounding a number of headstones adorned with the American flag.

The names engraved in the marble are those of four-legged war heroes who, through their loyalty, saved the lives of others at the cost of their own.

These heroes, were laid to rest in their fur and bravery at the most appropriate place, the Michigan War Dog Memorial.

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