PLAINVIEW — Theo just won't stop.
A miniature Australian shepherd about a year and a half old, Theo runs, fetches, plays and runs some more.
And that's all after a workout at the dog park in Rochester.
"He never runs out of energy," said Lucy Loyo.
Theo belongs to Loyo's older sister, Madison. The family got him with the hopes of training him to become a service dog to help Madison with her anxiety, but, as Lucy Loyo said, "He flunked out."
That didn't stop the family from loving Theo, a friendly, energetic pup who does tricks and plays with boundless enthusiasm.
When Loyo, a senior this coming school year at Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School, became the president of the school's National Honor Society chapter, she decided the chapter's service project should be something more meaningful than just giving 30 hours of community service.
"I wanted a bigger project than just our community service hours we do," Loyo said. "I figured a dog park would be perfect."
With Theo — not to mention the family's other dogs, a German shepherd puppy named Phoebe and a 9-year-old Pekingese-Maltese mix named Cricket — in mind, Loyo came up with the idea of raising the money and getting a dog park built in Plainview.
"The community needs a dog park," P-E-M Superintendent Bill Ihrke said. "It'd be great for the city."
The city of Plainview was Loyo's first stop. She contacted City Administrator Clarissa Hadler, who helped Loyo figure out what steps she'd need to take and hurdles she'd need to clear to make a dog park happen.
Hadler, who said the community has long supported the idea of a dog park, has just never had someone take charge and make it happen.
One problem has been finding the right piece of land on which to build a dog park. The right spot would include parking, distance from housing so dog barking wouldn't bother neighbors, and land that drains well when wet.
Three separate plots owned by the city all have drawbacks, according to the agenda packet from Tuesday night's city council meeting.
With that in mind, Loyo went to the school district and asked Ihrke if P-E-M might have a spot that works. While Ihrke said he doesn't think the district should get into "the dog park business," the schools and the city have made land-use deals in the past.
"I think her idea is outstanding, and it's something the community would benefit from," Ihrke said.
The land owned by the school district has a problem as well. Loyo said it's wet and soggy after a rainstorm.
During the council meeting, the city council agreed to work with the school district to find a solution for the land issue. Hadler said land owned by the school would need drain tiling, and Council Member Dave Walkes offered to put the field tile in at the site if that site ended up being the spot for the park.
That, said Hadler, would take care of one of the biggest expenses for the project. All that would be left is the cost of fencing, maybe a bench or two, signage and holders for bags of dog waste.
Loyo has already started a GoFundMe web page trying to raise $5,000. She said she also plans to make her case for funding during community events such as Corn on the Cob Days.
In the meantime, Madison Loyo will drive to Rochester's dog parks to help burn off some of that canine energy.
"We have four cats and three dogs," Lucy Loyo said. "And our house isn't that big. They need a place to run."