I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!
There are groundcovers and grasses you can grow but with the dogs penned in that area the plants just won't be able to survive the foot traffic and digging. I would go with your sand idea.
Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!
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