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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dog Day

TONIGHT - DC Dogs Yahoo! Group is hosting a city-wide dog proponents meeting to discuss the proposed dog park regulations tonight at 7pm at the Second District Station, 3320 Idaho Ave., NW. The goal of the meeting is to develop some cohesive strategies to respond to the Department of Parks and Recreation’s proposed regulations.

Binformed has posted a copy of the proposed regulations , which most agree are far too restrictive on what constitutes a suitable site for a dog park.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is holding a meeting on its proposed dog park regulations at the Kennedy Recreation Center on Monday, March 26, from 7pm to 8pm.

BE ON POOP PATROL – Make it a resolution to start carrying extra plastic bags on you when walking around the neighborhood, and do the dirty deed of picking up after someone else’s dog. It’s gross but will go a long way towards helping our cause.


Anonymous said...

dog walkers picking up behind other dogwalker's negligence ... about as likely as getting a dog park in Shaw (and not completely unrelated)

why should non dog walkers support this when a dog park will not guarantee that the current negligence will end once we reward you with a dog park? we can still look forward to picking up after residets allowing their pets to use our propeties as toilets and then no one will be encouraging dogwalkers to pick up behind each other

throw the non dogwalkers some incentive

Shaw Rez said...

Anon-thank you for your comment; I think open community dialogue on this—and all issues—is great and needed. And I am grateful that your tone is respectful and honest, a balance I struggle with.

I think all of us who want a dog park know that there are irresponsible dog owners out there who are hurting our cause. I always pick up after my dog AND, whenever appropriately armed with a plastic bag, after other people’s dogs in an effort to help curb this perception. If others could do this also, then perhaps the community would be more receptive to us.

First and foremost, a dog park should be viewed as an amenity for neighborhood citizens more so than their dogs. Although I would never use the skateboard park on 11th Street, I support this neighborhood amenity (through my tax dollars and through my mentality of “it’s great that we can offer some segment of the population this source of enjoyment”). I likewise support neighborhood playgrounds, athletic fields, and the Kennedy Recreation Center, none of which I use. My source of recreation and pleasure is my dog, and, accordingly, I want our neighborhood to offer me an amenity I can use for my enjoyment. On a basic fairness level, it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask that my desires—and the desires of numerous other neighborhood citizens—be considered.

Second, dog walkers discourage crime by increasing foot traffic. I cannot personally speak to the accuracy of this report, but I hear that crime around the Bundy field area, for example, went up significantly after the city started excluding dogs from the field.

Third, the organized dog owners who would oversee the dog park would be accountable for its cleanliness and for the conduct of dogs/dog owners in the park. This group could also be a go-to group for asserting complaints about neighborhood dog issues such as the one you raise. Perhaps this group could even use the dog park as a means of educating less responsible dog owners how to train and maintain and pick up after their dogs.

I am extremely sorry that you have had bad experiences with irresponsible dog owners. I get very frustrated at them as well (especially with my new gardening passion!). But irresponsible folks are going to own dogs regardless of whether or not there’s a dog park in the area. I want a dog park because my dog is my recreation, and, as a citizen of Shaw who supports other neighborhood amenities, it upsets me that my relatively innocuous request raises such vehement opposition.

si said...

Speaking as someone who doesn't really like dogs at all, I fully agree with establishing a dog park. its good for the neighborhood, gets people out & about, and the dookie disposal is much more organized & centralized. there are enough motivated people in shaw to maintain a dog park if it ever happens.

Anonymous said...

At the dog park at 17th Street and S, the grass is completely barren from all the dogs running on it all the time, and none of the amenities that were once planned for this park were put in. Non-dog owners can't walk through the park, because of all the unleashed dogs running free.

Playgrounds serve a far larger community than dog parks, and kids are our future, not dogs. I don't understand why dog owners don't move to the suburbs with more open space if they feel so strongly about their dogs -- it's the only humane thing to do.