Friday, May 30, 2008

Dog Park Protesters Need Leashes to Control Their Animals

Hilarious. Erin, from Erin in the Real World, had a dog lunge at her from a "protest" in favor of dog parks, where dogs would allowed to attack at will.

Maybe Michael Vick would be willing to fund a private dog park where owners of dogs could let them off their leashes in fenced in spaces . . .

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7 Comments:

Anonymous ray ray said...

At Westwood Park, a vast majority of people going to the park are dog owners. They clean it and police while people using the 'shelter' for weekend birthday parties usually trash the place(most are driving to the park and dont live in the area). I suspect the same type of thing happens in other parks so giving the dog people an audience so they can make their case is the least the Parks Board cn do.

5/30/2008 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Lance Weber said...

We have 2 dachshunds and I've brought them to the Penn Valley off-leash park several times wondering if I would be going home minus one or both. They run around with the other dogs and nothing has ever happened. There have been many other dogs there, some running in a sort of loose pack, but I haven't see any dog violence.

It hasn't been my experience that off-leash parks are dangerous but I've only been a few times. Dan's "attack at will" comment seems like a joke but is that the essence of the complaint by the opposition?

5/30/2008 11:18 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Lance - to be honest, I haven't paid that much attention to the dog park controversy. I think the main concern of the anti-dog-park people is that we are taking public-use land and devoting it to a single use that is only important to a small subgroup of people with an obsession that appears foolish to the rest of us.

As a municipal course golfer, I don't have much room to make that argument.

5/30/2008 8:48 PM  
Anonymous AllieJ said...

Dan,
You could also say the same thing about baseball diamonds, tennis courts, frisbee golf courses, playgrounds etc.

Also, I'm not sure why the animosity and words like "obsession" and "foolish" tend to come into play whenever a dog park is brought up. I don't play or watch baseball and I don't understand it's appeal at all, but I've never been tempted to get all worked up over the fact that there are plenty of people who do and who use taxpayer money and section off public land to pursue their interest. Heck, I'm all for anything that will get any of us out of from in front of our TVs and into the outdoors.

People who go to dog parks go for many different reasons Ie; there are elderly or disabled people who want to have dogs but don't have the stamina or ability to exercise them as hard as they need to be exercised to be calm and mellow, or some people like to socialize with their friends while letting their dog burn off a little energy from being cooped up all day etc.

In my opinion, one of the best things about dog parks is they tend to serve as kind of neighborhood gathering spots and people really get to know each other, so they build community. I know a lot of people who have made great friends through the Penn Valley dog park.

I think what it comes down to is that some people just don't want to share. They want their tennis courts, their baseball diamonds and their playgrounds and would get quite upset if those of us who don't use those amenities were to protest "our" land being sectioned off for them, or the fact that we pay for them, but they don't want to share with others who have differing views and differing interests. It's much easier to just write off those people with differing views and interests as "foolish" people with a weird "obsession."

For anyone who thinks dog park users represent just a "small subgroup" of crazies, you should drop by Penn Valley dog park some day. You'll see a lot of people who represent a broad cross-section of Kansas Citians out having fun with their dogs and their friends, getting some exercise and fresh air - you might even see some of your friends or neighbors. If you actually talk to some of these people, you might actually end up with a better understanding of your fellow parks users and of the dog park issue.

5/30/2008 9:30 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Allie -

Those aren't my arguments - I was trying to articulate the arguments of the anti-dog park people in response to Lance's request.

I hope I made that pretty clear by pointing out that I am a municipal golfer who doesn't have much room to make that argument, and I hope you caught that, because I notice you did direct your comments (and invitation) to those who hold those views, and not necessarily me.

5/31/2008 9:11 AM  
Blogger Capt. Geoffrey Spaulding said...

Hell- I was going to travel around the city & photo all the overgrown ball diamonds!

Hardly anyone uses the parks like they did when I was a kid....

Cheers-
Groucho

5/31/2008 4:35 PM  
Anonymous AllieJ said...

Hi Dan,
I did catch that, and yeah, my comments were more directed at anyone who thinks we dog park proponents are somehow different from all the other parks users who want to take a little slice of KC's parks to pursue their preferred activity.

Groucho,
You make a good point. I live near Budd Park, a 20-ish-acre park that has a ball diamond. In the five years I've lived here, using the park almost daily (walking my dogs twice a day), I've never seen it in use. The tennis courts are seldom in use. It's amazing to me how little we Kansas Citians use our parks - I think it's really sad. Sure, people go out on those perfect 65-degree spring days. But as a year-round parks user (even in the snow) the only users I really see out regularly in all weather are runners and people walking their dogs.

I think part of the problem is that our parks leaders haven't responded to change or even taken surveys to find out what would actually get people into our parks. For instance, I'll bet the ball field was put into Budd Park at least 20 years ago. The demographics of this neighborhood have really changed, and we now have more immigrants representing more countries than any other neighborhood in KC. I'll bet if you ripped out that baseball field and put in a soccer field, it would get used like crazy and maybe even bring out spectators. But, no, someone decades ago decided a ball field should go there, and an overgrown ball field it will be.

I think we should all encourage our parks leaders to find more ways to respond to changing wants and needs and to encourage KC residents to get out and use our parks. By the way, our mayor has mentioned increasing parks use as a major goal related to parks and rec. And, if you go to the Penn Valley Dog Park, you'll see that a dog park is an amenity that really brings lots people to the park, just about every day of the year, all day long. In fact, that's one of opponents' complaints - that too many people will use it. I'd say that'd be a good problem to have.

6/01/2008 7:25 AM  

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