Tuesday, September 14

The Dog Park Is Open

The new dog park in the Downtown Arts District is open and I couldn't be more worried about it.  It is really a small area and I am so afraid of what is going to happen in that space with all those dogs.  I really appreciate the people that thought about dogs and thought about giving them a space of their own Downtown, but in my opinion they got it wrong.  I am not a fan of dog parks, I simply see no good in them.  At least the one's in the Los Angeles area.  If you go to Texas I hear they are vast pastures, acres of land for the dogs to run and play... some even with water features.  Here the parks are usually not that big and even the bigger one's have far too many dogs per square foot of land.  In addition to the parks being crowded, there is no monitoring system, no one is watching the dogs or there to assist if something should happen.  So many owners are in denial about their dog's disposition, they may have aggressive, fearful or dog aroused dogs and they interpret their behavior as wanting to play, when in fact they want to hurt another dog.  I can't tell you how heart breaking it is to have to try to recover a dog that has been attacked by one or multiple dogs.  Or on the other hand to try to recover a dog that has attacked or even killed another dog, to have to look the owners in the eye and explain that their dogs must live a life on leash and in a mussel for their safety and all the dogs around them.  The worst thing I have heard is to have your dog attack another dog, the owner of the attacked dog sue you and you are forced to put down your dog.  All of this can be avoided by just not attending dog parks.  
I realize many of you will not take my warnings, so I ask this...please, if you go to dog parks, go during off times.  Early mornings are usually good or right before the park closes, if you are able to go in the middle of the work week, those are usually great times.  Go to your local dog park without your dog a few times that you would be interested in going and just check it out.  Notice the other dogs that are there and how they interact with one another, look for water and check for cleanliness.  The number one thing to do if you go to a dog park is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DOG AT ALL TIMES.  So many people turn their back to talk to another dog owner or get on the phone, but your dogs need you to pay attention.  If you see a dog around them that is displaying signs of aggression or hyper arousal, get your dog out of the situation.
I say all of this as a warning to keep your dogs safe.  I have made a pledge to actively be involved in the Downtown dog community to help provide a safer environment for our dogs and their owners. Please take my warnings with all the love they meant with and enjoy your dog today.

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