Lance Scranton: Dog parks
Lots of local conversation about a potential dog park in Craig city limits gets a person thinking about where ideas like this spring up. Local citizens that I have spoken with are somewhere between frustrated and perturbed. One local told me that they just don’t understand why our local entities go out of their way so often to antagonize the community and then turn around looking for support (generally taxes and bonds).
I’m a public servant and it is my role to support and defend the structures put in place to help the cause of making our fair city and county a great place to live. A dog park may be a reasonable need within the community for dogs to run freely, bark unrestrained, and defecate with deference to our neighbors and neighborhoods.
I make my home in Ridgeview, and the amount of dogs I hear when I am out strolling around the streets makes me feel like I’m marching through a kennel. Dogs are man’s best friend I’m told by those who have made pets a part of their family. When dogs become more than just pets and anyone speaks to owners about their four-legged leash puller, it had better be carefully worded. Dogs might well be man’s best friend but I often wonder if the relationship is a two-way street. Seems like if you treated your best friend the way some of the dogs are around town; you might find yourself friendless.
Just as life is complicated, complex, and richly layered; I never cast aspersions on dog owners and like to think that their owners must do their very best to try and train their dogs to avoid barking and howling at every person who walks by their yard. Animals definitely have a nature that years of training and breeding can never reverse and perhaps barking is to dogs as talking is to humans. It’s great to have a ferocious defender of your property but isn’t it reasonable to assert that your grounds are safe behind the chain links or wooden boards that border your property without the ear splitting bark, yelp, or growl?
Full disclosure demands my confession that I do not own any dogs but am surrounded by the barkers on just about all fronts and backs of my little piece of property heaven. Owners often have no idea how pesky and noisy their dogs are until I casually bring it up in conversation and they are mortified to learn that their sweet bundle of joy makes so much noise while they are at work each day. I’ve even had to gently remind people walking their dogs that my truck tires don’t need to be marked for territorial dominion and my front yard isn’t listed on the 10 best places to take a doggy dump in Ridgeview (at least it isn’t as far as I know!).
But back to the dog park. With as many open spaces as we have in Moffat County, and knowing that people will certainly have to make a special trip to take their dog to doggy-town, wouldn’t it seem logical to just take their canine carnivore to one of the countless empty fields we have all over our fair town and let them do their thing?
Call me a canine critter critic but I really hope we don’t unleash a decision that affects an entire neighborhood without considering the bite we take out of the good will of the people.