As a lifelong dog owner/lover, I can understand Kathy Cook’s letter expressing her desire for a dog park in Easton. However, I see too many reasons why a dog park is a liability.
There is no guarantee that dogs visiting the park are current on vaccines or are free of parasites. There is no guarantee that the dog’s handler picks up after their dog. There is no guarantee that dogs are properly socialized. There is no guarantee that dogs and handlers have basic obedience skills. A sweet family pet may become an aggressive biter in a group of unfamiliar dogs. A dog park is not an alternative to exercising your dog. Dogs are pack animals and will juggle for pack position. One bite is one strike against your dog and gets reported. Two bites can mean home containment or euthanasia.
Rather than a dog park, enroll your dog in training classes — obedience, rally, agility, scent, fast cat and more. Both of my dogs are Special Needs Therapy Dogs with Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Crisis Response Canines. If you are interested in canine therapy, please contact me. Classes will provide socialization and increase the bond between handler and dog.
Dog walks with friends are great fun. Loose leash, at heel. Proponents of dog parks have the opinion that "their dog wants to play with my dog." Not true. Yes, their dog will run toward my dog (while 10 feet ahead of their owner on a flexi-lead), but that does not mean the dogs want to play together!
I think that a dog park is an accident waiting to happen. Dog play dates with friends, off-leash, are great fun, as long as the dogs have been socialized to each other and they are supervised.
BARBARA LEE JEFFERSON