Mitchell Park Dog run snobs
Original post made
by Dog owner, South of Midtown,
on Jan 9, 2008
I have been taking my young dog to the Mitchell Park dog run for months now. Somedays there are many dogs there, others just a few. My puppy has had different experiences there; some dogs play by themselves, others play a little rougher, chasing each other around in packs. She has been "beaten up" by other dogs, pushed to the ground, and even run around with her tail between her legs. However, I have NEVER told anyone else how to handle their animal, or ask them to leave. I took my dog there today and there was only 2 other dogs there. A woman arrived with her two children and her dog. Her dog was smaller, and barking and growling alot. My dog was simply playing with hers. Chasing her around, nipping at her etc. The woman turned to me and asked me to take my dog and leave!!! I have NEVER been so insulted. First of all, my dog is in NO WAY agressive, and second of all, it's a public park! I have a few friends who have been present at the park when others have told owners they need to take their dog and leave. There is a large group of "popular" people who frequent the park often, seem to know each others names, as well as the dogs. I try and stay clear of many of them, as they will boss you and your dog around. I COMPLETELY understand if an animal is aggressive and is threatening the safety of you or your dog, but get real! YOU DON'T OWN THE PARK, no matter how often you take your pet there. It is public property and you AREN'T THE BOSSES OF IT!
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm
Oh for God's sake, what is this, a high school comment board? The 'cool' people? The 'elitist snobs'? The 'cliques'? Grow up people. It's a free country. Stay with your dog, leave with your dog. YOUR CHOICE. Who the hell cares what someone else has to say? If they order you to leave and you don't, what are they going to do? Put you name in a slam book or talk about you in gym class? If someone gets too aggressive about it, the dog park is monitored by the City, call the cops!
I take my dogs to the Mitchell Park Dog run five days a week, all different times. There are certain 'regulars'; the same people socializing for sure, but they usually keep to themselves. Like anywhere else where people congregate, there is usually a sense of community.
I do not know most of these people, nor do I care either way if I do. If I meet them, great. If I don't, that's fine too. I have met a few, they are alright.
There are certain people who take their dogs to that particular park with whom I know there have been problems. If you frequent that park often enough, you learn which dogs are more aggressive than others, which dogs may not be fixed, which dogs are humpers. Which owners are diligent, which owners feel entitled. You can make your choice whether to leave or stay depending on what you want for YOUR animal, not based on what others say.
I have seen people asked to leave, but only once or twice. They were people with dogs who were out of control, more than once taking down another dog in a particularly aggressive manner. More often than not, I have witnessed problems with dogs that could have been handled easily, if the owners had STEPPED UP AND TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ANIMALS. The dog park is NOT doggie day care. It is not a spot for you to take your dog off the leash then promptly get on a cell phone blabbing while your dog runs amok. They are your responsibility, and like children, they should be WATCHED.
While I read what others wrote in here, I can't help but remember when some saggy pants thugs came into the enclosure and let their pitbulls run amok. Note that was immediately after we saw those same saggy panted kids sitting on the little hill right outside the enclosure smoking pot that they brought the dogs in. They were stoned and thought the reactions of other owners were funny. This has happened more than once. I don't find it so amusing. Run off and be counter culture all you please, but NOT around my dogs. Thanks.
Speaking of pitbulls; think what you want about that particular breed, but one reason I use the Palo Alto dogpark is because I don't see as many pitbulls in there than anywhere else. Two weekends ago, I saw a pit attack another dog at Princeton-By-The-Sea. When the owner tried to rescue his dog, HE WAS BITTEN too. The owner came onto the beach and ran off before the cops could get there.
The next day my step daughter was walking HER dog at the perc ponds in San Jose, and a woman was screaming for help at their dog run...another pitbull attack. Regardless of all the fun facts we can spout off about friendly pitbulls we have known, the basic nature of that breed, along with that powerful jaw is one that cannot be ignored. I personally prefer to not have my dogs anywhere in the vicinity of pitbulls, as well as some of their owners.
That's just one of the problems that can arise. I don't mind if the users police the dog park a bit, because it keeps the problems that have closed down other dog parks to a minimum.
I have more of an issue with the people who bring in their small children, or allow their kids to roam into the enclosure without their parents. I have more than once seen toddlers walking around while dogs were dashing about in every direction. The dog park is a place for my dog to be able to run about off leash, I think it is reasonable for people to respect the posted rules and keep their children on the other side of the fence, or; seated on the benches AT ALL TIMES. The kids have the REST OF THE PARK in which to play. Let the dogs have their small space. Last thing any of us need is for our dog to knock over one of these children.
Last, another reason I don't mind a bit of user policing is when owners bring in dogs that are in heat. Years ago my friends large male dog went after a much smaller female in heat, causing her some harm. That cost my friend a bit of money, though in that case the fact that those people brought to the park a female in heat mitigated some of the medical bill. I have been present at that dog park when people have inquired of others about the status of the other dog's neutering. More often than not, the owner with a dog who will react negatively to the unfixed dog will be the one to make the choice to leave.
As with anything, if the City sees enough whining and complaining, (two Palo Alto specialties), they will begin to think of the dog park as a potential liability then simply close them all down. Dog parks are not a right, they are a privilege. Try respecting the dog park and take one some responsibility for your own dog and you will find, as I do, that you have no problems there at all!