When I picked up my July 6 Morning Star, the headline read “Fields aren’t for the dogs.” It was an article about how dogs were now banned from Marshall Field except for a few trails where they have to now be leashed.
My first reaction was, “damned those bureaucrats atthe Regional District of North Okanagan.” I mean, now I can’t take my dogs down to the trails there and let them enjoy one of the most beautiful walks in the city or let them off leash to let them cool off in the great swimming hole in the creek. Or take them down to the fields Tuesday night (poop bags in hand) on a leash to walk from field to field to watch and visit many women and their families who I coached when they were kids. It’s just not fair.
Then I started to think about how many times I saw other dog owners let their dogs run around the fields and poop right in the middle of where the kids play. Or the times people walked their dogs while smoking, flicking their butts on the fields and trails like the path is just one giant ashtray.
Or the owners who come up to Mutrie Park, let their dogs run around in the fenced park while they sit in their cars in the comfort of their air conditioned cars reading a book. I suppose they expect the rest of us to clean up after their pets or train them not to nip or jump on people or to pick fights with other dogs.
Or the parents who let their kids bring their bikes into Mutrie and then get upset when people stop those kids from trying to use 10-pound dogs as slalom cones. Or the person who thinks parking their 4×4 in the middle of the Mutrie parking lot so they can blare a brutal recording of Billy Joel is something we might enjoy.
After thinking about it, I thought, “OK, I get it now.” For most of us, we are very thankful to have so many parks for our dogs to play and for all of us to meet some new friends (human and canine).
A few people even take so much pride in these parks that they do extra clean-up after those who can’t be bothered or they build benches for some of our fellow dog walkers to sit on and enjoy the experience, all the while keeping a watchful eye on their loyal canine companions.
Sadly, there are those who seem to think that being responsible doesn’t apply to them — those who don’t have enough common sense or decency or consideration for the rest of us.
So it’s come to this and personally, I hope RDNO drops the proverbial hammer on the few so that, after the bad apples have been removed from the bin, the rest of us can enjoy things the way they were.