A James Dunsmore left the following comment on my post about "Further on my off leash diatribe"
It is a problem that there is litter all over our public parks, and poop is a big part of that problem. You seem to be arguing that because the parks are already dirty, it's ok for them to be dirtier. How about you come patrol Point Pleasant to enforce the bylaws. I walk there daily, and daily I see and smell poop, I am approached by dogs without their owners, and I witness dogs running at will through the wooded areas of the park, which have just been replanted with 72000 fragile seedlings. What I witness daily are dog owners who treat their dogs like people, but have no regard for the actual people who share the park. When your three year old retrieves their ball from the edge of the trail, and presents it too you with dog poop all over it and themselves, perhaps you will be as disgusted as I. I believe the park should be first and foremost for humans to perhaps share with dogs, but by no means should it be off-leash, and it was a huge mistake to ever make it so. There is no effective enforcement of the animal control bylaws, and subsequently they are not followed. The privilege of owners to allow dogs off-leash in this public area should be revoked without hesitation and permanently.
There's a couple things here, I'm glad he left the comment because there's a couple points he raised that I'd like to address, and I also don't think he gets what I was trying to say - or at least he wasn't really listening to what I said in my posts.
I am certainly not saying that litter is okay, or that dog owners not picking up their poop is okay. That would be a ridiculous statement to make. I am a responsible dog owner and I always pick up my dogs' poop. I am also a responsible citizen and I do not litter. I always use waste receptacles provided for me my the municipal government, and if none is available I take my litter home with me. And when I'm out in the woods or at the beach I will very often pick up OTHER PEOPLE'S litter and take that to a garbage can or home with me as well. Especially if it's a piece of rope or buoy booty (you'd have to be a very long term reader of this blog to get that reference.)
So I'm glad Mr. Dunsmore left his comment so I can clear that up - I am certainly not saying that dirty public spaces are okay.
I do however have a problem with Mr. Dunsmore's contention that Point Pleasant Park should not be off leash. I pay the same taxes as he does - there are a lot of green spaces in this city that he can take his 3 year old child to, and there are very few green spaces we can take our dogs to off leash legally. There is also a very nice amount of space at Point Pleasant Park that after 10am no dogs are allowed on - he can very easily spend his daily walks with his 3 year old child there and never encounter another dog again at Point Pleasant Park - onleash or off.
I think it is time as dog owners that we start to push back. We have been bullied long enough - by the bureaucrats at City Hall, by non-dog owners, by people who don't like dogs - our dogs deserve to have a certain quality of life - we pay the same taxes as every other citizen of this city. We are responsible dog owners - we cannot control the irresponsible dog owners - all we can do is continue to act the same way we do every day and hope that they will start to follow suit.
There will always be people who don't follow the rules - assholes own dogs too. Just like assholes buy Tim Horton's coffee, just like assholes throw away their tires by the side of the road and pee in water bottles and then throw them away too.
We CANNOT allow the world to dictate the quality of life of our companion animals - we must tell the world how our animals are to be treated. It's time we stand up and say there are compromises that can be made - but our dogs are not going away - and neither are we!