I received an email today that had the text of a sign that's been posted at Long Lake. The text of the sign reads:
SPEAK UP NOW FOR AN OFF-LEASH AREA AT LONG LAKE & OTHERS IN METRO
Dog Walkers and Mountain Bikers have used Long Lake for many years but unfortunately for us, growing popularity in the summer is threatening to restrict our use of the Lake we love. Together we can negotiate to keep our rights at long Lake - Is it fair to keep out the people that use the Lake all year round? - It's big enough for everyone!
Please 'Have your Say' before its too late!
Fill out a park survey at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/parks and sign the petition at the Dog'gone Walkin Truck. Petition also available at House of Dogs on Quinpool Road, collect your own and return to Dog'gone Walkin - 209 5698.
Thank you for your support.
PS Picking Up after your Pets will help us all.
That was followed up by an email from a member of the "Long Lake Planning Committee" about how as members of that committee we should all stay "neutral" about the dog issue so that it doesn't cause trouble at future meetings or waste time at public sessions - not to take sides in the issue. I of course have taken severe umbrage with that issue and responded to the email with the following:
"I think it's going to cause "issues" regardless of what kind of stand the organization takes. The fact is that the major users of the park are dog owners. I would dearly love to for someone to disprove me on this. I would LOVE for a study to be done of who it is who is actually using the park, and I'd be willing to bet the back dew claws of all my 4 dogs that it is dogs and their owners.
But that fact aside - when I talk to people about Long Lake the first thing I tell them - and I've told this to the person trying to organize the below noted petition - they should stop trying to make Long Lake a leash free area! It is a Provincial Park - so as long as it is designated as such, it's going to a leash only zone. But by the same token - as long as it's a Provincial Park - dogs ARE going to be allowed there. DOGS fecal matter is not the poison that you amateur scientists are making it out to be. Effluent comes from many sources - and out of my dogs bums it is NOT coming. Of that I am quite sure.
So you can to keep the dog issue from not being a huge touch point - but you are going to fail. And that is because dog owners are perhaps the biggest users of the park - so their voice IS going to be heard.
And the current scuttle but is that you are trying to ban them completely. That is very bad news - and it is my belief that dog owners in the Halifax Regional Municipality are currently feeling quite political. And bulllied - and they're ready for a fight. I'm quite sure they'll lose the off-leash fight - but they won't lose the banned from the park entirely fight. And you never know what
concessions they'll win.
Our dogs feet are no different than our own (human) feet. And it is some of the dog owners in this city's mission to prove that to other people's (dog haters). It's not just Long Lake that's at stake - it's the quality of life of every canine life companion in the whol Halifax Regional Municipality. And to some people, that's a pretty big deal.
I wish people would actually read what I write before they responded back to me sometimes. That would be sweet.