Today a group of interested people met in person for the first time and created a committee that will hopefully create positive change for dog owners who are interested in exercising their dogs off leash in the HRM - and hopefully other dog owners who understand the importance of exercising their dogs off leash, and also realize that the bureaucrats at the HRM don't quite "get" the number of dog owners there are in the Halifax Regional Municipality who take their dogs' health seriously - will join up - and through the power of positive actions, we can create an off-leash lifestyle that we know our dogs deserve and need.
Today we were just a couple of people, but we know that there's a ton of people out there exactly like us who feel the same way we do, and are as frustrated as we are with what we currently have here in Halifax - we have a great city, great parks, a great lifestyle, Halifax really is very dog friendly - that's why so many of us have dogs - but to be able to take our dogs off leash legally anywhere is stressful, quite often - actually most times - illegal, and a lot of times, not very much fun. And that's not right.
Dogs need to run - and do you know what? Not every dog needs other dogs around them in order to have a fulfilled life, either - not every dog can handle other dogs - and I believe that legal off leash spaces can handle those dogs too - and that's something that should be talked about when you're talking about setting up dog parks. You should also talk about dogs that are not dog friendly - because they should come into the equation - because they need off leash exercise too - but that's another post...
But anyway - today we talked about things like working with the city to use tracts of city owned land that aren't being used - but that are already fenced in, having land donated to our group, and the group maintaining the land through fundraising - so we are serious about doing something about off leash spaces - we even have a name for the group - it's going to be called "HRMDogPac" - "HRM Dog Park Action Committee" - the Domain name will be http://hrmdogpac.ca/ - if you're coming to this blog post just after it's written, the link probably won't work because I've JUST bought the domain name, so it'll probably take a couple hours for the link to go live - but the link will go to our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114705216984#/group.php?gid=114705216984
If you are interested in off leash exercise for your dog and want to become involved, you should - because we want to approach this in ways that haven't been done before - through positive dog training ways - if it works for dogs - why wouldn't it work for humans? Instead of being punitive about people not picking up their poop - advertise that once a week a member of our group will be going to the park and giving dinner for 2 at a local restaurant when they see someone picking up their dog's poop - reward people for doing things right - don't let them have opportunities to mess up - give them all the tools to do things right the first time - things like that.
It's a bold new adventure, and it will be fun on many levels - so if you're a positive person, and you believe in the good effects of positive training and off leash exercise - this will definitely be a good thing for you to get in on!