Oakland Booty, another great dog sit by greenkozi, http://www.flickr.com/photos/themacinator/2831410277/
Earlier this year, the Oakland Planning Commission denied a permit to build the dog park at Lake Merritt. Dog park supporters will be appealing the decision at the Dec. 4, City Council meeting.
When this issue came up before, it proved to be very divisive. Many came to speak out passionately against it. However, many supporters argued that dog owners would be responsible. This contradicts what I’ve seen. For example:
There was a “No Dogs Allowed Sign” at Lake Merritt. Right next to it, I saw a man playing fetch with his dog.
Not all dog owners are so irresponsible, but enough have been to make the dog park a divisive issue. For example, no dog park supporter can guarantee that no dog will urinate or defecate near the children’s playground. This may not be an issue at other dogs parks in Oakland because they are tucked away in less busy parts of the city. However, the proposed location at Lake Merritt is heavily used.
Dog park supporters can’t guarantee that some dog owner will not assume his or her dog is “special” and walk the dog through the playground or off leash. They seem not to realize or respect the fact that some people fear or hate dogs. Some people have allergies to animals.
While I understand some people see their dogs as their “children,” they should respect the fact that many others see them as animals.
Dogs have their place, but the lake is not one of them. I once asked a man with a large dog how did he keep it in an apartment. He said, nonchalantly, that he kept it crated all day and walked it a couple of times a day. That is cruel.
Dogs deserve better. The area around Lake Merritt is densely populated and not conducive to dog ownership. And this is the cost people make when they choose to live near the lake.
However, if the dog park is approved, perhaps we should ban dogs from the rest of Lake Merritt. However, I doubt it would be followed. I see unleashed dogs all the time despite signs that say keep your dog on a leash.
Oakland Local invites other views on this topic: contact email@example.com with you post or essay. To follow more coverage of this topic see http://oaklandlocal.com/tags/lakeview-dog-park-proposal
If you'd like to support a reporter doing more coverage of pets, animal rescue and issues and dogs in Oakland, you can make a tax-deductible donation to OL at Razoo: http://bit.ly/dPU5NZ