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The Dog thread.


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#1 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:08 PM

I thought I'd start a thread about dogs, their owners and how they interact our city.

Being a dog lover/ owner myself, I do believe there ought to be more off-leash areas , as it is important for dogs to have off-leash time.
Although I do, however, believe there should be greater accountability for owners. It should somehow be enforced, for example, that viscous dogs be banned from off-leash areas. Dog bites should qualify for stricter fines, perhaps jail time for more negligent cases.
I've often toyed with the idea of introducing another license that you must apply for (and pay a nominal fee for) in order to be allowed to let your dog off-leash at all. You take you dog to a government endorsed animal behaviorist, whom assesses whether your dog is good natured enough to be deemed safe enough to be let off the leash. If you've been given the green light, you pay your nominal fee, the behaviorist hands you a brightly coloured dog-tag that can seen from a distance, and you're off to the races. I'm sure many dog owners would love this idea because it would theoretically open more parks, and loosen many restrictions dogs have. People whom are afraid of dogs would appreciate this idea as well. The fee you pay for this could go towards the maintenance of more parks for dogs as well as the for the behaviorist.
I know many people would hate the idea as well, and I'm aware of a few holes in the idea. But it's just that, an idea.

I know some of your eyes may glaze over at this thread, but dog owners, as well as dog haters find a dogs place in a city a very contentious issue.

#2 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:12 PM

Dogs may get their due in city parks
Surveys show most people accepting off-leash areas

Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist
Published: Thursday, March 01, 2007

Victoria dogs may get more freedom.

A proposal to extend the hours dogs can run off leash in some city parks is before council today.

There is very little evidence that people are opposed to extending the hours and areas where dogs can run off leash, said Pam Grant, chairwoman of the dogs-in-parks steering committee.

The committee reported on surveys done throughout 2006 determining attitudes to the Paws in Parks program.

Coun. Pam Madoff, whose portfolio includes the parks and recreation department, called the survey of 1,449 people "thorough" and "the first step to looking at expanding the hours of off-leash areas and then the expansion of locations."

The committee wants off-leash hours extended in six parks including Topaz, Oswald, Arbutus, Vic West, Alexander and Redfern. It also wants to look for additional leash-optional areas in the city.

Victoria is expected to budget $25,000 this year for managing off-leash areas. That includes fencing, signs, doggie bags and staff time.

Grant said much of the original furor around off-leash areas has died down now that park users -- both dog owners and non-dog owners -- understand how the program works.

Dog owners also were concerned they might lose Dallas Road as an area for leash-optional use, Madoff said. Issues from people who don't have dogs have mostly been dealt with by fencing and rules related to playground proximity.

Grant said some residents initially worried that parks "would be overrun with out-of-control dogs, but a lot of people go to the parks and find that there is a real community that has developed. [Dog owners taking their dogs to parks] are doing something responsible. They are caring for their animals. Irresponsible owners are the ones who tie up their animals in the backyard.

"People have used the areas responsibly and we have picked the right areas," Grant added. "I think it bodes well. It will continue to grow."

She is concerned, however, that some park users raid plastic bags from dispensers intended to ensure that dog feces gets picked up.

"People need to stop taking handfuls of them," said Grant. "Apparently, people are using them for all kinds of things including kid's lunches. ... How would you like to be one of the kids who takes their lunch in one of those?"

A goal of the committee struck in 2004 was to reduce congestion of dogs and owners at Dallas Road. That area continues to get high use, said Grant, adding that some spots, including the area around Goodacre Lake, have been made out of bounds.
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007


#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:18 PM

What about a privately run dog-park? Basically farm land that is not in use. You go there, pay $1 or $2 to get in, then you dog can run with 100's of other doags, and the big plus is that there is no need to clean up your dogs mess. Watch your step, but then the land owner cleans up after you leave. Its open, say, from 12noon to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday thru the summer.
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#4 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:20 PM

^That's a good idea.

#5 G-Man

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:27 PM

I am a cat person but I do think that dogs in the city should have areas where they can run free. Again I go back to my NY trip in the Fall. Pretty much any park of any size in that city has an area fenced off so that dogs can run around together. Not only does it provide a great place for dogs to get some needed excercise and other dog interaction but also provides safe entertainment for those that are enjoying the park san dog.

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#6 m0nkyman

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:32 PM

What about a privately run dog-park? Basically farm land that is not in use. You go there, pay $1 or $2 to get in, then you dog can run with 100's of other doags, and the big plus is that there is no need to clean up your dogs mess. Watch your step, but then the land owner cleans up after you leave. Its open, say, from 12noon to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday thru the summer.


Because the animals that need it the most are most likely owned by seniors who are on fixed incomes, who walk to the local park. Young people like me can run faster than their dogs. It's the old guy or gal whose dog needs to get off-leash to really get a workout.

It's a lovely idea to drive out into the country to let your dog run free. It's not going to happen every day, twice a day, which is how often my dog gets his walk. Off-leash dog parks scattered around the city within walking distance of most residents is the ideal solution.

#7 G-Man

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:20 PM

Agreed! There should be one on Harris Green for a start.

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#8 Galvanized

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 06:26 PM

I have [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basenji:e55de]Basenjis[/url:e55de] who aren't the best off lease dogs since they are sight hounds so I like the area fenced off at UVic. I hope one day they fence in a couple of these dog parks like they do in many other cities.

If you like the idea of taking your dog to a farm like setting then you should check out [url=http://www.pet-pampering.com/:e55de]Pet Pampering[/url:e55de]. It's $20 ($30 for 2 dogs) for 24hrs, so either daycare or over night. The dogs run free all day unlike some of the daycare's in town where the dogs are kept in pens. When I take my dogs there they get a really good workout, when they get home they sleep the whole next day!
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#9 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:15 PM

I take my dog to Pet Pampering whenever I head out of town. The place is great. The staff is very good at what they do. Tracy, the owner is wonderful.

I was annoyed living in James Bay because there were no official off leash areas there.



#10 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:19 PM



#11 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 08:48 PM

I have [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basenji:2c5f1]Basenjis[/url:2c5f1] who aren't the best off lease dogs since they are sight hounds so I like the area fenced off at UVic. I hope one day they fence in a couple of these dog parks like they do in many other cities.

If you like the idea of taking your dog to a farm like setting then you should check out [url=http://www.pet-pampering.com/:2c5f1]Pet Pampering[/url:2c5f1]. It's $20 ($30 for 2 dogs) for 24hrs, so either daycare or over night. The dogs run free all day unlike some of the daycare's in town where the dogs are kept in pens. When I take my dogs there they get a really good workout, when they get home they sleep the whole next day!


I used to have Basenjis, they barked too much for my liking. j/k. A friend of mine breeds them.
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#12 Galvanized

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:34 PM

I used to have Basenjis, they barked too much for my liking. j/k. A friend of mine breeds them.


Does your friend breed them on the island?
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#13 Savannah

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:40 PM

provides safe entertainment for those that are enjoying the park san dog.

Before my husband and I finally got our dog [url=http://members.shaw.ca/nubblenoel/CloverOnMarc.jpg:7da22]Clover[/url:7da22], we'd sometimes go to the off-leash area at Dallas Road for a Sunday walk, just to stop and watch the dogs romp. Truly good for the spirits, and a great cure for the blues.

(My dog is the Cutest Dog Ever.)

#14 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:46 PM

^I'm fortunate enough to live near Dallas off-leash and visiting it is the highlight of my day. And the more people/ dogs the better.

#15 Savannah

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 06:44 AM

That bench by the off-leash park totally faces the wrong way! They need to put two more benches in facing Dallas, for Dog Romp Observation. :)

#16 gumgum

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 09:18 AM

"Friends" of Beacon Hill Park want to eliminate dogs from the Beacon Hill portion of the Dallas Rd off-leash area.
Here are a couple of pictures of the area in question, taken from http://www.friendsofbeaconhillpark.ca.


Here's the area in 1957, before evil dogs and people actually used the park:

And here, the state we're all very familiar with today. Apparently taken the same season:


While I agree that it's a shame that these cama lilies have been destroyed, this anti-dog campaign is a longstanding attack the "Friends" have taken against people using the park at all. In an ideal world, I bet they'd like to see no one visit the park. Somewhere down the road they've forgotten that parks are for the citizens that live around it.
Like I say, sure, those flowers are pretty and it looks terrible today, but I think the trade-off - happy people
enjoying their pets, as well as other pets - people meeting with other people. An example of a very successful public space.
Screw the flowers, I say. Let the people and the dogs have their urban space.
Move on to another battle "Friends".

#17 Baro

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:13 AM

Beacon Hill has some amazing flower gardens, it also has a dog area, a petting zoo, playgrounds, play fields, a putting green, some parking, rocky areas, a big ol hill, forested areas, ponds, and tons of other stuff.

The "friends" want what some want downtown to be, a dead abandoned place that's perfectly preserved and only contains what they want. Never changing, only enjoyed by afar or quietly like a stuffy art gallery.

IT'S A PARK!!!

What next, to preserve the history of our roads and save on upkeep costs ban all vehicles and pedestrians from using them?
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#18 aastra

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:58 AM

Why not upgrade the pathway to reflect the actual volume/nature of the traffic it supports? Methinks that would mitigate the beating by a fair bit.

Look at that silly thing. It's barely wide enough for two pedestrians to pass each other.



#19 gumgum

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 03:22 PM

Pretty much the entire area is a muddy because of the dogs. I doubt a wider path would help much in that area.

#20 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 04:38 PM

The pic w/ the camas lilies seems to be taken from the top of the hill, showing the portion that still has camas in bloom to this day (it's the slope part). The flat part (where the dogs run, south of Dallas Rd) looks cut off in that first photo (IMO).

Gumgum is right that the area is mud city (esp'y in the wet season) because of the romping dogs -- a wider path wouldn't make much difference there. But a different kind of ground cover might -- I don't understand why we keep trying to grow grass there. There must be hardier ground covers, other kinds of grasses?

As for the "Friends": are they really trying (again?) to get dogs out of there? That's ridiculous. Dallas Road off-leash is one of the most "therapeutic" spots in the whole region: easily reachable, walk or bike there (but lock up once there: no bikes on that path), or drive if you're further away (enough parking unless there's a special event), and enjoy the pure life that goes on there. You can be in a totally ticked-off depressed mood, but you go there and watch the "dumb animals" having fun and you just have to get over yourself, too. Furthermore, it's a real community (constantly changing, with old & new faces -- and furs -- drifting in and out), where people actually talk and interact with one another (via their 4-legged ambassador-intermediaries). All the things we forgot how to do as we grew up, the dogs still know about (like: expect good things vs doom-and-gloom).
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

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