Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dog Parking

It is not immediately obvious that one is entering an easy going and pleasant space on first arrival at the off leash dog park. The list of dedications and rules seems excessive:
The list of county commissioners is not the greatest. Only George Neugent is left from that shower that used to run the county (badly) and he was in fact the sole voice of reason on a board gone power mad. Him and Dr Rice who got ousted before he could get properly started. reforming the way the county did business (badly). Anyway all that happily is in the past.

The rules for the park look positively Byzantine taken as a whole:
In fact they only look excessive. Taken as a whole they ask only that dog owners be sensible and considerate, but people being the way they are I suppose you have to spell out the obvious at some great length ("don't bring sick dogs" etc...).
My buddy Robert painted this barrel that washed up on the county's Boca Chica beach. How it ended up here I have no idea, but it is serving a useful purpose.
There was a drive a few years ago to raise something like $16,000 to fence off and equip this corner of the county park for dogs. I was owned by a rather elderly yellow lab at the time who was not particularly sociable and she enjoyed stumping around the entire park minding her own business. Thus it was I rather resented the creation of the fenced area which chopped up the hinterland of Higgs Beach. In the fullness of time I have come to understand my attitude was rather petty and foolish and the park has become a much valued service in the city.
It is laid out rather well with a decent sized chunk devoted to smaller dogs and they get a row of coconut palms for shade. The big dog area is... bigger and encompasses a variety of trees and Tikis to shade humans and dogs. Even though Higgs Beach Park is squarely in the city, on the southern waterfront, it is a county park (and the city refuses to take it over on the grounds of the expense) and like all city and county parks it is open till 11pm. To that end it is also illuminated at night which is a brilliant innovation in a city where many dogs only come out at night (more or less) in the heat and humidity of summer.
I know everybody loves their dogs but...Cheyenne looks particularly suave I would say.
Oh and by the way the rules say no dog bathing at the drinking fountain please. This is the dividing fence between the little and big dog parks:
Sometimes people with small dogs bring them into the big dog park if they need company and their side of the fence is empty but it seems the reverse is not applicable, even though Cheyenne is probably less aggressive and needy than most terriers you will meet. This is part of the big dog park and it is quite large: The protocol for humans appears to be to sit back and let the dogs have their fun. Easy enough:
Sometimes people gather and talk and there seems to be something of a split between "locals" and "visitors" among the humans,. The dogs don't much care. Michael's owner, a sturdy white shaded male yellow Lab said she was going to have a talk with us about Cheyenne's coat which shows signs still of a life not lived on a comfortable bed. her tune changed abruptly when she found out we had just picked her up from the pound. Dogs don't seem to care that much one way or the other.
The dog park is an easy way to tire a dog out. I'm glad it's here now.