Dogs need a park, too

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My wife and I just completed another delightful week-long Thanksgiving stay in this lovely community.     

It is still difficult to find “pet friendly” places, but owners and renters are becoming more enlightened.    

When we finally find our place in Cedar Key it will accept humans and dogs, no questions asked.

Dog owners (typically) will also return the favor by cleaning up not only yards, but also the places left in their trust. Lanet and I spend at least two hours cleaning before we leave, so that the cleaning person doesn’t have to.  We’ll do the same thing when we are back for Christmas.

 The real issue here is that dogs just wanna have fun. Many enlightened communities have found space for a dog park. There is such a place in Cedar Key. The unused area facing the school is an excellent place: it is a natural.

Before the naysayers start smiling and dialing and chattering, it’s important to know that (most) dog owners are well-aware of their responsibilities. This is more likely the farther away from the pleasant nature of a small town like Cedar Key.  Over the years, Cedar Key has managed to grow up while still remaining a differently-delightful place on the planet.    

Dog parks are “self-governed” by the user. More than once I have been “told” to “pick up” after one of my dogs when there is a “poop and scoop” behind my back.

Honestly,  I am not “offended” but appreciative and most “real dog persons” feel the same way.  Sure, some find it hard to bend and scoop but many “dog people” have no problem picking up after their neighbor. It is what it is when you are a “dog person”.  

It all works out very well with no one having to pull a gun or machete or tax their vocabulary beyond four letter words.

I am ready to start the project with a $250 check! That should get a sign with “rules of the road”.  I’d bet there are others who would contribute. I suggest the city fathers find an old parking meter for a voluntary entry-fee at the gate  (heck, might even find a wireless meter that takes American Express).  

Gainesville has Dogwood Park, but they are a little pricey at $10 a dog. Most real dog parks are community sponsored and no charge. I urge an entry fee of 50-cents via a parking meter and while some will beat the system and not pay, the peer pressure of dropping a half-buck works pretty well.   Lead and mentor from experience.

Sure,  there will be hiccups and challenges, but the result is better behaved and weary dogs, and a place for pleasant humans to interact as pleasant humans.  It all works out very well, ask anyone from any city that has a dog park.   


Lanet and Ed Forrest

Marietta, Ga.