Dog Park or People Park?

By  | June 22, 2011 | 6 Comments | Filed under: Editorial

Let me start off by saying how sorry I am that Amanda Merrin and her boyfriend lost their Chihuahua at the hands of an irresponsible dog owner at the dog park this past week. I may not be a fan of Chihuahuas but I hate the thought of this happening to anyone’s pet. I don’t blame the Husky or the breed. Anyone who has a Husky should know that they are working dogs. Working dogs have a job to do and an ingrained survival instinct. If you watch any nature show about sled dogs, most are chained together constantly and are usually fed raw meat. I would guess that if a small animal were to come too close the dog wouldn’t hesitate to pounce.
I would think that this holds true for most large, working dogs. This is why there are bans on certain breeds and signs at the park banning dogs in heat. Dogs have innate instincts. If you are not the pack leader of your dog, that dog will revert to what it knows best. I own a medium sized German Shepherd cross. Does anyone see how gentle she is or how good she is with kids? No. They see a Shepherd. I’ve brought my dog to that dog park and have watched the owners all huddle around the picnic tables, forgetting that they have a wild animal roaming around with other wild animals and kids. Do I let my dog wonder off without watching her? No. Do I pay attention to her behavior constantly? Yes. I trust her, but do I want her herding other dogs? No. Do I want her eating a burger from a child’s hand? No. Not that she would. She learned that lesson from the first day I brought her home four years ago. She may not work for me but she has earned her chow. She has caught a mouse or two and even a chipmunk that was foolish enough to venture into my home. Did I want it out of my house? Yes. Did I want her to catch and kill it? No.
The last time I went to that dog park was over a year ago. A couple other owners and myself tried to get into the park but was held back by a small pack of dogs that were trying to escape through the in-door. One large puppy was trying to get out under the gate and got stuck. Was there an owner around to help this pup? No. We all ended up going in the out-door. It sickened me to see the disregard those owners have of their own animals.
I don’t even think the owner of the Husky knew their dog had killed another dog. I doubt anyone even saw what had happened. All owners were probably chatting amongst themselves around the picnic tables. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were having lunch while they were at it.


6 Responses to Dog Park or People Park?

  1. Hags June 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Tammy-Faye, bet this column would have generated interest had you given it to the Times. The Citizen, looks like a great place to escape dogs and dog doodie. Anyway, keep writing, we’re reading.

  2. Scot Ferguson-Barber June 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Hags, you know you aren’t allowed to comment on stories involving dogs. Tammy, people are reading, just not leaving comments.

  3. Tammy Burden June 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    That’s okay, guys. I did post it to the Times too. But, they are super slow.
    Shush.. don’t tell anyone here. I may get in trouble. 🙂

  4. Susan Casey June 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Sorry to say, I believe the owner of the husky is by now well aware of the chihuahua’s demise but will not face up to their responsibility. They will lay low like the scummy low-life they are and hope never to be found out.

    Someone (witnesses) should eventually confess to the who, what and when of this situation and this irresponsible dog owner will pay–literally and figuritively.

    To Amanda Merrin: I am deeply sorry for the lost of your beloved pet. I hope that you will be able to go the Cambridge Dog Park iin the near future but realize it holds a devastating memory and it may take time to overcome.

  5. Facetious Lee June 24, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Hey, I feel sorry for anyone who loses their pet.
    I think there are lessons here, not only for owners of big dogs, but also for owners of small dogs.
    This is not the “fault” of the Husky owner any more than it is the “fault” of the chihuahua owner. Stuff happens that just isn’t forseen.
    If I was the owner of the Husky, I don’t know whether I would come forward. For what? To get the total blame from some individuals?
    The bottom line is that there are lessons here for all dog owners.
    I think that letting a small dog in with big dogs is a little like going on a trip to Mexico. You do so at your own peril. You won’t catch me going to Mexico.

  6. Andy July 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Hello, I am moving from Pickering Ontario to Cambridge and I would like to no more about this dog park you have. I have a 4 year old Blue Healer who loves to swim and play. Is there water available there? or creeks and rivers for them to play. Also I have read what has happened with the small dog that died and I am wondering the safety of MY dog coming to that park. Has this happened before? Are there a lot of negligent owners that attend this park? I love my dog and would do anything to protect her so the last thing I need is her to be attacked.

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