Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hey--HOW many dogs per person in a dog run?

(click to enlarge)

At the Rocky Run the other day, I photographed the two signs with the dog run rules on them--both provided by the Parks Dept. I've looked at those signs on quite a few occasions. But I guess I always tended to skim over the language up above the section that contains the rules.

And wouldn't you know, there's a rule up there too. On the smaller and more recent of the two signs.

"There is a maximum of three dogs per person."

Allison Barron of Puppy Pals Playgroup told me the rule was four dogs per person. I've combed over the section of the Parks Department website dealing with rules and regulations regarding dogs, and I've gone over their brochure about dogs as well. There's no mention of any rule regarding how many dogs per person in a dog run.

And yet, here it is, right in front of our noses the whole time--the dogs' noses, anyhow. Like my mom used to say, "If it had teeth it would bite you." Okay, maybe that's an unfortunate way to put it in this context.

I'm going to try and find out if this rule has been changed. Maybe it is four dogs per person now. You'd think PPPG would know. It occurs to me that the limit may vary from one run to another--some rules are more 'official' than others. Because most city dog runs are founded by private groups on public land, there are probably a fair few grey areas.

But in any event, people coming into a dog run are supposed to obey the rules on the signs posted. And this particular sign says that if you have twelve dogs, you better have four people watching them, five people for fifteen dogs, etc. If the number of dogs is larger than four, and not divisible by three--well, whoever drew up this rule probably wasn't thinking that would be an issue.

And we all know some of the rules get broken (or at least bent) every single week, if not every single day. A certain amount of tolerance is necessary--from all people coming into the run. We don't want to go ballistic over every little infraction.

Of course, that's exactly what Allison did, but I think we've covered that ground sufficiently well, don't you?

I have a feeling my further inquiries are going to be met with variations on "I'm not quite sure" or "You better ask that person", but I'll let you know how it goes. And if anybody reading this knows the answer, please don't hesitate to chime in.


Anonymous said...

yes chris, i agree. they should have more people in the run if they are going to bring in 15 or more dogs. i have to say ive been staying away at the noon - 2pm visits. and the pppg team isnt too friendly!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris:
I think this is important but one of the things that is bothering me is the fact that some people use the Dog Run as their personal toilet bowl for their dogs. The dogs do their business there and the owners walk away with their dogs and don’t bother cleaning up after them. I have stepped on it once and cleaned it up on another occasion. You see this outside the dog run as well, These are slobs who don’t realize that diseases can be spread this way. Anyway, I mention this with the realization that some people believe that they are above picking up dog shit and if thats the case STAY OUT OF THE DOG RUN. or let them shit in your apartment!

Chris said...

The run hasn't really had that much of a problem with people not picking up after their dogs. I've never seen anybody who just refused to pick up. I have seen people get distracted, and fail to notice their dog was defecating.

Max rarely does #2 in the run, for some reason. But there have been a few instances where I've seen him squat, ran over to the approximate area, and failed to find any poop. This is a particular problem at twilight and after dark.

All the dogs use the run as a urinal, you know. It's just not the most sanitary place in the world, and some dog people refuse to take their dogs inside, for that very reason. And that's their choice. Some dogs are more sensitive than others. Some people as well.

Everybody should pick up after their dog, whenever possible. Nobody should feel embarassed about telling somebody their dog is having a bowel movement.

But I can't say I agree this is all that serious a problem for the run--I oughta know, after two clean-up days. We simply don't find that much poop. Most of it goes where it's supposed to go.

Out on the sidewalks, it's a bit worse, and shame on all the dog people who give us a black eye with the general public, by refusing to pick up. However, the overwhelming majority of dog people do pick up--otherwise we'd be up to our ankles in it, at least. For every bit of poop that stays on the sidewalks, a ton goes into trash receptacles, in plastic bags or newspaper. I wish there were a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of it, though.

Our own poop is a far worse environmental threat, you know. Just because we flush it doesn't mean it just magically transmutes itself into sunshine and buttercups.

It being St. Patrick's Day, I feel obliged to mention that James Joyce found our disdain for what comes out of us every single day to be simply hilarious. We have constructed our present-day technological civilization, to a great extent, in order to help hide from ourselves the fact that we excrete.

But then the dogs come along and spoil the illusion.

In the meantime, all the food leftovers we toss in the street poses a far greater health crisis. To dogs, as well as people (chicken bones).

Rats are pretty versatile in their diet, but I've yet to see one chowing down on dog doody.