Tuesday, July 18, 2006

One big dog park?

I've seen a total of five dogs off-leash around my hood over the last few weeks. Considering the total amount of time I spend out of doors right now, that's a regular epidemic.

What gives? Is New York so safe now that it's just like one big dog run?

According to the ASPCA,
"it is a violation of the New York City Health Code for an owner to allow his or her dog to be off-leash in a public place."

The law is supposedly to protect citizens from attacks, but what about protecting dogs from the idiocy of their owners?

One of the dogs I saw was a tiny puppy straggling along behind her master and being constantly distracted by the noise and activity on Ninth Avenue where cars and trucks were whizzing by. I saw a Jack Russell (oops, Parson Russell) terrier a few months ago bolt out onto the West Side Highway while its idiot owner ran helplessly after it. Luckily the traffic was stopped at the light. Just a week ago or so someone in my building had their dog off leash on 24th Street. The dog strayed away and ran back toward 9th Avenue where cars and trucks were again whizzing by. As the flustered owner caught up with the dog, I said, in a friendly but slightly sarcastic way, "You know there's a wonderful invention; it's called a LEASH!" He was equally sarcastic and not a bit friendly in replying "Thanks for your advice." It wasn't advice, buddy, it's the law and for good reason. Puppy pancakes in the middle of 9th Avenue is one of them.

New York may be one of the safest big cities, but for dogs, it's still a jungle out there. Keep your dog on a leash, 'k?


At Wednesday, July 19, 2006 2:10:00 PM, Blogger Bruce Grant said...

There still are Jack Russells, cheek by jowl with Parson Russells.

Jack Russell is the designation controlled by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. Parson Russell is the AKC's.

The JRTCA has, for many years, opposed the AKC registration of the breed, holding (rightly, IMHO) that AKC breeding (for conformation) eliminates "hybrid vigor" and pretty much ruins working breeds such as Jacks.

The AKC finally got its way...sort of. They began registering the breed, but the JRTCA wouldn't let them use the designation "Jack Russell." Hence the "Parson" business.

There is still a *lot* of heterogeneity in the Jack Russell breed. It will be very interesting to see how the breeds diverge from here on out.

At Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:18:00 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

ingrid, i´m totally with you on this one. whenever i see a dog that isn´t on a leash, i just think about the traffic--what happens if hte dog gets scared and takes off? what happens if another unleashed dog comes by and they don´t get along?

sometimes people who supposedly love animals don´t actually seem to like them at all.

At Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:14:00 PM, Blogger Guinevere said...

You would think was a no brainer in a large, metro area. Obviously there are more idiots in the world than originally thought... Hmmm... ;o)


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