Dog parks in Ottawa: A bone of contention
Cleo has a bone to pick about dog parks. Conflict of interest or not, sometime a Pug just has to blog about what needs to be blogged about. After last week’s allegations of a local pooch ingesting rat poison on National Capital Commission walking trails, the subject of dog parks needs to be blogged about.
Bruce Pit and Conroy Pit. Sound familiar to you? These are two fantastic, open, and very droolworthy off leash dog parks in Ottawa. Dogs and their humans can take long walks on the kilometers of trails, play in the common areas with a pack of other puppies of all different shapes and sizes, chase a ball or a frisbee for hours. This can be done without disturbing one family picnic, soccer game, or a group of children playing. How is this possible? Both Bruce Pit and Conroy Pit are dedicated doggy friendly areas. Thier popularity speaks for itself. On a sunny weekend afternoon, the parking areas at either park resemble the parking lot of Ikea!
So where is the Puggy problem you ask? When is the last time you walked around Hintonburg, or Little Italy or Chinatown? There is no space dedicated to dogs anywhere in proximity to the downtown core. Well, why not just head out to either Bruce Pit or Conroy Pit? Two issues. Neither one is bus accessible and even if they were, OC Transpo does not allow pets to ride on city buses. What is the solution then? Mixed use urban green space is the Pug approved way to go. This means that certain areas simply cannot be shared like soccer pitches, and play structures. However, this Pug has sniffed out a dozen areas that could be fenced and fitted with adequate, closed waste disposal units in close proximity to soccer pitches, baseball fields and parks for doggy enjoyment. These areas need not be huge, but dedicated spaces are a key aspect to a truly stellar city.
Dedicated doggy areas would be self-policing in terms of waste removal. Nobody wants to step in that and trust me when I tell you that humans don’t like cleaning that out of furry paws either! The city would be responsible for removing the waste from the allocated bins and humans could adopt the space and oversee general clean-up similar to the way Bruce Pit and Conroy pit are managed. Soccer games could continue uninterrupted, unintended intrusions of picnics, children playing, and/or adults reading would be all but a non issue and urban dogs and their humans could continue to enjoy living in the downtown and surrounding area. This seems like a Puggy no brainer to me? What do you think about dedicated dog space and the current use of urban green space?