Puppies are cute for some very good reasons.
They invite fleas and other parasites into your home. They pee on your rug. They vomit their disdain for the designer-labeled puppy chow you lavished on them because they’d much rather chew on your favorite shoes.
And, they flat out enjoy biting you with their tiny and intensely sharp teeth.
Puppies are simply so obnoxious that a good percentage of them get “returned” to an animal shelter or, in too many cases, abandoned on a country road before they reach adulthood.
Yes, too many of the planet’s most highly evolved creatures just can’t be bothered with the proper care, nurture, education and training of a puppy.
That’s why God made puppies so damn cute. And, possibly, the only reason many of them survive into adulthood. Puppies obviously don’t completely understand what they are doing and that, almost entirely, explains their bad behavior.
Unlike Buddy who has, almost completely, figured everything out.
Buddy is a Brittany Pheasant dog who we found abandoned on a country road some seven years ago.
A pheasant dog is a sporting dog and so, of course, as a puppy Buddy loved to chase small and some not-so-small things. Rabbits. Squirrels. Geese. Children.
Naturally, we had several sit downs and explained things to Buddy. Over and over again we explained things until finally, one day Buddy narrowed his list.
Buddy soon enough understood that a kid might pat his head and, if he’s really lucky, he might get his ear scratched a bit. Provided, of course, the parents of the kid have had a little success themselves in teaching Tommy how to behave around Buddy.
Who doesn’t understand that the happiest and safest (i.e. dogs that don’t bite) are dogs that:
1) Socialize frequently with other dogs;
2) Socialize frequently with children who happen to have dog-educated parents;
3) Get plenty of exercise (a lone dog in a fenced yard does not do that).
And, yes, the happiest and safest dogs are unfortunately the ones who occasionally
4) capture and kill a rabbit.
They are dogs and many of them are designed to kill rabbits.
Deal with it.
Which brings us to the Kansas City Parks Board, which has been hesitant to kill any rabbits or make any decisions on KC Dog Parks despite all being appointees of a Mayor who, in public, promised at least the Brookside neighborhood a dog park by the end of his first and possibly only term.
Could it be that none of them understand the four rules of healthy dog behavior?
Could it be nobody pointed out to them that a city like Calgary, CA which has close to 150 dog parks or “off-leash” dog areas also has, not coincidentally, one of the lowest metropolitan “bite rates” in the world?
Could it be that the Parks Board simply doesn’t like dogs?
Or is it that they are all afraid of (or too-friendly with) neighborhood association presidents because we know that regulated off-leash dog areas in municipal parks increase public safety. And public safety makes cities more attractive to everyone.
To that end, we’ve taken some Press Release liberties (below) to hopefully train our Park Board puppies towards a more livable city for all.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kansas City, MO To Be The Safest City for Children By 2010
Members of the KCMO Parks Board demonstrated today the leadership and courage to make the Kansas City, MO parks system the safest in the nation by decreeing “a dog park or pen for every KCMO park by 2010.”
The truth is, however, that it will take at least until 2012 (or longer) to build a dog pen or park in all 219 of the city’s parks; however city leaders could not resist the catchy Dog Pens in 2010 slogan, figuring many of the public (in particular some busybody neighborhood associations) would be in a tremendous outcry over their decision to move so rapidly and because of their blind rage might not even notice the city workers building the dog areas for the betterment of the community during 2009, 2010, 2011 and beyond.
Why this bold action?
“We want all our parks to be safe for our kids.” said Parks spokesperson Justin Thyme.
“Prior to this we’d been listening to some neighborhood association presidents and basically agreeing with them that yes, our kids ought to be protected from vicious dogs but then someone pointed out that, with the lack of penned in areas for dogs to run, the naughty dog owners were just letting them run loose in the parks and allowing them to chase rabbits, squirrels and children.”
So, all members of the Parks Board agreed today just to fence in at least a little area in every park and spread some wood chips around for the dogs and their owners.
A little spot where they could attack each other and, so, leave the sometimes monstrous and unsupervised children alone,” Thyme added.
Chimed in Parks Board member Sue Ellen Sloudest, “Yes, we did appoint a committee of community members to deliberate for a very long time on this, and we talked about hiring staff to conduct some focus groups and even considered spending a big old scoop of taxpayer dollars on some consultant friends but after we saw a picture of a dog pen in Pittsburgh that looked very nice we decided all those efforts were pretty silly ways for us to go about taking care of our kids’ safety.”
City-wide dog owners agreed. “All we really want to do is have an area where we can chase some tail and, when we bite, you can always now rest assured that it will only be the parents of children who are foolish enough to bring their kids inside the dog areas thinking that they are somehow going to teach their kids how to behave around our un-controllable creatures,” added dog owner Ima Louder.
City workers expect to build the first dog pen tonight in Sunnyside Park as soon as the neighborhood association president turns out her lights. Once it’s there the city thinks that perhaps the neighborhood president will realize that it is indeed the safest way to make the park a happy place for both canines and kids and then, when she finds out that fewer people are actually getting bitten, perhaps she will just shut up.
Justin Thyme remains optimistic that perhaps “Yes, we can teach that old dog at least one new trick.”