Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Dog Parks Are This Week’s Meter or Zone Debate

There is a whole conglomeration of people who have finally made the “dog park” come to fruition in D.C. That is, in a legal, Department of Public Works approved manner.

Let me state my case now. Sammy and Thora hate the dog park. They have no interest in the dog park. I only go there to chit chat with my friends before submitting to a walk around the neighborhood because those little shits won’t shit at the park. This is very annoying. But that said, I don’t care if there are dog parks or not.

The anti-dog people KILL me. They are so funny. They will take something simple like a dog park and turn it into some argument about how dog owners hate children (yes, because having a dog and a child are mutually exclusive – no one on earth has both!) and that dog owners are unruly yuppies. (Well, okay, some are I suppose.) No one ever remembers the fact that dog owners are out in the neighborhoods often and are the eyes and ears of the crime, in some cases, helping the police when they couldn’t find their perp inside that jelly donut they were investigating, or that having a dog virtually drops your chances of being robbed down to 1%. There have been none of the daytime home break-ins to homes with dogs. But I digress.

Now, there’s always someone who decides to just rant about being anti-dog for some stupid reason or another. Bah. Like this article in the Examiner. (Examiner circulation: 11.) Read the comments though. Well not all of them. It gets pretty boring and follows the same themes. This is yet again a black vs. white issue and a kids vs. non-kids issue. Jesus christ on a stick can we please, PLEASE have something in this city not become a racial issue? I am so sick of it. The first few comments on this article, some of which I believe were deleted said things like, “Go back to your side of the Anacostia,” and “What do you want next, for us to free the slaves?” Jesus. Like I used to say when I lived in Atlanta, “The war is over people!”

Anyway, this writer is supposed to be a journalist. I don’t really care what she endorses and what she opposes, but my friends care and I like my friends. I’m all in favor of backing them up to get this dog park approved so my dogs can sit around miserably while I gossip with the best of them. I can’t hate her for her opinion. But I CAN make fun of her poorly written Examiner article “For the record: I dont hate dogs. Someone is making such a declaration right now. But get that out of your mind.” Who writes like that? “But get that out of your mind?” Did she just change from third person to first person, then second person – the ‘you’ being implied, all in stream of three related sentences? CHRIST! Where was the editor when she turned that in – in the potty? I decided to take a look at the writer’s website for a minute.

I went to her “about” page. The first sentence tells us she has 20 years experience in journalism and was rated one of the top 50 journalists in D.C. by Washingtonian Mag. Ok. From the 2nd to last paragraph in her bio: “She is a highly sought speaker who has given talks throughout the United States–state correctional facilities in Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, Maryland University, Duke University, The Arizona Fatherhood Conference, and the National Fatherhood Summit 2000 and in Paris, France.”

Um…if I spoke at all those places, I would list them in order of prestige. I wouldn’t put the correctional facilities first. Just saying.

Anyway, back to the comments and the article. If you read them all, they are a true testament to everything that is wrong in this city. People who oppose anything decide to bitch about their tax dollars having to pay for a dog park they won’t use, but neglect to mention all the money the people with no children pay in taxes as well for schools and playgrounds, and then, hold on, because it won’t be long before it turns quickly into black vs. white; natives vs. new in town; non-gentrified neighborhoods vs. gentrified. Fight fight fight. That’s all that goes on here.

This goes back to my original impression of D.C. People here need lives. We have plenty of other things to worry about (lackluster police force, high crime, racial tensions, traffic, terrorism) besides spending $1200 on a few dog parks in the city.


  1. wildbill

    I like both species; I’m just more of a cat person. That said, who cares about putting up dog parks? Walking, biking, skate parks are O.K. but not a place to walk the dog? It makes no sense. It follows the usual course of NIMBY- few, if any will really get bent out of shape over it- the most that wil happen did- someone with an ax to grind put it in print. You do the same- only better,classier and clearer (you KNOW you can!)

  2. jordanbaker

    Fatherhood conferences? Just the fact that one of them’s in AZ makes me certain that those are secretly clinic bombing organizations.

  3. I-66

    When I had two dogs, the dog park was my best friend. I’ve never seen one in DC, but all of the parks I’ve seen in VA are fully enclosed, most are grassy, and they’re pretty roomy. Of course, one dog loved the park and ran about among the other dogs getting dirty and dog-drooley, and the other preferred to literally sit among the humans, laying under their bench or hopping up to sit on it.

    It’s like people are afraid of not being on one side of an issue. “No, I absolutely MUST have an opinion! I will pick one and defend it to the death!” What’s so wrong with not caring about an issue that doesn’t affect you?

  4. Bridal Bird

    Actually the Examiner’s circulation is nearly a quarter million …Although technically they don’t have to pay for it…OK, I’m going to stop defending them now. (Although I’m required by law to take a stab at defending them when I can. 😉
    That said, I totally disagree with the columnist on this one.

  5. homeimprovementninja

    I don’t have an opinion on dog parks in Dupont, because I don’t live there, but I think we need a dog park in Columbia Heights. Actually, I just changed my mind and now I’m in favor of them in Dupont too. (ADHD anyone?) Even though I don’t even own a dog, if dog parks are that controversial, I’d like to have as many as possible because if the irate religious nuts and soccer moms are busy fighting a dog park, then they won’t be trying to raise my taxes or teach creationism in the schools.

    And that woman’s website sux too. It’s full of typos and grammatical errors…and she wouldn’t know a metaphor if it shit on her carpet and humped her leg.

  6. Erika

    Thanks for highlighting this Velvet (and the housing article a few posts ago. I got into nice exchange with your former prof). These issues seem to come up whenever a dog park is suggested – same thing happened here in Wheaton. The anti dog park crowd seem to have the idea that their needs and tax dollars count more than anybody else’s. And then they spin it into an issue about kid safety etc and so on.

  7. Momentary Academic

    I love dogs. If I had a dog, I’d be at the dog park. So there. If people watched their children properly, we wouldn’t have half of the problems we do.

  8. Velvet

    Wild Bill – An excellent point raised by some commenters is that D.C. does very little to improve / maintain its parks. We have Rock Creek, and then what they call “pocket parks” around the city – created by angled streets that leave a triangle portion of grass not developable become parks. What really happens when these parks have benches and are created for people is that they become meeting areas for drug addicts and homeless. So the city removes the benches and ignores the park, hoping the problem is solved. So, why is it a big deal to make it a dog run?

    JB – That’s awesome. She apparently is very active in that arena, having written books on the subject of how black children, girls in particular, are handicapped by not having fathers present in their lives.

    I66 – The Arlington and Virginia dog parks come up in the comments. People mention NoVa as a place we should attempt to copy. In the grand scheme of things, I think it matters very little if we add 5 or 6 parks for dogs to the city. Judging on the number of non-dog owners who stand at the perimeter and watch the dogs, or who come in and play with them, I don’t think the people in my neighborhood would care so much. My biggest problem is that why does this have to turn into a race thing? It’s so insane.

    Bridal Bird – Ha! The Examiner boxes in my neighborhood area always full. I wonder who does read them.

    Ninja – Yeah, I had a whole critique of the website – mostly from the standpoint of “She’s a writer????” but I decided to just focus on my issues of who cares if there are dog parks and why do people have to be such assholes and turn it into a larger racial fight?

    Erika – I love Dr. Brownstein, his site is great. He’s the kind of teacher who you find yourself sitting in class wanting to clap at his ideas. I also like the economic theory spin on his ideas. And yes, people with kids think their dollars should count more. It’s quite impressive the lengths they will go to. Here, we have a bunch of moms who come in to the park with newborns and kids up to 2 or 3, and they don’t have animals at home but want their kids to get used to dogs. I think that’s great, I’m not even sure I could be as liberal with my kid.

    MA – HA HA! You are right! When my dog grows up, it won’t be robbing a bank, but if their kids aren’t supervised and raised property, they can and will become delinquents. What an excellent argument.

  9. playfulinnc

    We’re getting a dog soon, but I guess with all the wide open spaces and yards and such we don’t need dog parks. Hell, I’ll fight for them anyway!

  10. Dara

    Disclaimer: I love dogs, but don’t currently have one, and therefore, have no need for a dog park. Oh, and I live in Arlington.

    Still, the Examiner article irked me, for many reasons, the sum of which is that disguising an opinion piece as a news article is offensive. The best examples of this are:
    1) “Dog parks are for lazy people”? Wow, overgeneralize much, Ms. Barras?
    2) “Strong-armed lobbying tactics”? Like what? Just because one of the parties pushing for dog parks is related to a former Secretary of State and may or may not be politically connected doesn’t necessarily mean the lobbying tactics are “strong-armed”.

  11. erin

    She is a cunt. I racked my brain for a better term, but there’s pretty much no other way to put it.

  12. Ms. Anthrope

    Yup DC is really the cesspool of the East Coast. I thought for years that it was New Jersey but nope, it’s here…the center of the Free World….BLAH. What a fucking moron bitch. seriously she needs a life. She doesn’t live on a planet that I like to call “reality”.

    The fact of the matter is that DC will NEVER EVER EVER become a nice, metropolitan, cosmopolitan city like Paris, London, NYC or even LA because of dumb shit like this. All of those cities have nice dog parks and no one has died of a Cholera outbreak or bitten mauled to death. In fact the citizens, dog owners and not, are HAPPIER with designated places for dogs (just like we have for kids). So DC you can shove this up your tight ass.

    One more reason for me to look for another job in a REAL CITY or a REAL STATE. You don’t deserve statehood you piece of shit idiots.

  13. Drunken Chud

    i just like to yell at the guy who lets his dog shit on my lawn. mostly cuz i miss having a dog, but also cuz he doesn’t clean it up. detroit has no dog parks. i think this may be due to the fact that the majority of dogs that would inhabit said park would eithe be feral or a fighting pit. oh, wait, i guess that’s half of our parks anyhow. hahahaha.

  14. James, Etta

    The Examiner has been throwing copies of their rag on my front lawn everyday for the past couple of months. Not once, have I opened the paper and read it. They go straight to the trash. I find it an invasion of my personal space that they feel compelled to litter my yard with their shitty paper every morning. Really… seriously… it’s an annoying pain in the ass. The Examiner may print a quarter of a million copies, but I’d be surprised if more than 200 people read them. The Examiner is the local newspaper equivalent of email spam.

  15. Valley Girl

    Agreed. You guys in DC can be uptight sometimes. =) j/k

  16. Velvet

    Playful – getting a puppy? YAY!

    Dara – You are right. It’s definitely an opinion piece in disguise. Much like Halloween, except this costume is transparent.

    Erin – Pink sock! Pink sock!

    Ms. Anthrope – Don’t make fun of the Jerz! Their pizza trumps the pizza here anyday!

    Chud – Do you live in the ‘hood in Detroit?

    James, Etta – I just cracked up. That’s awesome.

    Valley Girl – Ugh. It sucks here. Everytime I leave I am reminded how nice it is EVERYWHERE ELSE!

  17. Drunken Chud

    used to. now i live two miles from the border. fun times though. what a difference two miles makes.

  18. Cunning Linguist

    Perhaps “giving talks” is her code for “giving blowjobs.”

    …and was rated one of the top 50 blowjobbers in D.C. by Washingtonian Mag. She is a highly sought blower who has given jobs throughout the United Statesstate correctional facilities in Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, Maryland University, Duke University, The Arizona Fatherhood Conference, and the National Fatherhood Summit 2000and in Paris, France.

    Much better, it makes the correctional facilities, and especially the fatherhood conference, much funnier.

  19. WiB

    I got a really big kick out of “unruly yuppies.” The image it conjures is highly amusing.

    You’d think Chud’s example would be a ‘pro’ for the dog park thing: the more people dog-parking, the lower the risk of random dog crap on a yard. The curmudgeons should be in full-throated support of the dog parks; all the better to corral the unruly yuppies. And their puppies. Then again, they’re curmudgeons, so what do you expect?

    Besides, since when does ignoring a park solve the homeless/drug addict loitering problem? Weird.

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