MORE ON THE DOG PARK
A dog park in Bethel has been a dream of mine for years.
Steve Wight and I co-chair The Bethel Dog Park Committee. We meet bi-monthly. All are welcomed to attend. We are open-minded to all suggestions (pro or con), and hope that as many people as possible will share their thoughts.
One obvious question on many minds: Why are dog parks needed when we have hundreds of acres here in Maine?
To walk with our dogs? Because many dogs cannot be trusted off leash?
Maine also has a leash law. The Rumford court is filled with petty and large dog complaints, all resulting from unleashed dogs. They kill and eat chickens, then have to be muzzled! They create havoc in their neighborhoods. Fight with other dogs even on the other dogs' property!
Roaming without Rabies shots. Poop all over the place. Some dogs don’t have their vaccinations at all no less a license.
The dog park is for everyone. It's a safe, intelligent and protected environment that allows dogs to be dogs. They're pack animals and thrive when together in a dog park. It's a perfect place for the community to hang out even in the winter when we need to ward off cabin fever. The dogs learn from and teach each other new things pack animals do. As we do about them and ourselves.
I have seen tons of dogs that are aggressive on lead, that are suddenly allowed to run free that love it and instantly become friends with the other dogs, because they are free.
The design of the proposed park is borrowed from the Humane Society's in Lewiston. One third of it is for small dogs, 30 pounds or under.
The town of Bethel has a place for all other of its citizens. Let's make room for our beloved dogs, as well.
The Friends of the Bethel Dog Park and our wonderful snowmobilers decided it’s a reasonable and a good thing to do, ever since we all walked the proposed site together. It happily diffused any confusion!
Already we have many dog business here that dog people that are
tourists or new residents may be drawn to. We'd draw people from
everywhere who owned canines.
I, for one, very seldom let Banjo, my dog, off his leash. Without a leash he'd be gonzo!
Many dogs cannot be trusted off lead. A Dog Park is an intelligent, safe and fun way to let our beloved dogs play together without fear of them racing across a road after a squirrel and getting hit by a car.
From my experience, I know that the vast majority of dog owners always keep a careful watch on their dog. I do. I watch Banjo to pick up his poop and am careful about who he’s playing with and how. With any sign of aggression from another dog, I immediately take him away from any potential danger. We take care of our own as well as each other.
There's great community spirit amongst dog owners. If there is a fight, that is between the dog owners involved. It is not something the town need be worried about.
There are Dog Park Rules. We of the Committee are working hard to raise the necessary money to accomplish this.
For ten years I’ve met only one person against the idea. But, they let their dog off lead.
I see no reason we cannot accomplish this most positive project with the town peoples' blessings. There are already people in Bethel willing to volunteer their services where needed, for the love of dogs.
We would be known throughout this country and beyond as a dog-friendly place to visit and live.
Please climb aboard. Your dogs will love you for it.
The committee’s next meeting will be 2/7/13 at the Mahoosuc Land Trust building. We hope to see you there, especially, because it is just a week before our Town’s Board meeting.
Judith Price Diamond