Monday, August 22, 2011

Park at LeDroit mis-use

This message is from the Bloomingdale Kids list at Yahoogroups. I thought that the issue raised was broad enough to post here on the neighborhood blog. The message submittor's name and Email address have been removed.

Park at Ledroit, miss-use
Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:37 pm (PDT)


So-we got this beautiful park we can all enjoy. There`s a designated area for toddlers, another one for older kids, there`s a dog park, etc.

I took my 12 month old today to the park to enjoy the swing. To my surprise, as we were packing to leave, a young woman comes in the toddlers area with her boxer dog, unleashed. The dogs runs over the rock climbing area up and down, and he sniffs the 2 rocking creatures (horses?). I brought to ladie`s attention that there`s a dog designated area/park area right behind. She answered that she`s aware of it, but it`s muddy after the rain, so she doesn`t want her animal to get dirty. Here, at the playground, she can let her run unleashed and get rid of some energy; since there`s padded flooring, the dog will stay clean. ``You wouldn`t want your animal to get dirty, wouldn`t you?`` she asked.

Excuse me? What I`m sure I don`t want, is my baby to play and crawl where dogs urinate. I am not going to be too picky and mention animal hair and allergies, though....

Don`t get me wrong-I love animals, and we always had a dog in the house (until we got pregnant) This is the ONLY outdoor space I thought it was dog urine free.

How do others feel about this?


Mari said...

Horrible. This woman's actions will make it very difficult for other people trying to create dog parks. The anti-dog people can point to people like her now.

Flagler PL said...

We have a dog and a toddler, so we use the park. It is totally inappropriate to have a dog in there. Period.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

From Bloomingdale resident Barrie Baneker:

Well I hope you said something more to her! The downright ignorance of this person is outrageous. If she doesn`t want her dogs to get dirty then leave it in the house. If not then wash the dog after he plays otherwise stay out of the toddler area! I`ll be sure to look out for her. If I see her with that Boxer in the toddler area, she be sorry she even went into the park. I mean how very dare she even pose that question to you! What a freaking liberty! Just goes to show you that some humans have less brains than their dogs! So I suggest all the patrons of the park look out for this person and give her a good old fashion tongue lashing for her disrespect of the writer and the entire neighborhood.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

From Maria, President, Bloomingdale LeDroit Dog Park Association:

Many people have emailed me today asking how to appropriately respond to such incidents. From the perspective of the Bloomingdale LeDroit Dog Park Association (the dog park assoc. that manages and maintains the dog park), I would recommend that any person who sees a dog off-leash first approach the person and remind them that according to DC Law all dogs must be on leash unless they are within a DC-designated dog park. Some people actually do not know this (and there is no signage about this in the park). If you are uncomfortable with speaking to the individual, or the person is a repeat offender, please call 911 and report it. You may also call Animal Control at (202) 576-6664. My additional recommendation is to set up a formal complaint procedure for any issues of park use (leaving trash, vandalism, inappropriate behavior, dogs offleash), that could be referred to a neighborhood Park Committee for review. I would assume that this Committee would be made up of representatives from the LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale Civic Associations in addition to any other interested volunteers.

For your information:

Title 24, Chapter 9 of DC Animal Control Law states:

"900.3 No person owning, keeping, or having custody of a dog in the District shall permit the dog to be on any public space in the District, other than a dog park established by section 9a of the Animal Control Act of 1979, passed on 2nd reading on September 20, 2005 (Enrolled version of Bill 16-28), unless the dog is firmly secured by a substantial leash. The leash shall be held by a person capable of managing the dog.

900.4 The length of the leash required under § 900.3 shall not exceed four feet (4 ft.)."

Please email me at if you have any questions.

Maria, President, BLDPA

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

From Bloomingdale resident Christian Seitz:

As the parent of a toddler and frequent playground user, I am appalled by the utter lack of respect and the most basic common sense and/or sheer ignorance of this individual who thought it okay to bring there dog off leach into a toddler play area. As Vice President of the Bloomingdale LeDroit Dog Park Association my sentiment is the same.

If anyone sees someone let a dog, any dog, either off or on leash into either of the playgrounds, please inform that that dogs are not allowed in the playgrounds and that the dog must immediately leave. If that does not stop them or they ignore you, call the police immediately.

As Maria mentioned, when not in the enclosed dog park all dogs must be on leash. We also discourage dogs from roaming on any of the grassy areas of the park (within reason) and especially the grassy knoll or planted areas, such as the butterfly garden.


Christian Seitz, BLDPA Vice President

Roger said...

Honestly people, get over yourselves. I think the ONLY concern should be that the dog was unleashed. Everyone has been to the beach, and played in a sandbox- and there are worse contaminates in those places than dog urine (and most respectable people pick up after their dog). The dog was not under control- that's the problem. There is NO need to call 911 over this petty stuff- that is why 311 exists. I do not support the lady who let her dog loose- but I am just saying that its really not that serious of an issue. If you are afraid of germs and the outside world- then choose to keep your children inside- or carry around some hand sanitizer


I am posting for my dog and lady with her, my partner. She is from NYC and this is not uncommon. The day prior she saw two dogs in this area thus saw no issues with taking our dog there if there were no kids present. I have seen folks in there with their kid(s) and dog before! For the original poster as few thing you may need to state.

1. When she arrived at the park you where on your way on your way out and no one else was in that section.
2. When you asked her to leave did she not leave? No issues no quams. She left based on your concerns not even based on the action being prohibited; Again, the no sign issue.
3. And the context of the conversation was nothing like you’re insinuating, the issue was addressed and she left!

Ms. Pres/Mr. Vice Pres. So issues like this do not continues to occur, perhaps posting signs (even temp signs) at the entrances may be in the best interest of the park and its users.

Barrie Baneker it would behoove you to have a bit more tact when commenting; “If I see her with that Boxer in the toddler area, she be sorry she even went into the park” was highly inappropriate and is viewed a THREAT! But perhaps you don’t know any better and this fine we all fall short every now and then.

For everyone else the dog did not PEE or POOP in the area, she went in she ran and, OMG ,she sniffed and few things and was called to her owner and left; all this took place in a matter of mins.

Lastly as a community, issues should just be brought up with the intention of finding a solution to the problem. Threats and negative unproductive opinions do nothing to solve the problem.

LP Resident & Dog Owner

Chuck said...

Roger and APROTTLEY,

Do you have children or just dogs? Just curious.

I think you are missing the point of parents' concerns. The community has new parks - for children and dogs, separately. All parents understand that no outdoor park is going to be 100% clean or sanitized. However, it's not too much to expect that extra waste (dog waste) can be minimized now because there is a separate dog park. In this case the owner was too lazy, i.e., didn't want to get her dog dirty, to use the properly designated park.

My wife and I were excited for the new park. We want to see it stay nice as long as possible. It's a huge improvement over the Florida Ave park (currently closed and under construction). I used to see grown men urinating in the playground area.

Let me ask another question: How would dog owners feel if parents started bringing kids into the dog park area to run around - and asked all dog owners in the park to leash their dogs while they were there? My guess is the dog owners would be highly irritated.

Simple solution: Use the proper park.

Jeremy said...

Simply put - there are rules for reasons, all you are asked to do (so we can ALL get along) is to follow them and respect each other (come on, it's not that hard).

I believe in most, if not all major cities in the US there are leash laws, don't be stupid - it's also for your dog's safety, what if it got startled and ran into the street and got hit by a car?

Just respect each other, the park, and the posted rules.

Alexandra said...

I agree that the main concern is that the dog was off the leash. It is somewhat naive that the primary concern of parents in a public city park (especially in that area) is dogs - germs from other children (and yes, even other people who have likely urinated in that area) are much more of a problem and threat to the children than anything the dogs could have done. Really? Dog hair? Come on. Graffiti, trash, loitering, public urination (see recent blog post) - these are things to be worred about in an outdoor park, not dog fur.

John said...

I have neither a child nor a dog but I find it totally unacceptable to let your dog off leash in the playground. Rodger is the kind of entitled dog owners that piss me off, saying if I you don't want your child in my dog's urine keep them inside? How about if you don't want to bother washing of your dog from the muddy dog park then go to another dog park you lazy POS.

Brittany said...

I have a bubble for sale, so your kid can live life free of germs. I used to love dogs until I found out that they urinate all the time. Gross. Anyway, if I didn't have this bubble for my babies, I doubt they would have made it to adolescence. Now they just wear used astronaut suits that I purchased on ebay. The only downside is the lack of pure oxygen supply. Apparently, dog feces/waste are attributing to poor air conditions in cities like Detroit and Cleveland. I'm certain DC isn't far behind.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

Here is a subsequent message from Barrie Daneker:

APROTTLEY-- Obviously you missed the point! The point--there’s a section for dogs and obviously your partner's statement "You wouldn`t want your animal to get dirty, wouldn`t you?" was completely inappropriate behavior of a dog owner and a neighbor! It's obvious you missed my point about giving you partner a stern tongue lashing for being a complete fool, that’s why she would be sorry to come to the park because of the response I would have had. It's this type of disrespect that must be met with some aggressive reaction because your partner was insensitive, inconsideration and frankly rude (with that awful response, “wouldn`t you?”).

I understand from your response, maybe the original poster wasn’t as forth coming with the events. However your argument about NY and everyone does it doesn’t hold water. states “ii. Such dogs shall not at any time enter any playground, zoo, swimming pool … fountain, ball field, basketball court, handball court, tennis court, or other area prohibited by the Commissioner”

The major issue with most dog owners in America is they really don’t realize the effort and responsibility of owning a dog. Unfortunately, we see this everyday in the US (3.7 million animals are euthanized in the US in 2010 and trending higher every year) in comparison to our European counterparts, because it’s cheap and easy to get a dog vs. the expensive and restrictive nature of European countries. It’s a shame!

My hope is dog parks in DC will help to make aware and train dog owners to train their dogs to demonstrate good manners and acceptable behavior in everyday situations. The AKC CGC program has become a standard for recognizing obedient dogs and responsible dog owners throughout the country. As a dog owner, you are responsible not only for your own dog's well being, but for the status of dogs everywhere. One irresponsible dog owner in town can make life difficult for dog owners all over. Owning a friendly, clean, well-mannered dog reflects positively on the species and may help protect our rights to own companion animals.

ricksterb said...

As an owner of two dogs, I love the new dog park. It’s a convenient way to let our dogs exercise and socialize while my partner and I have an opportunity to meet some of our neighbors, whether they are fellow dog owners, parents of toddlers or are simply enjoying the park. I’m not aware if there are rules or guidelines posted in a public place. As a mediator and large-group facilitator, I would be overjoyed to see neighborhood residents come to consensus about what those guidelines should be and to see residents all adhere to those guidelines.

For now, we are each members of this community and we all would like to enjoy the park and use it for our own needs. As we progress toward solutions that work for everyone, I hope that we can keep the conversation respectful of each other and of one another’s perspective. When we place blame on each other, we create an us-vs.-them mentality and we dig ourselves deeper into the conflict, rather than pursue solutions that work for everyone.

I really appreciate the fact that residents are engaged in the discussion from all sides of the issue and everyone’s continued involvement will be important to moving the situation forward.

Roger said...

Thanks for all the negative and misspelled comments everyone! To clarify a few things for those who take themselves too seriously - I am not a dog owner, and actually never grew up with a dog. I do not feel entitled at all, and my name is as stated ROGER and I really appreciate being called a POS- it makes my day wonderful.

I do think most of you are still missing the point. This is a community, there are people, creatures, and unfortunately more people. We have to learn to work together to not create a hostile environment that most of you have CHOSEN to create. APROTTLEY, I would like to apologize on behalf of the rude people that continue to post on a community blog- you have every right to defend yourself, and it seems like the situation is being blown up to ill-proportions. The situation is OVER. I have recently moved to this area and have experienced the wonders of the neighborly conduct, but we all can sit here and bitch and moan online with a nice little wall called a monitor between us so you will name call and bitch about one another in the privacy of your own jacked up home.

I invite anyone to have a nice chat, talk about how awesome our neighborhood is, compliment me on my looks and how great my body is, or just call me a POS to my face at our neighborhood cafe.

Seriously people, its not that serious-get over yourselves. We all know dogs are better than children.

Peace and Love