Leash-free time for dogs won’t work at Pastorius Park
Thank you to Joe Brown and Tracy Gardner, for their measured and thoughtful insights and suggestions about dog use in Pastorius Park. This is topic has certainly provoked quite a conversation. [Local. June 29]
While I did enjoy Joe’s well written letter, he (and others) seem not to realize when making suggestions for hours of off-leash dog use, that there are homes with people living in them immediately surrounding the park on all sides, and that Pastorius Park isn’t in the middle of a sprawling complex of ball fields.
Pastorius Park is our back (and front) yard. I would like to suggest that Joe please invite dogs to his backyard between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.and see how he feels about it after about a week. I will buy him a drink at the bar of his choice in Chestnut Hill if he thinks that it was “just great.”
And I am assuming that Joe must not be from Philadelphia or he would know that ranting on the Internet and other venues and having shouting matches in the park is a time honored, much loved tradition here.
This isn’t about Hillers being more “super” responsible or somehow better than those from outside of Chestnut Hill. It more pertains to the fact that someone (if already inclined to be uncaring) who drives back to their community in Wyndmoor or Blue Bell doesn’t really have to care the same way about our community or neighbors if their dog barks incessantly for three hours straight or knocked someone over while they sit on a bench and smoke and ignore their dog because they have no physical or emotional investment in this community or with the people living here.
They come. They poop. They leave. They don’t have to run into the neighbor that their dog jumped on when at the block party the next day, or at the hardware store every week, or need help from that same neighbor when shoveling out their sidewalk the next winter. And, most people from Chestnut Hill stopped walking their dogs in Pastorius Park long ago because of the volume of and aggressiveness of the dogs there, including me.
Having a designated leash-free dog time in the park is a wonderful idea – in theory. But then there is that pesky enforcement issue to contend with again: Who will enforce the designated leash-free dog times and check dog registrations to be sure that they are current? Private security patrols hired by Fairmount Park? The dog owners themselves? Special police personnel assigned solely to Pastorius Park? Bwahahaha. Enough said. Really.