Bark park

Dear Editor:In Downey's fine new dog park, a man watched his two dachshunds romp with my mutts like kids at a picnic. When the gate opened, the four dogs strolled over together to welcome newcomers and show them around the enclosure. I had approached this moment cautiously, since Cracker and Biscuit, on leash, over-guard me and their small size by growling and lunging at other dogs also on-leash. How would they behave without restraints? Like Roman Coliseum lions? The dog park was a revelation. Everybody running around on four legs were so happy and busy, I had time to talk with other owners. The dachshund man, for instance, lives in Montebello, and the nearest bark park was in Pasadena. When he discovered Downey's on the Internet, he was delighted to travel only about 10 miles and find such an excellent facility. "I really had no other reason before to come to Downey," he said. "But now when I bring the dogs, I'm going to stop somewhere for coffee or lunch, so it's good for your merchants, as well." Nearly 20 years ago, someone circulated petitions for a dog park through the local veterinarian offices. I remember signing, in high hopes. (And I'm going to be immodest here and mention that in The Downey Eagle issue of Aug. 2, 1996, I suggested in a Letter to the Editor that the southeast corner of Rio San Gabriel Park looked like a great place for a leash-free dog park. Ta-da.) Well, it took a while. These things do. Yes, we need funds for street repairs and a host of other concerns, but a dog park has been in the works a long time, and now that this well-thought-out area is here, with its aura of success and joy, it is a benefit to the city, and I thank everyone who had a part in bringing it to us. -- Joyce Sherwin, Downey

********** Published: November 18, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 31