Dog Parks On The Rise, But Walking Locales DownDog Parks On The Rise, But Walking Locales Down

One of the best parts of my day is the hour that I spend walking the dog. Calling my animal man's best friend has always been an apt description. The dog (who spends much of the day cooped up in the house while I work) enjoys it as an opportunity to stretch her legs and gain some exercise. It is great for me - offering the same exercise and also the opportunity to clear my head and organize my thoughts after a long day at the office. It also represents a chance for me to work on training my dog. She's already on the leash and we typically encounter many temptations for her to misbehave that I can correct. Unfortunately, despite these benefits, the locales where I can safely walk her are shrinking.

Part of this is due to traffic. Traffic is constantly increasing in urban areas. That would not be a big deal if people did a better job of sharing the road - but far too many drivers are completely oblivious to anything that is not happening inside their car or directly in front of their windshield. There are a handful more that cannot be bothered to wait for pedestrians if it means an extra minute on their commute. Honestly, for all the drivers who suffer from impatience and road rage, really how many are in a situation where arriving at their destination at 6:18 instead of 6:16 is really going to put them out? The end result is that walking dogs on city streets can be an iffy proposition compared to what it used to be.

Beyond that, public property also is not what it used to be. Public property (funded by local/federal taxes) used to be for public use. However, much of it is becoming much more restricted. I live down the road from a park that is restricted from public use. It is to be used only for youth sports teams - which are a noble task in their own right, but only occur for a few hours in the evening. Outside of those hours, the park (partly built with my tax dollars) is completely off limits to all other users. In addition to situations like this, many parks/paths available to the general public have restrictions on bringing pets. This likely arose because of owners who do not clean up after their pets - but that should be addressed with those owners as opposed to throwing out the baby with the bathwater by banning all animals.

The good news is that dog parks are picking up some of the slack. Most communities feature a large number of passionate dog owners that are banding together to make their desire for place for their pets known. As such, new dog parks are going up all over the country on a regular basis. Dog parks offer a great opportunity to socialize your animal, get him/her some exercise, and meet like-minded people.

But for me, I will always be sorry for the public walking trails and parks that we can no longer visit.
by Felix Chesterfield
References and Bibliography
By Felix Chesterfield For information on subjects such as a dog walker in Greensboro, please visit the link provided. For readers interested in getting a dog, please let me direct you to sites that feature rescue opportunities - such as petfinder.
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