You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Ann Arbor halts plan for new dog park directly across from church

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials are pulling the plug on a proposal to put a new off-leash dog park directly across the street from New Hope Baptist Church in West Park.

The proposal is being taken off next week's City Council agenda, park officials announced at Tuesday's meeting of the Park Advisory Commission.

The decision to take a step back is merely a "hiccup in the process" and not the end of the idea for a more centrally located dog park in Ann Arbor, said PAC Chairwoman Julie Grand.

She said there's already talk about using another triangular piece on the west side of West Park, between the two entrance paths off Seventh Street — further away from the church.

"PAC and city staff will continue to work with the public to identify a suitable centrally located dog park as there is certainly an identified need," said Colin Smith, the city's parks manager.

A representative of the church could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but its leaders have said they wouldn't be opposed to another location in West Park.

Members of the church have complained for weeks that a dog park just north of the Chapin Street entrance to West Park would disrupt their services and pose a safety hazard. The Rev. Rodrick Green went so far as to call the city's proposal "offensive" to the church.


The snow-covered area in the foreground, just north of the Chapin Street entrance to West Park, is where Ann Arbor officials wanted to construct a fenced area for off-leash dog play. The New Hope Baptist Church across the street opposed that plan and now the city is looking for another location, possibly still within West Park.

Ryan J. Stanton |

PAC members still thought it'd be fine to test out a dog park at the chosen location on a one-year trial basis. Now they're taking a step back after a recent meeting with New Hope leaders revealed the historically black congregation's concerns are more deeply rooted.

"It just seemed like a potentially explosive situation," said Grand, adding she wants to make sure the city's first near-downtown dog park can be successful.

"We want the neighbors to be on board," she said. "It makes it a lot more successful that way."

Grand said it came to light that for various cultural reasons, including the fact that a number of the church's members were born in the South and have different attitudes about dogs, that putting a dog park directly across from the church would be seen as an impediment to its worship services.

"All of the issues they brought up when PAC passed the initial resolution were all issues we felt could be addressed," she said. "Then they started using the word 'offensive,' and so we were able to explore what that meant to them, because I really struggled."

Grand said the church's leaders communicated they felt a dog park would make a mockery of their congregation and wasn't compatible with trying to hold funerals or Sunday services.

"Some of them who were dog owners still felt it was offensive to have a dog park right outside the steps of the church," she said. "We read the writing on the wall and said there was no point of this going to council, because having a dog park at this location at this time was going to fail miserably."

The city's parks staff and PAC are planning to regroup and consider another spot for off-leash dog play. There's expected to be another public process with opportunities for input from neighbors.

Grand said she's still hopeful a new dog park could open sometime this year. It's still a goal of the city to have a more centrally located dog park to complement the other two that are located on the outer edges of the city. The city also is considering a dog park at 721 N. Main, but that's longer term.

Mayor John Hieftje said he supports the decision to take a step back and consider a new location for a near-downtown dog park.

"I don't think it would have gotten very far at City Council," he said of the previous proposal. "The church, I thought, had some valid concerns."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


MSU grad

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

The dogs mentioned in the article did not act upon the populace allayed against them in a spontaneous manner...police dogs are trained to act UPON COMMAND OF THEIR HANDLERS, so why did not the Church logically state that they feel threatened and offended by the policemen who drive right in front of their Church who may or may not have dogs in their cars used for police/rescue work and the firemen who are in nearby firestations who sometimes have a dog as a mascot???? Valid concern if logic is used. The dogs did not act on their own volition!!! And, by the way, how many of these supposedly traumatized people were even there??? The Park is still a Park-are they equally offended at the yelling, screaming, playful children who play there during their services?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

Surprised by the number of comments regarding ignorance of the historical issues surrounding African Americans from the South and dogs. Seeing the black and white footage of police allowing their German Shepards attack defenseless peaceful protestors was traumatic for me. To have actually witnessed it, or experience it would be devastating. And, a place of worship is a place of refuge to quietly communicate with God and doesn't need the distraction of barking dogs. Leave these people in peace.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Where are Tom Wolfe or Kurt Vonnegut when you need them?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

I find it offensive that a bumch of grumpy jerks from a church are what pulled the plug on a great idea for that area. It could have been anything, they would have had just as much of an issue with it, they just don't want anything in that spot. but it's a public area, so maybe a very large group of musicians should decide it's a great spot for picnics on sundays

P. J. Murphy

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

This didn't have to happen. New Hope Baptist is a long-time and valued community institution. The fact that it's a church is irrelevant. What is relevant however is that expected use of the proposed dog park would have directly conflicted with weekend activities at New Hope. It doesn't take much insight to see why this would be the case. Parking problems alone would create inconvenience for everyone. City officials dropped the ball by moving ahead with this plan without sufficiently researching neighborhood impact.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

New Hope Baptist Church you should read this article on Yahoo news, Loyal dog continues to attend mass at church where owner's funeral was held. pss nobody in the congregation minds. He attends himself..


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

The whole "black people being scared of dogs" argument is beyond ridiculous. Out of all the dog owners in the United States, I would bet a sizable amount are black. They own all sorts of breeds, from pit bulls to poodles. This argument reeks of hypocrisy, and only demeans actual racial problems with its spiteful nature.

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Yep. and so is "All Polish people are stupid," and "all Irish people are drunks," and "all Chinese people are smart. ' So what's your point? The feelings and the stereotypes EXIST, whether or not you want to admit it. And the "stereotypees" have to live with it and the "non-stereotypees" have to do something about it. What's your suggestion?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

So let me get this straight, dogs being used to track slaves in the past is being used as the excuse/reason that it is so "offensive" to a black congregation. This is a dog that lacks the ability to actually think about what it is doing, form opinions or retain any malice against someone that is black. Yet somehow as a society we have been able to function together as white and black considering that the human brain actually does have the ability to remember what has happened in the past and also form its own opinions. If the majority of people have been able to move beyond the white/black issue, why is it that dogs are still cast away and why is this an acceptable excuse?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

What are the citizens of Ann Arbor looking for next? City provided day care for their animals? Do you want to be able to make your animal a dependent on your State and Federal Tax return? Perhaps they can be covered by your health care plan at work or the soon to be created health insurance exchanges? Maybe we can even provide them with an education so they can bark at a higher level when they have social hour or play dates at the dog park. While many of you attribute human feelings and rights to animals and conversely love your animal as a member of your family or your best friend they are not human. Not yesterday, not today and not tomorrow. Animals dont = Humans. Granted some of them may show more sense than humans the fact remains they are not. The thread that runs though all of our stories today dog rights gun rights etc has a central theme responsible action. If we had responsible human beings we wouldnt need to be having this discussion.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

Ciccero, are you also outraged by softball fields?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Dog parks are for the *owners* of dogs in the same way that basketball courts are for the owners of basketballs. Dog owners are just as entitled to use park space as you are. You are right about one thing though. If we had responsible human beings, we wouldn't need to be having this discussion because there would already be plenty of free dog parks in our community.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

"Grand said the church's leaders communicated they felt a dog park would make a mockery of their congregation" Too late. The obsessive whining about the opening of a dog park near this church that has resulted in the nixing of the plan is the real mockery. This is just pathetic.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

If you disagree with the New Hope Baptist Church's stance on the proposed dog park, e-mail them and let them know your concerns.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

As a dyslexic agnostic, I stay up at night wondering if there is a Dog (park)

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.



Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

It's so very Christian of them.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:40 a.m.

It seems like a good compromise will be struck in any case. It appears the dog park will be relocated further away and the church already indicated it doesn't object to other locations in the park. So, in the end, however the church had to get the PAC to talk compromise, it did so and the problem will resolve to the benefit of everyone. Although, I'm not sure that statement about dogs and the south is as compelling to me as it was to the PAC and council. It's been some 50-60 years since the days of George Wallace and Lester Maddox. Lyndon Johnson got the Civil Rights Act passed decades ago. The world is still infected with vile racism, but I don't see a proposal for a dog park in response to requests by local residents--the church's own neighbors--as the manifestation of the kind of vicious hate and racism displayed 50 years ago and 1500 miles to our south. I do think the pastor is savvy enough to know that political knees will start knocking upon hearing such assertions. The knees did knock and the PAC came to the table. A compromise was struck. It's too bad the church felt the need to resort to such claims of offense to get the PAC to the table and that it took the PAC to believe it faced a "potentially explosive" situation to open its mind and ears, but a good compromise seems to be in the works here.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

@ JRA, re: "Our culture is different up here." Very true. Just google "South-to-North Animal Rescue" ( 6-7 million hits!) and you will see how we pick up their slack every day. The total volume of truckloads of animals moving North every day boggles the mind. Demographically speaking (obviously there are always many, many individual exceptions), Down South they don't spay, they don't neuter, they don't leash, and basically, they don't give a rip. And we pick up the slack. So a disproportionate percentage of our local dog population consists of Down-South dogs like my own stray, and his friend Natchez (Hmmm, where do you think he got that name?), and countless other dogs from Mississippi, Alabama, and the like. So I say to the church folks, "Don't ask us to act more like Red States –– you moved Up North for a reason! Come across the street, and make friends with the rest of your fellow refugees from Down South!" And welcome to the Blue State lifestyle!


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Yea, my killer puppy that likes to eat children is a rescue from the South too...Atlanta...and no, I don't hold that against him (being from the South, that is) :)


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

Yes, I am reminded of this cultural difference whenever I visit family down south. :(


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

oh but its ok for a church like the one on south maple to sell to developers to build an off campus student hi rise in an area where where it doesnt fit in at all and is not needed ?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

Can't they relocate their place of worship? Half kidding...sorry ya'll, but you live in the north now. Our culture is different up here. Maybe we should find out what else offends them, so we can avoid those things as well.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

From the South? Like the "Michael Vick Memorial Dog Park" south or South Vietnam or what exactly are they talking about here? Oh well, I am in favor of a closer dog park, but I don't think this was the best choice. Good luck doggie lovers.

Tim Hornton

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:19 a.m.

Churches do more charity work in this country then any other organizations by far, their main goals in charity are helping humans. All these comments calling for tolerance and love and for this church to back down makes no sense. The tolerance and love is for people, not dogs. Gotta to love how people in Ann Arbor show their "love" and "tolerance" to people that go to church. Hypocrites!

Suzanne Taylor

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Thanks, Jack! I belong to no organized religion, but the "supreme Being" I acknowledge would NEVER denigrate any of his/her creations as did Tim Hornton!


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

Whoa! Christians have no love or tolerance for dogs? Sorry, that's not my God.

Thom Bales

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Dogs were used by slave owners to catch runaway slaves trying to escape and they were also used to terrorize Civil Rights demonstrators. In light of history, it seems reasonable to me to tread lightly on this issue.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

Thank you Robert.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:40 p.m. you are saying there are lots of former slaves still alive? Name three.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

You are clearly confused as to the timeline of this country's history.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Got news for you Robert, using dogs on people isn't limited to some Django-esqe outrage. More recent events might include guard dogs at concentration and POW camps - including very recently in North Korea. With one distinction being that survivors of those camps ARE actually still alive. So, yep, this is disingenuous. They don't want a stinky, noisy dog park across the street, and I can't say I blame them. Please don't insult our collective intelligence as to why. Most of us are not that gullible.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Gotta love the anonymity of the internet. Negative votes for someone who thinks it is reasonable to consider the effect of our nation's incredibly violent racist past on people who may have been affected by it... 8 positive votes for the person who suggests that the violence visited upon dogs by one individual black celebrity squares up decades of abuse, discrimination and violence perpetrated against an entire race. Great... just great. And this is a progressive town.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

I'm guessing very few of people in that congregation were ever slaves. Anyway, I think Michael Vick squared things up.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

You have to be kidding me, right? Maybe we should just eliminate the entire canine species?!?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

When PC meets PAC something has to give.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

I couldn't really care less about where this dog park goes but from a layman's view this church looks really really bad here. In my opinion not a very christian like attitude but whatever. This too shall pass and everyone can look for something else insignificant to whine about between reality shows.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

I agree...we should all pray for them...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

So in a round-about way racism IS used stop a dog park, of all things...pathetic...


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

Robert, The fact still stands, and it is unfortunate that the race card was played here, and losely associated back to unfortunate events that occurred 40-50 years ago...just to obtain a favorable outcome for the church - stopping a dog park of all things... Very UN-christianlike in my opinion...

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Please do yourself a favor and take the time to crack a book or take a class about racism. It's clear that you don't really get what it is. The church is not purporting that the city is taking racist action. They are saying that their decisions have unintended detrimental consequences to members of a particular segment of their african-american congregation. Asking that those members be taken into consideration based on their shared racial experience is not racism. You may view it as preferential and that is your choice but it is by definition an action that opposes racism. Also, this was one of many reasons cited for why they don't want it there and it was the last one published.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Robert, apparently you need to re-read the article quotes and comments here from the congregation.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

None of this had anything to do with racism. Sure its clear that the PAC was asked to consider how their decision would affect elderly, black members of the congregation differently than it might the surrounding neighbors... but all considerations of a persons or groups race are not inherently racist actions. It seems that so few people actually understand what racism even is.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

@ zanzerbar, re: "All church's (sic) in Ann Arbor are allowed to park in no parking zones on Sunday." That doesn't explain today's overflow parking into the West Park lot, which is specifically posted as "PARK USE ONLY." But I wasn't complaining. I was merely making the point that we share this city. We make accommodations for them when they really push, and pass, the legal limit. They can likewise find it in themselves to be tolerant of us, as we make perfectly-legal use of public property that they seem to want to claim as their own.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

To all those writing about being afraid of dogs or their kids getting jumped on , etc. YOU are the one's who want a dog park! That way off lead dogs are behind a strong fence and the only way they get at you or your kids is if you go through the gates. It even limits where the uncollected poop will be and as a dog owner many do NOT pick up after their pets but then neither do feral cat friends either. The church may think they have "won" a victory here but look at the response number to this issue and you have seriously hurt your church and your community by this!

Suzanne Taylor

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

Amen, dfossil! See my response to Indymama.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

@ zanzerbar, re: "Does it really mater (sic) that the church uses the park lot for a few hours on Sunday....Jeeze o pete." My point exactly: We, as a community, tolerate them, and look the other way when they park illegally. No problem. But in return, they angrily act as if they own the entire park. A little christian tolerance on their part would be in order.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Entire park? Or the area immediately across the street.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.

well looks like I'll be altering my "dog route" for the next few months ... nudge nudge wink wink, if you know what I mean :)


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

If you are implying you will let your dog eliminate on their property and you won't be removing the feces, you are a horrid and disgusting person.

jenny murray

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

Absolutely ridiculous.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

"...revealed the historically black congregation's..." And the significance of the racial make up is important why? Now I understand why the a2 council gave in. RIght choice...wrong reason.

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

a2citizen . . . the fact of a black congregation IS significant. (I'm Caucasian, by the way.) Blacks do, indeed, have a history with dogs in the US that is, in many ways, totally the opposite of what the white population has experienced (e.g., dogs were used to hunt down escaping slaves). I'd like to think that those days are "over," but I wouldn't be willing to swear that *I'd* get over it, even after numerous generations. I'm very sorry that some people, for whatever reason, feel badly about dogs. In truth, I've met quite a few African-Americans, Asians, and Europeans at Olsen Dog Park. Some of their cultures are reported to be averse to dogs-as-pets . . . but you simply CANNOT generalize, especially in a city like Ann Arbor. My hope is that the church in question will come around to thinking that any position they take should incorporate all members off the community,


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

So, if they were attacked by police dogs, they must have been attacked by police. So does that mean we don't let police patrol the area because a couple of people have had bad experiences with them? They were probably white too. So let's ban white people from the area too. Then I guess if a member of a predominantly white church was ever mugged by a black guy, we have to start banning them from the area around the church too. Because it might upset one person's sensbilities. So no, it wouldn't be a valid concern. Might be a valid feeling, but it's not something we should be basing policy on.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Thanks Robert.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

So if some of the older members were affected by racist violence meted out by police dogs that would not be a valid concern in your opinion?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:12 a.m. are so racism? Please. Take a look back at the history of our great nation. How about visiting the church and asking if any of the older members were ever attacked by dogs wielded by white men.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

I just want to remind the Ann Arbor dog owners that Ypsilanti is much much more dog friendly than Ann Arbor. There is no dog park but there are people who meet in Riverside Park for off leash play in the evenings and on weekends.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

I know Dutchy734 but some of us don't have dogs who are well behaved enough to run free at the park. We must keep them on a leash. I know it seems mean but it really is in the dog's best interest.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

Yep, they just take your dogs and whap off their manhood. Other than that though, very friendly.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

Yeah, and at a Ypsi Tax paying ex dog owner it always upset me that people would keep dogs on a leash at this park!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:31 p.m.

I don't have a dog in this fight (LOL) but I have to admit that if I were a resident of Ann Arbor, this would upset me quite a lot.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

So? Here is that link to the Ypsi paper again ...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

@ Nicholas Urfe, re: "No person, business, or institution should be forced to accept the placement of a dog park near their location, or just across the street." NIMBY All The Way! Right? Unfortunately, a succession of spineless City Councils has so far yielded to this completely-unworkable NIMBY rule-of-thumb, with the result that both of our current city dog parks have fences that mark the city limits. Perhaps the current Council will eventually show some gumption, and give us a few parks closer in, the way more civilized cities do.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

The race card was played. How low can we go here?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:01 p.m. really need to read the story closer.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

I think the anti-church comments about noise, large cars, and tithing are racist. Which way were you talking about the race card being played?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

No person, business, or institution should be forced to accept the placement of a dog park near their location, or just across the street. There needs to be a larger buffer. The question is how large that buffer should be, and how much park space we give up to a buffer. Etc. The size of the buffer area must be included when discussing the size of the dog park.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

In my opinion, you are overselling the negatives in relation to dog parks. For example, in NY and Wash, DC, they are very popular hang-outs for dog owners at all times of day. They are NOT noisy or smelly (as people seem to think) but they do serve the purpose of providing "eyes on the street" at odd hours which greatly enhances neighborhood safety. The more people you can get regularly using a park at off hours, the better.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:24 a.m.

No person, business, or institution should be forced to accept the placement of a house of worship near their their location, or just across the street...there needs to be a larger buffer. But that depends on who was there first.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

I'll try again, first 3 attemps froze my computer: Solution: Let the Dog owners who have fenced in yards invite their neighbors over with their dogs to play together. They can alternate who comes on which days so each dog gets to play with many other doggie children! The humans can partake of coffee/tea/games or just sit and visit while their doggie children play together. This keeps our parks free of doggie poop, fighting dogs, etc. Young children afraid of dogs would not have to worry that a dog would come after them. Senior citizens wouldn't have to worry that a dog would run and knock them down. Everybody and every dog would win!! A win-win solution!

Suzanne Taylor

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.

Your vision of a communal place for people (including kids) and their pets, is lovely. But whether a dog park is private or public is the real question, I think. Your concept of a private dog park would include only those home owners who are fortunate enough to have a fenced-in yard (a bit elitist, wouldn't you say?). In Ann Arbor, instead of private property owners inviting local dogs on to their properties, the City of Ann Arbor has been kind enough to establish a process whereby dog owners, via "PAID" (I reiterate, "PAID" ) DOG PARK PERMITS, can access designated areas within existing parks (e.g., Olsen Park, Swift Run) to exercise their dogs, off-leash). The designated dog parks are all fenced-in, are clearly designated as such and, presumably, any somewhat intelligent person who doesn't like dogs, would not enter there. The clearly-designated dog parks do, in fact, contribute to, making the "human" areas of parks clear of dog poop, dog barking, etc. Let me make this clear: the dog parks, whether or not they exist within an existing city/county park, are fenced off and clearly designated as "dog parks." To imply that a dog in a dog park would attack a child is ridiculous (Why the heck would anyone bring a child who's afraid of dogs into a dog park? . . . and if you don't like dog poop, what the heck are you doing in a dog park? and if you're unsteady on your feet, why would you be drawn to a dog park? etc., etc.) The current upkeep in city dog parks (well, at least Olsen Dog Park with which I'm most familiar) as conducted by the City of AA, is extremely minimal (actually, less than minimal) and I don't know why that is as it is. Perhaps we should ask our City Council people? First Ward (where I live): Sabra? Sumi? Are either of you, by any chance, following this conversation?

Linda Farris Kurtz

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

I'm sure you know that your crazy-sounding "solution" is crazy. All dog owners in the city do not automatically know each other to be able to invite them over to our "fenced in yards." I bought a licence to take my dog to the two dog parks int he city and rarely used it because a) the fenced area was completely devoid of anything of interest, no bushes, trees, fire hydrants, the kind of thing my dog likes. b) there were very seldom any dogs in the park when I used it. My dog was completely bored by the whole thing. I think the logistics of a dog park on Chapin would not work. There is no place to park, especially on Sunday when it might be a good time to use the park for the dog. Why doesn't the city put a dog park in Birdhills park where the dogs seem to go frequently already.

Little Patience

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

The point of a dog park is for owners to take their dogs to for exercise, therefore keeping the dogs out of the regular parks and away from your precious child. Or maybe the dog parks are keeping the dogs safe from your child throwing things at it?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Great idea. Post your address and we'll be right over to your yard! Who picks up the mystery poop that nobody claims?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

"I'm somewhat baffled by the report that there are cultural reasons why church members have concerns about the dog park and that this is related to Southerners having different attitudes toward dogs." The image of Bull Connor, and his police dogs being sicced on anti-segregation demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, came to my mind. That said, I don't think the pastor here is being entirely reasonable. The Bull Connor era ended almost a half century ago, and has/had little to do with Ann Arbor But I'm glad to see a reasonable compromise being worked out. As for dog poop, it's my guess that most dog owners are happy to pick up after their pets. In any event, the fact that the dog run area will be fenced resolves any complaint about doggie leavings spoiling the impromptu soccer game.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

Yes, enough of the race card for everything! What's next, Jesse Jackson at the next council meet? I left Birmingham Alabama 4 years ago to get away from this nonsense and it has no relevance here...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Good. And when they find a place I hope that it will allow a larger site.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

I agree. The proposed spot is way too small.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

yes this was not a good size dog park, more like a run you need more spaces for dogs to run around freely


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

I would rather have a dog park over a church any day.

Suzanne Taylor

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Me, too, Westfringe. However, I feel the need to respect others' religious beliefs/cultures/ethics. Having been brought up as a Catholic (but no longer one) I think there are a few basic beliefs you just can't deny (no matter your official religion). Allegiance to a "higher order," however one chooses to define that, is almost always linked to respect/love for all of God's creatures. To decide that the presence of dogs is detrimental to the worship of God is appalling.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

@ Craig Lounsbury, re, "how about some specific examples of that claim since your (sic) finger pointing." If you had read my post you would have found a couple of examples of the way the community bends over backwards to be tolerant of that church, like our tolerance of the way they completely take over Chapin: "...heck, we don't even think of trying to DRIVE down Chapin on a Sunday, let alone park anywhere nearby!" And as for your challenge to my statement that, "the church regularly completely fills that public lot," I don't think that the church has ever disputed this. But see for yourself –– try visiting the park on a Sunday AM, and watch the steady stream of people walking across the street from that lot to the church.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

All church's in Ann Arbor are allowed to park in no parking zones on Sunday.i.e First Methodist on Huron, First Presbyterian on Washtenaw etc. Get over it. Its only for one day. when theres little traffic anyway.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

Solution: The dog owners who have fenced in back yards should invite their neighbors with dogs to come over and play in the back yard. The humans can be inside or outside having their "libations", coffee ot tea , etc while the "doggie children" play together! Doggies could have special times to come, so they woula aae tghe same playmates or come on a rotationg schedule so they could play with others.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

"woula aae tghe... rotationg..." Now you're talkin'!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

I'm somewhat baffled by the report that there are cultural reasons why church members have concerns about the dog park and that this is related to Southerners having different attitudes toward dogs. Ryan, do you know what they mean? Does anyone else? I haven't heard this before. I'm familiar with some cultural differences in reactions to dogs in various places (not necessarily the American South). But most of these would suggest the dogs have reason to be concerned about the humans, not vice versa. More generally, I also don't see why it would be deemed culturally "offensive" to a church (whereas I can at least appreciate why people raise questions about practical implications). I didn't think there was anything anti-dog about Baptists, or anti-Baptist about dogs. Dogs are widely beloved and culturally glorified animals in the U.S. (e.g., not viewed as low class). I could understand why some church members might find "offensive" a landfill or sewage plant being located across the street, or perhaps a strip club, casino, or bar. But I don't understand why dog parks would be seen as culturally offensive.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

What a bunch of ridiculous comments. This is Ann Arbor in 2013 and we're talking about a dog park with a double fence. This crap about "cultural differences" is nothing more than a convenient excuse used by this church in an attempt to get their way, nothing more.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

I think this image pretty much says it all:


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

I think that Thinker has mentioned what is probably the basic issue around having possible packs of dogs on the loose near a church with a historically Black congregation. I have also come across mentions of the use of dogs in the south to track down and attack runaway slaves in the old days and possibly for lynching purposes in more recent times. Honestly, I'm sort of embarrassed that more of us here didn't know about this and come to the realization that this is most likely a big part of the problem with the placement of the proposed dog park. I wish that someone from the church had commented here. (I apologize if I missed seeing a church member comment - I didn't wade through all the comments.)


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

Their attitude toward dogs could stem from slave days, when runaway slaves were pursued by dogs. Even more recently, lynchings and "so-called" dog attacks on certain minorities which resulted in death but whose perpetrators were not discoverable because "it was just a pack of feral dogs". Am I correct?

Renee S.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

In many cultures, dogs are considered dirty. And while it's not as pronounced in the American South, they're certainly less revered than here. It's part of the reason that the Human Society of Huron Valley buses dogs up from the South; where there they'd be euthanized, here there are plenty of people that want puppies. Euthanasia rates are much higher in the South because frankly, they don't care about animals as much as we do here.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Really?!? What if we find churches and their services offensive? My DOG could whoop your GOD anyday!

Jojo B

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

I find if offensive that a church could be placed so close to where a dog park should go. How can I let my dog play in peace with all of that singing and talking going on so nearby. Glad it didn't happen.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

If they want to sing annoying songs and pay 10 percent of their paychecks to fund the pastor's mortgage payments, then by all means we should be understanding. This is what happens with too much "diversity" and not enough common sense!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

What ever money that was going to be used to create this dog run needs to be used to maintain the safety of our parks. The city needs to enforce the leash law all the parks first. I cant even take my kids to bird hills without feeling like they are going to get bitten in the face or knock over. The signs are always getting defaced so cameras should also be installed. We need to have our parks fun and safe for everyone concerned. If you don't believe me then one should go there this weekend and see. It's a free-for-all.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

That's why we need dog parks Susan!!!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

and if cameras don't work we need to bring in the National Guard, The parks need to be safe!! lets also build a fence around it and put a armed guard at the gate!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:05 p.m.

Oh goodness no! There is no need to spend a lot of money enforcing the leash laws. Build more dog parks and make them free. Then you can randomly enforce the leash laws in other parks. All you need to do is make it so the risk of getting a ticket is more of a hassle than going to the dog park would be. The kind of enforcement you want would be very expensive. I would not support enforcement of leash laws in Ypsilanti for that reason. Our police officers have more important crimes to spend their time on and we don't have the money for additional animal enforcement officers. I don't think Ann Arbor does either.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

New Hope Baptist Church, I am offeneded by the fact that you think you can own the park and block. And really what does being raised in the south have to do with dogs? Couldnt someone raised out west not like dogs so should we take that into account? psst your reason sound very raciest and discriminative..... Dont think thats what your supposed to be about?

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

Hondo, there's a long history in the South of dogs being used to capture escaped slaves and, in general, over the years, dogs have been used "against" our African-American population. When I entered this conversation, I didn't realize that the church in question was primarily an African-American church. In some ways, it doesn't matter, however. Although I respect the fears of some members of the community, I must reiterate that (perhaps because I and my dog frequent the Olsen Park Dog Park and have made many friends there), the ultimate value of the community feeling a dog park engenders is a wonderful thing and (dare I say it?) something the God of many religions would embrace.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

I'm fairly certain you don't know what "raciest" or racist means.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Maybe the park should be built outside your bedroom window. You woldn't care would you?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

"Now they're taking a step back after a recent meeting with New Hope leaders revealed the historically black congregation's concerns are more deeply rooted." So what? Now the city must tiptoe because the congregation is "historically black?" What exactly are the church's more deeply rooted concerns?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

I can't think of any part of our park system that is designated for a particular group or activity, who would use it in such a manner, and leave it uninhabitable for any other activity. I really can't imagine a game of kick ball would be sanitary after the dogs have left (even after the bulk of solid poops are picked up). Most of the facilities and areas in Ann Arbor parks have more than one intended and possible use and are very accessible and available to most. Doesn't it seem fair to keep these areas available to as many people as possible?? Though there are fees attached to dog licenses, I can't imagine they cover the true economic costs in dollars let alone the loss of use for others. This is about equity and fair use.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Dog parks are fenced areas. The dogs and their owners are inside, everyone else is outside the fence. So unless a non-dog-owner's kid is running around inside the fenced-in dog park there isn't much chance of them getting knocked down by a dog or stepping in dog poo. Unless, of course, a leashed dog is allowed to take a dump in the picnic area by its irresponsible owner.

Chester Drawers

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Susan Rk, Toddlers also have minds of their own and, in my experience, don't always listen. So I promise that my dog won't bite or knock over your child. Can you guarantee the same behavior from your kid toward my dog?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

Last summer the city mowed the soccer field next to the Olson dog park about every two weeks. The dog park was mowed exactly twice all summer, even though it's a fraction of the size. I really don't think the upkeep on the dog parks is significant.The owners bring their own plastic bags, and their own water for the dogs, even though there is an automatic sprinkler system built into the soccer field just steps away.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

Have you seen the things toddlers do in playgrounds? EWWW totaly NOT sanitary.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

And I want to hike around in the skateboard park with my dog.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

Dogs are animals and have minds of their own. They can be taught but that doesn't guarantee that they will not bite, knock over a toddler, or always listen. My kids love to run around a baseball diamond and pretend there is a game. The also love to play catch and frisbee in the field, and no worries of fecal matter, being bitten, or knocked over.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

On the whole, there are few parks that serve one purpose, but there are many parks that have activity areas, including west park, which has a sound stage and baseball diamond which are for specific purposes. Taking a portion of the park and turning it into an area for dogs is a good thing. Of course, in San Fran, they don't separate the dogs from the rest of the park, because they don't have leash laws at their dog parks. I found that actually the dogs are much more well behaved because the owners are more careful.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

The cost of a dog park in this case is approximately the cost of the fencing, and maybe an ongoing supply of plastic bags. And, what's the point of being "available to as many people as possible" if that space isn't being used now? Who is getting crowded out? If you have other ideas of true economic costs, please bring them up and let's all get realistic.

Dog Guy

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

I find that Hunt Park is perfect for giving dogs off-leash exercise and doggish social time. None of the retired Catholics across Sunset Road have complained.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

isn't the point to have a dog park which is walkable from downtown Ann Arbor?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:16 a.m.

Hunt park would be a very poor choice for a dog park. Already, most of the people who use the park with their dogs are not considerate of the neighbors or other users of the park. Very few people keep their dogs on leash as courtesy and the law for the good of all requires. Many people have had dogs jump on them and frighten them. Hunt Park is too close to too many residences to be a dog park. Swift Run , where there is a park, and other parks that are not surrounded by so many homes are better choices for a new park.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

I parked on Daniel right next to Hunt today. As I was walking into the park ... dog crap that someone left behind. I take my children to the park regularly and unleashed dogs have charged at us. So no, Hunt Park is NOT the perfect place.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Careful...they'll send spies...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Box Score: People 1, Dogs 0 . . . I still say the best location is the fake "wetland" on Huron, next to the Y.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Dogs love to muck around in wetlands. Mine were doing it today despite the cold. The horror of it!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

If it were a predominately white church that did not want something so close to their front door step we would not have to read all of these yuppy comments. (regardless of whatever it was that they did not want so close to the church)

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

If it were a predominantly white church, they likely wouldn't have had the same complaints and we wouldn't be having this discussion. A lot of commenters don't seem to like the fact that cultural concerns can exist. It's like they'd rather pretend that race doesn't ever make any difference when clearly it does. There aren't white congregations that include elderly members who were attacked or lived in an environment where they feared being attacked by dogs controlled by racist police handlers.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

If it were a predominantly white church, the dog park probably would not have been moved, even with the same concerns. I think PAC went out of its way to be culturally sensitive.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

argo, Sonoflela is referring to the fact that the church is predominantly black. From the story: "...revealed the historically black congregation's..."


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

Speaking for myself, I didn't realize the church wasn't "predominantly white" until just now. My comments and opinions are unchanged.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

Julie Grand is a class act! Kudos to her for listening to the people and rethinking the location for the dog corral.

Linda Peck

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

I am so happy that the issues of the church were respected and the dog park will not go there. It would have been so awful to sit and pray or listen to the minister speak with dogs barking just outside. Thank you city council!


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

So very Christian of you.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

Tolerance, inclusion, charity, love... All words closely associated with christian churches. But no such luck here. In contrast with them, the local community has bent over backwards to be tolerant and charitable towards that church: even though the signs say PARK USE ONLY in large letters, the church regularly completely fills that public lot. Today, for instance, the park was virtually empty –– I saw no one else –– but there were only a few open spaces when I parked there. That's fine, we're all pretty tolerant of the church –– heck, we don't even think of trying to DRIVE down Chapin on a Sunday, let alone park anywhere nearby! I only wish that the church would display some of those same courtesies to the community at large.

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:04 p.m.

Does it really mater that the church uses the park lot for a few hours on Sunday....Jeeze o pete.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

" the local community has bent over backwards to be tolerant and charitable towards that church" how about some specific examples of that claim since your finger pointing. "the church regularly completely fills that public lot." That would be a concern and unfair if they do. but how do you know its always just the church? Is it possible that people park their and walk to work somewhere near by? Who monitors the lot for improper use?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Good. No park for dogs until the dogs pay for it themselves.

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

We DO pay for it!! We pay an annual fee for a Dog Park permit. Get your facts straight.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

Comparing dogs to kids is absurd. Children, especially those that are educated, grow up and give back to their communities. Dogs go on to have more dogs ... and dog owners. Meh.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:23 a.m. more church parking in the park...UNTIL YOU PAY!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Homeland, I'm sorry, I guess the sarcasm was lost

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

Again AJD you have compared school kids to dogs or is it dogs are like school kids...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

sort of like no schools for children, until their parents AND ONLY THEIR PARENTS can pay for it themselves....yeah.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

I believe that dogs and churches pay taxes at the same rate.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

I think it was very dry sarcasm. Or maybe whojix is a cat!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

And just in cased you missed it, the dog parks are maintained by dog park registration fees. And people in AA do pay a tax to own a dog, it is called a dog license. In fact, it is entirely possible that if a person were to live in their mother's basement, as some people are want to do, that my dog will have paid more taxes than them.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

Honestly, your remark is so strange I can't tell if you are being sarcastic. Dogs have owners, and owners pay taxes. It's not a park for the dogs, it is a park for dog owners to bring their dogs to get exercise. But then again, perhaps you are joking and just really like Gary Larson.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Praise Jesus.

Suzanne Taylor

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Clarification, please. Is God "for" or "against" dog parks?

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Immovable force met irresistible object. And Mississippi was the tie-breaker. Go figure.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Pity that the PAC let themselves be bullied in that way. And ironic that our supposedly-more-conservative neighbors to the north, in Pinckney, have shown themselves to be so much more tolerant and inclusive –– they've even got a church with its very own dog park!


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

In comparing the two churches and their neighbors, it would be important to remember the differing demographics.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

Pity that when someone voices legitimate concerns it is considered bulling!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

I really enjoy that park. I have a co-worker that attends the church. They even have a dog day.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

"Some of them who were dog owners still felt it was offensive to have a dog park right outside the steps of the church," i agree, there are enough dog parks in Ann Arbor right now and one less would please me, let the owners walk their dog on their own property or in their own areas taking their poop scoop


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

@AJD Please do not equate children with dogs.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:07 a.m.

Yes, like Macabre said, where does it stop? Does AA need to build pools? Baseball diamonds? Ice arenas? Parking structures? Sidewalks? Street lights? Why do our tax dollars have to go to such things as amenities for the community? Why do we need these conveniences just to make the city habitable and inviting to a broad and diverse citizenry? I say all tax dollars should go towards bureaucrat pensions and pay raises and only those people who vow to never bear children nor own pets of any kind should be allowed to remain as residents in this city. There shouldn't be one dollar spent by the city on something unless the city determines that EVERYONE will use it.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

Kitty no like doggies--big surprise there.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

Enough dog parks? There are exactly two dog parks. I was just reading that 40% of American families have at least one dog.Ann Arbor has a population of over 100,000. Remember dog owners pay the taxes that support all parks, not just the dog parks. Although as a daily dog park visitor with my dogs, I have the same irritation with owners not scooping up after their dogs that everyone else has. People have to be vigilant about watching their dogs, just as parents have to be vigilant about watching their kids.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

A ski slope sounds great. Let's do it. My pet may not be a citizen, but I am. And I may not use a dog park, but it is beneficial to the overall community. But perhaps I am forgetting that some people wish to live in a cave by themselves and not be bothered by anyone from the outside world, yet strangely choose to live in a predominantly liberal city.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Macabre Sunset, please tell me what you say to the person who may not have a family, who is in the wheelchair and their dog/companion needs exercise? There are several people that live in the high rise just west of this church and they walk their dogs in that park. I'm saying open your eyes, share this world.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

AJD - where does it stop? Does Ann Arbor need to build me a gun range so I can practice target shooting? Does Ann Arbor need to build a ski slope because I want to take up skiing? Some people take their doggies way too seriously. They are pets, not citizens.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

sort of like making all the folks with children home school them because those people without children don't want to be taxe for schools and don't want to hear children outside? Oh please wake up - this is a SHARED world.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Just for future reference, how far away do dogs need to be kept away so as to not be making a mockery of their congregation? We could call it the "separation of church and dog".


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

"separation of church and dog" ..... Ya don't hafta be dyslexic to think that's funny.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

They said they would not object to another location within the park in the article didn't they?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

further than directly across the street. Its not that hard to figure out. Its a big park.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

"Grand said it came to light that for various cultural reasons, including the fact that a number of the church's members were born in the South and have different attitudes about dogs, that putting a dog park directly across from the church would be seen as an impediment to its worship services." Wow, didn't see that one coming. Apparently the PAC didn't either.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

Greyhound Racing | Greyhound Racing


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

I'm from the south. Huh?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

I'm from the South and I have no idea what they're talking about.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

They race dogs down south.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Ann Arbor is a hip, green, technology town. Couldn't we have a bunch of little doggie treadmills, and harness the power of the dogs?

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:55 a.m.

I like the way you think. I have a friend who already runs her dog on a treadmill (by rewarding with treats). I have passed along the idea.

Soulful Adrenaline

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Kale. You have to have kale.

Albert Howard

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

Interesting decision


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Some people take themselves waaaaaay too seriously.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

I am confused how wishing to have a place to take your dog off leash is taking the responsibility of pet ownership too seriously. Isn't trying to get your animal exercise in a positive way a good thing? But perhaps you mean that making a big deal about a dog park being offensive is taking dogs way too seriously.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

and some people take dogs waaaaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooooo seriously

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

I assume you mean dog owners.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

....hopefully, this comment won't be deleted........

ms 2013

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

its fine with me i love all dogs anyway


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Yay! Ignorance and knee-jerk resistance to change still have power!


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

The knee-jerk was in planning the thing there in the first place!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Boy they really stepped in it on this one...