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Old 11.10.2010, 13:44
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Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

Preface: I like dogs. Just about any race. I donate against animal cruelty, taken dogs in for shelter, saw a dog through her (natural) death.

Situation: Where I live there's a fantastic new area with different playground stations. It's a huge car-free zone, clearly intended for the safe use of children. In big patches throughout is grass and pathways. Naturally it's also become a dog meeting, walking, and free-roaming mega center.

Problem: Most people are not leashing -not on pathways, not near the ducks, but especially not when they see kids coming or as their dog nears the actual playground areas. In fact some are even using the play equipment to train their furry companions.

I've found that dog owners are extremely sensitive to any critique of their dog; the answer is much the same... my dog doesn't bite / chase / jump / yodel, or whatever... "It must be the way your son looked at him", one owner told me after his Sheppard fem bound up and onto the seat of the pram my son was sitting in. We've had dogs run at us, take food from my son's hand, and nip my leg. One came up to the fixture my infant was playing at and had a lovely, long pee. I swear he winked at us as he moved on.

This brings me to the most irritating point: Urine. Dog urine.

Our four-legged creatures are allowed to urinate in the sand and pebbles of the playground and on the wooden poles that children love to climb and hop on. Ugh! I'm basically expected to pick up my playing infant because a pooch is approaching the grounds? I don't go to dog parks, wait until they hounds all settled and having a good time, then pull up my skirt and wet their premises. Not the same thing, I know, I know; the dogs would likely love it. I'm merely illustrating how common place and accepted dog urine seems to be, because no one says a word. Whereas I would likely be carted away to some hygiene rehabilitation program and stripped of my citizenship.

There are no signs prohibiting unleashed dogs at this park (despite Gemeinde rules that dogs should be leashed in public areas). Parents look away and say it's no big deal -it's "just a dog". One man told me that my culture of people naturally hate dogs. How he knew what culture I'm from is beyond me; maybe he's psychic or maybe I ate his dog in another life. Who knows.

Dog owners, I implore you... since when did urination became a non plus? Supemarkets shelve a huge variety of toilet cleaning supplies, so obviously we've got some basic understanding of hygiene. Doctors ask for urine samples in search of bacterial infections -and I've never seen anyone at a doctor's office pick up that little cup without gloves. We drum it into our kids to wash their hands after the loo or the boogieman germs will get them. We're meant to close the lid of the toilet before flushing and keep toothbrushes out of the area. We've got huge underground systems built especially to get urine as far away from us as possible.

And yet somehow, and too often it seems, people think this doesn't apply to dogs. Is dog urine magical? Does it vanish into nothingness?

Solution: I'm thinking of going A Modest Proposal route; extreme, to drive home the point. I'll put masks on the kids, bring disinfectant and toilet brushes to the park, and basically walk around armed and ready to spray anyone who dares lift a hind leg. Or perhaps I should personally take to squatting over the pebbles when the urge strikes? You know, those poles would make great target practice for my potty-learning kid. Heck, I say if you've got anything cute with legs at home, gerbils, rabbits, iguanas... bring'm on down! Just call'em Rover and no one will protest.
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Old 11.10.2010, 13:55
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

Seriously one of the best rants I've ever read on EF for a long time. Well written.

Unfortunately, some dog owners have zero common sense when it comes to letting their dogs "go". This is one of the most frustrating things for me - it gives the rest of us a bad name. Anywhere where children play - like the playground is really a huge no-no. Kids love to play in the sand and sure, it gets absorbed but its terribly unhygenic. One thing you can do is to speak to the gemeinde and possibly explore the option of a petition to put up "no dogs allowed" signs just at the playground itself. Very Swiss I know but common decency, just like common sense, is unfortunately not as common as we think it is.
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Old 11.10.2010, 13:59
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

I saw a dog let go right in the middle of the Baden Bahnhof on Saturday. Fair play we all need to go sometime, but when I walked by again 10 minutes later the puddle was still there..dopey owner couldnt even be asked to get a few paper towels and clean up
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:04
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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Seriously one of the best rants I've ever read on EF for a long time. Well written.
Agree



Good disclaimer to start with, building some momentum, with nice illustrative cross-species examples to drive home the points, with some amusing suggestions for action.

Look forward to hearing about the follow-up. Pictures would be appreciated.

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Old 11.10.2010, 14:06
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

Parks are large and really, ideally, it should be available to all, if people keep sticking to the most basic rules, like picking up poop and have their dogs pee on the tree, etc. Back home they fence the kid playing areas, not because of kidnapping but exactly for those free roaming dogs not to run in and bug kids or soil the premises. I like open play spaces, but maybe if the community fences just a bit for young kids and puts up the signs for owners to leash their dogs as summerrain suggested? Would you think of writing a letter to ask?
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:11
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

A friend of mine here in Basel got her son's hand full of poop from a slide on the kids playground. Apparently a dog went up there to do his business...
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:11
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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Parks are large and really, ideally, it should be available to all, if people keep sticking to the most basic rules, like picking up poop and have their dogs pee on the tree, etc. Back home they fence the kid playing areas, not because of kidnapping but exactly for those free roaming dogs not to run in and bug kids or soil the premises. I like open play spaces, but maybe if the community fences just a bit for young kids and puts up the signs for owners to leash their dogs as summerrain suggested? Would you think of writing a letter to ask?
Actually I wasnt suggesting dogs be leashed but more like, the dogs not being allowed in the specific areas where the children play. In that way, the dogs are allowed to still run free, and kids have a pee/poo free area to play in - sounds like a win-win situation for both sides, rather than oppressing one. The only thing parents need to worry about is their children being licked by other children and getting chicken pox, flu or whatever, rather than some doggie-pee related disease.
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:19
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

This post is very well written... making a dog lover such as myself far more receptive to aggravation toward our four legged cuddlebugs.

I agree entirely with summerrain .... definitely mention something to your Gemeinde about a "no dogs allowed" sign ...

It might be the most effective course of action.

Goodluck
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:21
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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...The only thing parents need to worry about is their children being licked by other children and getting chicken pox, flu or whatever, rather than some doggie-pee related disease.

Haha! So far my favorite quote from this thread....
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:21
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

Thanks for the responses. I should (sheepishly ) confess that I have a degree in English Lit, though I rarely get to practice since I spend most of my time hiding behind park trees, ready to pounce on unsuspecting Poodles.
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:25
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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Problem: Most people are not leashing -not on pathways, not near the ducks, but especially not when they see kids coming or as their dog nears the actual playground areas. In fact some are even using the play equipment to train their furry companions.
In my day it was just the bullies that we had to contend with who were hogging the playground equipment..!!


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Old 11.10.2010, 14:30
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

My sort of rant, but with a serious point.

Owners without the common sense to control were their dogs go is such a needless pain for every fidophile, and just gives the fidophobes more ammunition for draconian dog laws.
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:48
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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[...] Where I live there's a fantastic new area with different playground stations. It's a huge car-free zone, clearly intended for the safe use of children. In big patches throughout is grass and pathways. [...]

There are no signs prohibiting unleashed dogs at this park (despite Gemeinde rules that dogs should be leashed in public areas).
In the Canton of Zurich it is not a question of dogs having to be leashed but dog owners are actually forbidden of taking along their dogs (leashed or unleashed) in the following places:

* in Friedhöfen,
* in Badeanstalten,
* auf Pausenplätzen von Schulanlagen,
* auf Spiel- oder Sportfeldern,
* an Orten, die von den zuständigen Behörden entsprechend signalisiert wurden.

http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/ted/de/i...ung/hunde.html
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Old 11.10.2010, 14:51
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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In my day it was just the bullies that we had to contend with who were hogging the playground equipment..!!


If only we could understand what dogs are thinking. I wonder what this one would say.
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Old 11.10.2010, 15:01
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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If only we could understand what dogs are thinking. I wonder what this one would say.
Humans can be such idiots!
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Old 11.10.2010, 15:03
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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If only we could understand what dogs are thinking. I wonder what this one would say.
"Is this what you call a wedgie?" or most likely: "'s'cue me, my balls are stuck"
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Old 11.10.2010, 15:04
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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If only we could understand what dogs are thinking. .
EASY -
1. were's my dinner
2. Were's that nice park with the ninja cleaning lady
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Old 11.10.2010, 15:11
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

You'll never get the majority of dog owners to co-operate in this country. As many threads on this forum will testify, even when the owners clear up after their dog, they put the little yellow bag full of dog shit under car tyres, on benches, in water fountains etc.

I'm from the other extreme - dogs are animals. They should be farmed and eaten or left wild.

Yeah, now what will you do. You wanted to "thank" the first part but "groan" the second ;)
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Old 11.10.2010, 15:42
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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If only we could understand what dogs are thinking. I wonder what this one would say.
EASY -
1. were's my dinner
2. Were's that nice park with the ninja cleaning lady
Not too far from the truth.

Computer programmers tried to mimic a dog's behaviour by putting in all these different factors, but it just didn't work. So they simplified it to three competing urges:
1) play
2) eat
3) sleep or defecate (can't remember which)

Whichever of the three urges was greatest at the time, was the activity performed by the model.

Hey presto, the model behaved like a dog.

Sorry, this info is from a few years ago, so I have no idea about the source.
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Old 11.10.2010, 16:25
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Re: Unleashed Dogs at Playgrounds: An Argument Against Urination

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The only thing parents need to worry about is their children being licked by other children and getting chicken pox, flu or whatever, rather than some doggie-pee related disease.
Is this rampant thing in your community summerrain? Get yourself a strong tan, as my dark skin works wonders at repelling people here. I'm hardly ever sick! But I think that's a rant for another time, eh?
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