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Irresponsible dog owners break oil spill rules

By Gary Bogue
Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 8:54 am in Primal Rant.

Here’s a Primal Rant about a few dog owners who are breaking some important rules at the Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond.

Dear Gary:
We don’t have a dog, but we like to walk in and near the Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond. It’s fun to watch the dogs play, and see birds in the nearby marsh, and the views of the Bay are spectacular.

Due to the oil spill, there are hazmat teams working on the shoreline every day. There are signs everywhere warning people not to come into contact with the water, and yellow “caution” tape strung between the signs all along the shore. It is our impression that the warning signs also apply to dogs, and that the idea is for owners to keep their dogs under voice control at all times, or, failing that, on a leash, to keep them away from possible contact with toxic sludge.

However, as we walk along the path, there are abundant wet dog tracks and evidence of places where dogs have shaken water off. Clearly there are many dog owners who cannot (or will not) keep their dogs out of the Bay during the oil spill cleanup.

What strikes me as odd about this is that the Point Isabel Dog Owners Association presents itself as being concerned about the herbicides used by the East Bay Regional Park District to control weeds. How can they worry about that when black goo washes up on the shoreline rocks with every high tide and gets on their pets’ paws?

Point Isabel is a self-policed dog park and its rules seem very reasonable to me. Most of the dog owners are very responsible, although we have seen more than a few who get distracted and don’t even notice that their dog has pooped. Today we saw a man with two dogs off-leash in a protected marsh area which was clearly marked with signs saying that dogs must be on leash at all times and stay on trails.

I’m finding it increasingly stressful to observe human disregard for reasonable rules, as I don’t feel that I am in a position to “correct” the dog owners, although I do yell at bicyclists, who are not supposed to ride through the designated dog park area. It only takes a few people to ruin everything for everyone.

As a suggestion for your readers, they might try keeping their dog on leash when first arriving at a dog park, until it poops; then let it off leash.

Thanks for letting me sound off.
B., El Cerrito

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2 Responses to “Irresponsible dog owners break oil spill rules”

  1. vipereen Says:

    Okay, I’m one of the guilty ones. I hadn’t been to Pt. Isabel in over 2 years and didn’t think about the taped off area until it was too late. In fact, my dog went in the water where it wasn’t taped off, so I really didn’t think about it until I saw the signs. I took him to the vet and made sure he was okay. I now walk him at Lake Chabot or Pt. Pinole parks. In the middle ground, far from the water.

  2. Gary Bogue Says:

    Thanks for responding to this. Much appreciated. I think you were wise to check with your vet. Glad he was OK.

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