Santa Fe Scoop

Over the weekend, while walking my dogs in the off-leash dog park, I watched a man flying his kite. It was one of those kinds of kites that flap and make a whirring sound. A large German Shepard (mix?) became "spooked" and started to aggressively bark and charge in the direction of the kite. I immediately called Susan, being my POC for dog-park stuff, and she suggested I call the non-emergency number at the police station. I did, and explained my concern that this was setting up a situation that could become dangerous for the dogs and other people. Unfortunately, as no law was being broken, there was nothing the officers could do to remediate the situation. I remember when we had similar concerns with off-road vehicles; bicycles and the like. I also had a challenging experience a few years ago when teenagers were using the slope to sled on, freaking out dogs left and right ~ sigh ~....consequently I use the enclosed park by the shelter most of the time, now. I love to hike the arroyos, but much of that love is centered on the feeling that I am in a safe-space for dogs. Feeling challenged by this most recent experience, I would love to hear some feedback from other Scoop members. Thanks - Donna.

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Comment by Ben Swan on January 12, 2009 at 4:35pm
Occasionally I've seen a patrol car in the parking lot, but that's about it. It's hard to go up to someone and talk to them, especially if you have your own dogs to worry about. There is sort of a loose group of dog parkers who help out with questions. This might be something they'd want to take up. I think most people are reasonable about stopping unsafe behavior if they realize it.
Comment by Donna on January 12, 2009 at 3:32pm
~sigh~ he was approached by me and others.
He had actually been on the "green" (as it were) and moved to the far side of the parking lot. But the activity was still close enough that dogs were charging into the lot, creating an unsafe environment. The challenging part, for me, is that there does not seem to be any park-official, or other monitoring agent who can assist folks with making better dog-friendly decisions about how the dog-park space is utilized.
Comment by Ben Swan on January 12, 2009 at 12:38pm
I think I would have asked the person to go to another spot, not so close to the dogs. There is plenty of space in that area. I certainly wouldn't want to fly a kite in an area where there are so many "landmines." I bet the person didn't realize he was spooking the dogs. I could be wrong. Safety of the dogs should certainly be the utmost concern because if the dogs are safe, then the humans are as welll.

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