Dog Park Safety (part 1) – Tips for staying safe

February 4, 2009

This past weekend, a woman was stabbed while her dog on-leash dog attacked another dog inside the dog park at Mockingbird Point. Our friend Courtney Keyes (owned by three dachshunds, including the amazingly adorable Thor) wrote an article about dog park safety for the Dallas Morning news that I think everyone should read – it’s located here. (Clicking on that link will open a new window, so read it and come back, because I’ve got more to add to what she’s already said so well.)

Dog parks can be the most wonderful thing in the world, or a real disaster waiting to happen. We’ve enjoyed the Dallas dog park since it opened in 2001 (My first Cardi, Bou, was featured in a Dallas Morning News article about it, even!), and I maintain the (not very busy) Dallas Dog Parks Flickr pool.  Mal got most of his running exercise there as a puppy, and I can count on one hand the number of scary experiences any of my dogs have had.

All that said, I no longer take my dogs- any of them- to the dog park. Part of this can be attributed to my move and the new Dallas animal ordinances that make Mal a contraband doggy (packing unlicensed balls- Rittie and Lizzie are not spayed, but they’re not so obvoius as Mr. Hairless!), but that’s not entirely it. Right now, the risks just aren’t worth it (I’ll talk about those and how we can fix them in a future post.)

For now though? My top tips for dog park safety. Read the rest of this entry »


Hidden gems at local shelters

December 12, 2008

Everyone knows I’m a major advocate for responsible breeders. But if you want a shelter dog, hey, that’s awesome too.

So, that said, and in the nature of the season and all that, I’d like to PLEASE beg anyone local to consider making a donation to some of the smaller local shelters around the DFW metroplex- specifically the Ferris city animal control (I-45 at Malloy Bridge Road in Ferris, about 40 minutes south of Dallas) and Lancaster Animal Services (707 Main street in Lancaster, zip code 75134).

Both of these shelters suffer from a severe funding shortage and a lack of visibility to adopters. The Lancaster shelter almost ALWAYS has small dogs up for adoption (including, at the moment, an absolutely Westie/poodle/bichon type mix, gentle, VERY sweet, which Lindsay and I went and groomed yesterday morning) and the Ferris Shelter has a slightly more typical assortment of medium and large mixed breeds, as well as frequent puppies.

If you would like to donate, Ferris can use sanitizable toys (like rubber bones and Kongs). Lancaster is unable to use anything that doesn’t get consumed in one sitting (like rawhide chips) in the cages but could REALLY use grooming supplies, particularly towels, inexpensive shears, and if someone had one theyweren’t using, a better grade of clipper, and waterless shampoo. Ferris also needs volunteers- Lindsay and I have tried but haven’t been able to make it work with our schedules.

Neither of these shelters spends ANY money on advertising, fancy mailings, or booths at the mall. They work with breed rescue where they can, and are both staffed by people who really do care and are doing their best. Please, help them out!