Left In Lowell

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May 4, 2013

Lowell has gone to the dogs!

by at 1:08 pm.

 photo 51e7a181-c835-43c6-825a-9be552b419fc_zps89da164a.jpg

I know in the larger picture this issue which I am about to discuss is not as important as some other problems but it is a quality of life issue. I look at it as a version of the broken window theory.

I am grateful for the Parks Department for posting this sign. I assume that it is not unique to this fence and can be found at all public parks not just at the one where I snapped this picture.
It is evident that Lowell’s dog population is slowly increasing. I do not have hard numbers to support my observation since many dog owners do not officially register their pet with the City but I consider myself a good observer of life in our city. How do I know that their dogs are not registered? I look at the collar.

I am not a dog owner but I have many, many friends who are so please do not attack me as an anti-dog person. I have nothing against dogs except that we have some irresponsible dog owners and we also have some inconsiderate dog owners.

Again, nothing against dogs, some of my best friends have dogs. As a matter of fact, the Lowell blogsphere is dominated by dog lovers. It is the irresponsible dog owners who have to be policed that I am addressing.

So it was with interest that I read, City Manager Bernie Lynch tweet that the City is looking for a non-dog owner to join the Animal Advisory Board. This is not the first time that the Manager has put out the call for volunteers for this position, apparently no one is answering it. I had seriously considered applying but honestly I think with this current CC, I may get the Samkhan Khoeun* treatment. Then my epitaph would read “Here lays a woman who could not even get elected to advise the dog catcher.”

Have you noticed the trend of owning two dogs? There are the mother and child combination (dogs of the same breed, one fully grown and the other a puppy; there are the twins ( I do not know if there are siblings but the two dogs are the same breed and about the same age; and then there is the random two dogs that you have rescued (i.e. Lynne) or purchased. I do see a lot of people walking two dogs. Last Saturday, I was walking behind a woman who had two different size dogs and as she was approaching a utility pole, the two animals decided that one would go left of the pole and the other one right of the pole. Needless to say, there was a traffic jam on the sidewalk.

Just today, I was driving north on Lawrence Street, I saw a woman at the small park located right after Moore Street. She had a very large dog and no bag in her hands. While the dog was doing his business, she was busy socializing on the phone. This park has a very large sign that reads “DOGS NOT ALLOWED.” It is a relatiely small park but there is a lot of kids that play there. Can anyone be more inconsiderate?

If they cannot properly take care of their dog, maybe they should get a cat or better yet a gold fish.

5 Responses to “Lowell has gone to the dogs!”

  1. Renee Says:

    No one?

    Most recently I saw a problem with dogs at a child’s sporting event.

    Apparently a owners two dogs would bark at every one else’s dog. The owner was pretty much stuck, she couldn’t just leave because her child was playing the game. And whenever another dog came by, we had to hear ’shut up’. Like the dog would understand? Every minute ’shut up’.

    A dog with a good demeanor at home, may have a completely different demeanor in public.

  2. Michael Straw Says:

    From my casual observation there are two types of people in Lowell: responsible people and dog owners. Limiting my observation to the Riverwalk I can tell you that it became an open sewer for dogs, especially this winter. Yellow snow banks, piles of dog waste, dogs off leash tearing up the park between the Perkins Lofts and Renaissance buildings. Oh, and the trash barrels overflowing with green bags of dog crap. The city or volunteers can’t empty these barrels every day so maybe the dog owners should take the green bags inside with them. There is an empty green bag caught in a tree behind the Tsongas Center, if you have a tree-climbing dog send him or her up to get it. Finally, I know nobody’s dog bites and they are all very nice, but I don’t want one jumping up on my fancy clothes so I have to sit at work all day with paw prints on my pants.

  3. Magnolia Says:

    Mimi - Apply for the position!!!! We Have at least 3 dogs in one block that are not registered and their barking is really annoying. I could use a good set of ears that might actually listen.

  4. Lynne Says:

    I for one am tired of walking my dogs and having to dodge poo on the sidewalks. I am also tired of dogs (even just in my direct area) hopping poorly built fences. Regularly. They are going to get hit by a car, they also then approach my wary and rather excitable dogs who are ON their leashes. There is a reason for these laws. It might even to exist to protect your dog. If your dog comes up to mine excitedly and there’s a confrontation, guess what? If my dog was on leash and yours wasn’t, doesn’t matter who started it and who ended it. YOU are liable. And even the sweetest dog can react badly to a specific situation.

    I don’t often walk our two together, unless I am in a rush. (They both need different sorts of training and handling, making it a not so easy task when both are together with a single handler.) But I can tell you, both dogs have bags in a dispenser on their leashes, and I am quite adept at handling both of them and picking up after them at the same time. I am a first time dog owner, and have only owned for a couple years, so if I can do it, anyone can.

    PS - yellow snowbanks are inevitable. You can’t pick up pee. It’s just not possible. And even a fixed male will mark (pee in multiple spots over an entire walk). You should have seen my backyard once the big snow hit and we only had a ten by ten foot area cleared…

    And as someone with a somewhat reactive dog (two really, but when the min pin is reactive people just go, AWWWW, even though I try not to let her get away with it, and out in public she’s mostly just shy), I can tell you, you don’t *bring* your reactive dog places he can’t handle. Doing that is bad for you, bad for the dog, and bad for the people who have to put up with it. Also, you can work with them to get them to snap out of it, if you learn how. But yelling at them is not going to do it. I should know from personal experience…it’s much more of a “let go of your hate and use the force zen” sort of thing than it is dominating the dog with your yelling. Yelling is not dominating…no matter how much your little horror is pissing you off or how angry it makes you when a perfectly good magazine becomes an unreadable pile of confetti before you even get home to see that it was delivered…

  5. Lynda Clark Says:

    The City is looking for a resident who does NOT own a dog to serve on the Animal Advisory Committee. They meet quarterly at City Hall or more often if a need arises. If anyone is interested in serving, please call me @ 978.674.1001 or submit a resume to lclark@lowellma.gov

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