Friday, September 18, 2009

Dog Park Heaven

It was about time, only twenty-odd years – and by God they WERE odd years – for the Dog Park to emerge at 17th and S Streets NW. I suppose that other births have taken longer (voting representation in Congress for example), but the struggle over the future of that smallish triangle of land was titanic.

The problem was that everyone had ideas on how that precious land should be used, and the idea folk were, all of them, quite rabid on their subject. There were off-the-leash dog people, and baby/small child people, and neighbors who went to bed early, and neighbors who definitely didn't want sleeping done there, etc., etc. Everyone had graduate degrees in public speaking or lawyering or sermon delivery, everyone had taken part in college Debate Club or had preached in Hyde Park or had become skilled speakers for (or against) anarchism or Transcendental Meditation, almost everyone could outshout Ethel Merman or Rush Limbaugh. And all were willing to show off their skills. Politicians took one look at the problem and decided there was no marked advantage to be had by taking up the cudgel for one or another position, and so ran off, promises fading into nothingness as they retreated to the relative sanity of a 17th Street watering hole.

So it was a miracle that the Dog Park came into actuality. It is a classy production, and the dogs love it. They have everything they could possibly want, short of a paw-driven dog biscuit-dispensing machine. Water, a hill that soaks up dog urine, and lots of other pooches to play with. Thirty to fifty dogs can be found there in weekend prime time, swirling around to imaginary music only they can hear. Their owners look almost as ecstatic as the dogs – they get to socialize as well. Even those without dogs have something just for them, an elegant gathering spot just ouside the southwesternmost corner of the Dog Park. There, the dogless ones can congregate and chat of matters non-canine. My late Irish Wolfhound, Ború of sacred memory, would have felt he was in Heaven. But of course, he IS in Heaven now! The sophisticated dogs now enjoying the Dupont Circle Dogpark at 17th and S may view Heaven's offerings with a bit of jaundice. They've already seen the best that Washington has to offer.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Dog Parks! A neighborhood is not a true neighborhood without a dog park in my mind. They negate the need for a Starbucks. I am glad that your neighbors understood the value and advocated for it.

    "If my dog is barred by the heavenly guard
    We'll both of us brave the heat!"
    W. Dayton Wedgefarth