After spending a day immersed in the utopian community of I came home to dystopian reality of dog owners in my local park. Basically Cianfrani park is a nice little community park that has been overrun by rude dog owners recently. I love dogs, having raised three. My dogs didn’t need a leash and I walked them daily off-leash, so I understand these people.

The contrast in the community is striking. At barcamp I was surrounded by people that see the web as a way for people to collaborate and communicate. These dog owners put up a site to champion their cause rather then conduct a dialog on the ‘official’ site. On the site some poster says that ‘unjust laws call for civil disobedience’. Most of the dog owners are very nice and considerate. It only takes a few bad apples to ruin a reputation. This injustice I understand since I ride a motorcycle and automatically get associated with obnoxious load harley’s and kids that recklessly weave through traffic.

Here is what I posted to the ‘dog owners’ site, maybe it was a little dramatic, but after listening to some of the people that care about this community discussing the topic I was moved to write something. Writing a blog post is the least I could do. I’ll try to do more over the next few weeks and go talk to the dog owners and see where it goes.

Philadelphia Leash Law

Leashes are required by law in the city.

There is no conspiracy against dog owners here. My neighbors have been organizing park actives in association with the city since before most of the dog owners were born. They meet regularly and openly. They meet to discuss decorating it for the holidays, they meet to discuss how to fix the dog holes, they meet to address 6 year olds that get scared on unleashed animals.

I’ve raised 3 50lb+ dogs that were all well trained and I never needed them to be leashed. BUT when a child or adult came close and looked nervously I had the respect and consideration to leash my animal as not to scare them. People are afraid of dogs. I personally don’t understand that, but I respect it.

I’ve personally asked dog owners here to control their pets and gotten snide remarks.

There are people here who care about quality of life and meet in person to manage the park. That would be a better place to have a dialogue then posting this site encouraging an ‘illegal’ activity. Civil disobedience is admirable when championing civil rights, its a little weak when it scares children.

The official site