Readers, this is a gentle plea to treat your neighbors as well as you treat your dog.
First (by way of treating your dog nicely) the Northern Tail Dog Park is open again for the spring, summer, and fall season.
Now for the part where you are kind to others in the community: not everyone is as indulgent about your dog as you are. I have personally had a woman in a bathrobe run out of her house waving a baggy at me so I would pick up after my dogs (I had run out of bags). As stung as I was by being “busted” when I really am pretty careful about cleanup, I understood.
I have also watched from my front window as someone let their dog urinate over a bed of tender young flowers near the sidewalk. Apparently, it became one of that dog’s “spots,” and half of the bed died within a month.
We hear from readers that they are frustrated with a variety of dog-related indiscretions. These include failing to pick up solid waste, allowing dogs to urinate repeatedly on the same spot of grass or garden (which they like to do), and dropping full bags of waste into other peoples’ trash bins. If the last one seems excessive, think about bins kept inside a garage in the summer.
Finally, even if it baffles those of us who love them, some people are genuinely afraid of dogs. Others are afraid of big dogs injuring their children or smaller dogs. We can make life better for those around us by keeping our dogs leashed (even if we’re really, really sure there won’t be a problem) and being mindful of whether we’re encroaching on someone else’s space.
Those who are looking for places for their furry friends to play unleashed can use the Northern Tail Dog Park, which has 2.5 acres of fenced-in area and a separate, fenced-in space for dogs under 22 pounds. The park, located at 6400 Abbot Road (near the Aquatic Center) is open daily from 6AM to 10PM. The City asks that dog parents maintain at least a six-foot distance from other humans, and follow all other orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which as of the time of publication, includes wearing a mask.