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Dog Owners Have Rights 

Letter of the Week

I know just how Mr. Orr feels about dogs in Sawyer Park because I feel the same way about kids. Children demand so many things these days: swing sets and slides; basketball and tennis courts; baseball and soccer fields; running tracks and pools; even skate parks. When I was growing up that problem didn't exist. For toys we had a box of dirt and some lead painted blocks of wood. Going outside to play meant just that - running around vacant lots in the dirt amongst rusty nails and broken bottles. If we wanted to get wet we would have to wait for it to rain and play in the puddles. So what if we came back bleeding occasionally or broke out in some ugly rash. I tell you we were happy!

The problem these days are all the contrived devices to substitute for good parenting: silly puppet characters, Chinese plastic toys, video games, the Internet, iPods and the like. It makes it possible to raise a kid while sitting back sipping lattes all day. If people find parenting so hard they should have just choose to breed a slow kid that fits their lifestyle. It's that easy right?

The real problems arise when those children go outside and expect there's someone trailing after them cleaning up. The wads of sticky chewing gum, candy wrappers and soda cans found everywhere children congregate trash the places for subsequent users. I even cleaned up an abandoned diaper today coming home from the park - thrown right out onto the street near my house. Talk about unsanitary and disgusting!

No, children should all be leashed firmly to their parents whenever out in public and quietly locked up in the back yard the rest of the time where their ear splitting shrieks won't disturb this personal little heaven of mine you all happen live in.

But seriously, the issue of dogs off leash in Sawyer isn't about the dogs. It's about the tax paying citizens of the city who own dogs. If some of those tens of thousands happen to enjoy throwing a fuzzy green ball for our furry companions to retrieve it's no more stupid than other people who prefer sailing plastic disks, throwing big orange balls through metal rings, or knocking little white balls into gopher holes with metal sticks. We pay into the park system just as much as anyone else and it's not unreasonable to expect some consideration in return for our hard earned dollars.

In other words - play nice and share!

Rick C. Johnson

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