Below is a note from a neighbor to which I can relate. But first, my perspective on the issue-->
I have two kids -- one who likes dogs and the other who is more hesitant. People on the street ate regularly saying, "Oh my dog loves kids."
Two issues with this way of thinking:
- The kids may not love dogs and don't welcome even a friendly face-filling slobber, and
- How does Mr. Dog Owner know how the pet might react when a 2 year old unexpectedly and mistakenly pokes the pooch in the eye?
Back to the note from a neighbor:
Last weekend in Holly Park, my son was charged by an unleashed dog. The dog's owner tried to call the dog back without success. My son,who is VERY comfortable with dogs, was terrified. In the ensuing commotion, everything turned out okay. The dog was probably more interested in the scent of our gold en retriever on my son than in anything else, but we were all pretty shaken, particularly Ben.
Upfront let me say that we currently have two dogs in our household and consider ourselves both pro-kid and pro-dog without any conflict. And a large portion of the unleashed dogs in Holly Park seem to be under voice control.
We also walk our dogs in Holly Park daily, but always on leash. (In fact, a year or so ago, we had a much more dangerous and difficult encounter when three unleashed dogs went after our dog on leash. The woman with the unleashed dogs couldn't control them, and we had to pull them apart from a pretty intense fight.)
Bottom line, I am not on a mission to get dogs out of leash-only Holly Park, but I have a hard time with owners ignoring this law(particularly when the top of the Hill off-leash area is just blocksaway.) And recent SF events have probably made us even more acutely uneasy at the sight of an unleashed dog approaching a child.
So, I'm hesitant to raise on old controversy, but I have a couple of questions around this issue.
* Has this happened to other people?
* Apparently, leash law enforcement either doesn't happen or doesn't work as a deterrent. (At a neighborhood safety meeting several months ago, concerns were voiced around unleashed dogs in Holly Park, and the police said that they try to enforce infractions. But, I think we can all agree that the police need to focus on other challenges.) Are there other ways to address this problem?
* Would an enclosed dog run for Holly Park deter the off-leash activity in the rest of the Park? Has that been the case at St. Mary's?
* If yes, was an enclosed dog run ever considered during the Holly Park renovation for any of the large, sloping open space on either side?
* And if a dog run was considered, why didn't it move forward? If not, how would we go about trying to get something like that started?
Apologies for the long message, but I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts.