Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Dog Parks Mean to Me: Gordon and Jake

To show our support and need for this new dog park, we're asking South Loop residents and dog lovers in Chicago to share what dog parks mean to them.  You've met Kirsten and Ella, Elizabeth and Raul, now meet Gordon Stewart, board member of the South Loop Dog PAC, and his dog Jake.

My dog has been my loyal companion from the day I adopted him from the animal control center 8 years ago. It has been not only my responsibility but my privilege to provide him with everything he needs to be a healthy and healthful member of the community.

He is obviously attached to me, and though not a robot, he obediently follows my lead and commands. He doesn’t run up to strangers wagging his tail but, he could not be interpreted as threatening. Although he is not especially fond of the high energy of children, he will quite tolerantly endure their touch as they learn to not fear all large dogs.

Although frequently aloof, towards most people and animals, he will gently greet both with a wag and a sniff and then be on his way. Sometimes he meets “the right” playmate and may encourage that dog to engage in a chase or even a wrestle of sorts.

That said, I feel that Off Leash Areas are a place to build relationships. My dog and I may, or may not, choose to build a closer bond with others but, either way we will acknowledge and welcome you as a member of the community. Increased encounters cement our bond, either close or distant, and this familiarity breeds a feeling of comfort, safety and often times friendship in this congested atmosphere of anonymity.    


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We welcome discussion of issues related to the proposed off-leash dog park at 16th & Wabash. Comments are held for moderation.