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Making a federal case out of a dog park

Posted by Your Town  August 5, 2009 07:31 PM

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Each day this summer, Rick Dyer has headed into the sylvan woods of Newton’s Cold Spring Park for a jog and surveillance.

Dyer, who lives up the block from the 67-acre park’s entrance, says he inevitably finds his target: Dogs springing from behind copses of white oaks and cottonwoods, unleashed and yapping, headed for the city’s experimental off-leash meadow.

‘‘I take notes on the owners — their height and such,’’ Dyer said.

In an era when dog whisperers tout the benefits of socializing dogs with other dogs, leash-free areas are the stuff of many a municipal agenda, often not without controversy. But here in the highlands of this suburb, the radical tenor of the anti-dog park campaign has taken many by surprise.

Residents opposed to the off-leash area have photographed dog owners on their way into Cold Spring Park and recorded their cars’ license plate numbers. Some stand sentry, reprimanding dog owners who allow their dogs to run loose outside the designated area and reporting the violators to police. Some have left notes on windshields of illegally parked cars. They have barraged aldermen with emails recounting the offenses. To no end. The off-leash area has remained, taking with it, the residents say, their suburban oasis.

Now, they say, they have been left with no choice but to hire a lawyer and make federal case of the matter.

In a letter mailed to Mayor David Cohen last week, Peter F. Harrington, the lawyer retained for an undisclosed fee by Dyer and other residents, warned that adding the off-leash area to the park requires approval from the US Secretary of the Interior. He argued that the off-leash area has decreased the recreational uses of the park, in violation of provisions attached to federal money given by the department for park improvements.

Jeremy Solomon, spokesman for the mayor, declined comment on the letter, saying that the city’s legal department is reviewing it.

Cold Spring’s off-leash area, the first of its kind in Newton, opened in March on a trial basis for nine months. Until then, Newton had not allowed dogs to be off-leash anywhere except on their owners’ property. The Cold Spring off-leash area is restricted to a two-acre meadow bounded by trees. Signs remind owners that dogs must be on leashes elsewhere in the park.

From the start, opponents complained of cars parked in front for their homes and dogs running rampant.

‘‘We couldn’t go on the trails because we’d get attacked by the dogs,’’ said Jim Possinger, a neighbor of the park.

Supporters say the off-leash area has made their dogs better behaved — allowing them to expend excess energy and learn to interact with one another.

‘‘You have to exercise and socialize your dog, ’’ said Liz Chinian, a Newton resident and frequent off-leash area visitor with her mini-poodle, Greta. ‘‘That’s what Cesar says,’’ she said, referring to Cesar Millan, of the National Geographic Channel’s The Dog Whisperer.

The battle between the sides has grown so pitched that regular visitors of the off-leash area have stopped parking near the entrance closest to the homes of opponents.

‘‘We felt like we were being harassed,’’ said Diane Silver, a supporter of the off-leash area, who visits daily with her mini LabraDoodle.

Opponents of the area say they are assaulted with nasty looks.

‘‘Anyone who doesn’t have a dog is looked on with attitude,’’ Dyer said.

City officials say they are hopeful that the volume of visitors to the Cold Spring off-leash area will diminish if six other proposed off-leash areas win approval. Two of those areas could be approved as soon as September. In the meantime, in an effort to appease opponents, the city recently banned parking on one side of the streets near a heavily used entrance to the park.

‘‘We want to be problem solvers,’’ said Susan Albright, an alderman and member of the off-leash advisory committee.

She said the uproar has been among the most voluble she’s experienced as an elected official.

Yet she said, ‘‘This is Newton. People speak their minds.’’

On a recent evening, as cars pulled into newly illegal spaces near an entrance to Cold Spring Park, nearby residents kept watch.

‘‘Look! Look!’’ said one woman as she eyed a Volkswagon Jetta with an out-of-state license plate. ‘‘What is that plate? Vermont? For all I know, that’s a dog-walker. Now they’re getting out and the radio is blaring. I don’t want to be a meanie and call the cops. But really.’’

She added, ‘‘Until you live here, you just can’t understand.’’


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175 comments so far...
  1. These nuts need to get a life. Seriously.

    Posted by Chuck August 5, 09 08:33 PM
  1. If someone left a note like that on my windshield, it wouldn't be my dog who relieved himself on it after tossing it on the ground.......

    Posted by dave August 5, 09 08:44 PM
  1. Please, get a life. The people that are getting all worked up over this should dedicate their time and effort to a real issue.

    - Non Dog Owner

    Posted by Jeff August 5, 09 09:07 PM
  1. Good lord; if this doesn't bespeak arrogant, intolerant yuppie self-indulgence, I don't know what does. "For all [she knows], that's a dog-walker?" PLUS, an out-of-state plate. With the radio ON? The indignity of it!

    She's right; I don't live there and I just don't understand. But man alive, I'm glad I'm not a Newton cop.

    Posted by j0646 August 5, 09 09:11 PM
  1. I wish they were that vigilant about getting rid of Barney Franks.

    Posted by fan66 August 5, 09 09:17 PM
  1. Mr. Dyer, with all due respect, sounds like a stalker . . . and imagine, a car from Vermont having the nerve to drive into Newton!!! It sounds like these people should get a life!

    Posted by doodlesforpeace August 5, 09 09:21 PM
  1. People in newton must have nothing better to do than to build mulit million dollar high schools and complain and make federal cases about dog parks. What idiots!

    Posted by Morty August 5, 09 09:29 PM
  1. Al you people complaining about the dogs in these parks need to understand people that have dogs and take them to parks are similar to parents taking their children to the playground.
    All the dog owners make sure you pick up your dog droppings and be responisble with your animal.
    We all should be able to co-exist in the same park.....

    Posted by mike masi August 5, 09 09:31 PM
  1. People in newton must have nothing better to do than to build mulit million dollar high schools and complain and make federal cases about dog parks. What idiots!

    Posted by Morty August 5, 09 09:35 PM
  1. If you ever want to understand what NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is all about, the above article is a good reminder.

    Look at the bright side - it must make the days go much faster for the retirees, stay at home parents and the unemployed with nothing better to do which "keep watch".

    Posted by HBX August 5, 09 09:52 PM
  1. why don't all these people who want an off leash area of the park for their dogs just pitch in & see if they can get a chain link fence w a gate put in? I bet some contractor that's having a slow summer would be willing to give a good rate, and get some good publicity. I know that kinda defeats the purpose, but if there are dogs that are loose outside of the designated area, that's defeating the purpose right there. I am a dog person & have been to many parks WITH MY DOGS LEASHED and have been hounded by off leash dogs who don't listen to their owners & constantly leave the designated areas. It makes it unsafe for all. I'm all for dogs getting exercise & socialization, but everyone that uses the parks has the right to feel safe. Little kids don't stand a chance when an 80lb unruly canine with a high prey drive makes a beeline for them with an owner screaming "jasper, come back" 100 times. Jasper doesn't respond the first time? Jasper has no business being off leash.

    Posted by Linna August 5, 09 09:56 PM
  1. So the two dog owners quoted own a mini-poodle and a labradoodle? Not sure why those people want an off-leash area; if the dogs run around outside, they'll need another $100 trip to the doggie hair stylist.

    The dog owners are absolute idiots if they're bringing their dogs to a "trial" off-leash area without obeying the other park rules (like keeping their dogs on a leash until they get to that area).

    I don't own a dog, and I don't particularly like being assaulted by other people's dogs when I'm out walking. Maybe if I did own dog I'd know the difference between a dog playfully running at me vs. running at me to attack, but I don't, and in either case it should be the dog owner's responsibility to make sure their dogs are under control. Besides, if I wanted a dog to playfully run at me, I'd get a dog.

    Posted by mike phelps August 5, 09 10:07 PM
  1. I like dogs, but let's face it, a lot of "dog people" are just as obnoxious and self-centered as most modern parents. You can put up all the signs you want, but many dog people bent upon letting Poochie Dearest run free will ignore every sign and do whatever they want, whenever they want. I totally disagree with the idea of 'dog parks'. Dogs belong at home in their own (fenced) yard, or on leash while in public. If you need to socialize your dog or feel some overbearing urge to hang around with other dog people, join a training club. In fact, if a town absolutely MUST have a public dog park, then dog owners should be registered to use the park, required to show proof that their dog is obedient to voice command, properly licensed and vaccinated, and insured in case of dog bite.

    Posted by baroque August 5, 09 10:25 PM
  1. Newton must be so proud tonight...... good lord.

    Posted by elizabeth August 5, 09 10:29 PM
  1. Hey Sgt. Crowley, it could be worse you could be a Newton cop and have to deal with these yuppies with way too much time on their hands.

    Posted by rob August 5, 09 10:49 PM
  1. Maybe they should have spent their time protesting a high school that cost 200 million.
    Secondly, I think the word "attack" is a little much, if they were really being attacked it would be a real issue that would have real consequences to the dog owners.....

    Posted by macdoodle August 5, 09 10:58 PM
  1. It seems necessary to note that "Dog people" represent the full spectrum of personalities, inclusive of both considerate, community-minded people and self-centered sociopaths--no different than society as a whole. Whether homeowners or renters, a portion of dog owners' income is funneled to the municipality in which they live, and they thus deserve to have their interests represented in public spaces--and this should ideally include shared spaces to allow their dogs to play together and get good boisterous exercise without getting tangled in tethers. If such spaces aren't provided, it's inevitable that non-designated spaces will be ab/used for these purposes (not everyone has their own yard), so it's of benefit to the town to provide the desired recreational opportunity--just as nature areas benefit by setting aside a certain portion of the land for environmentally detrimental activities like ATV use, to mitigate the impacts by limiting them to a more restricted, localized area. There are numerous and plenty public areas provided for non-dog activities--so share some of the land, dog- and dogowner-haters, don't selfishly demand all of it to yourselves! Setting aside special, attractive areas for dog play means dog-people will be less likely to be "imposing" on spaces others would prefer were dog-free, as they would have an alternative nice place to be--all that much nicer if uptight people like Dyer or baroque stuck to their humans-only spaces.

    Posted by Cheranimyl August 5, 09 11:21 PM
  1. I just moved here from San Diego. Most of the beaches/ parks there have at least a portion where dogs are allowed off-leash year-round. Those are some of the cleanest beaches and parks I've been on. It is not the dogs that should be punished for a few poorly mannered owners. What about the parents that change diapers at the beach and leave them behind? It is disturbing, but I have seen that happen on several beaches in the state.
    A few conveniently placed trash receptacles and doggie bags could help ensure the park stays clean. The neighbors need to embrace the visitors. Making visitors feel like part of the community will encourage a sense of pride and even willingness to go the extra step to keep it clean!

    Posted by Sheena August 5, 09 11:21 PM
  1. I've lived all over the United States and I've NEVER seen a more rabidly anti-dog state than Massachusetts. I mean, people are just beyond uptight about the dog issues here and their precious suburban lawns and territorial beyond belief over nothing. In other states, this really doesn't exist. IN NYC, dogs are allowed off leash parks everywhere and the quality of life is just so much more relaxed there. Yes, in NYC. As opposed to Boston and its stupid, Nazi-like suburbs where people have nothing better to do with their lives than to stalk dog owners.

    Posted by Oedipa Maas August 5, 09 11:22 PM
  1. Situations like this are why I believe that all dog parks and off-leash areas must be fenced in. Most dog owners would never admit that their dog is out of control, even if its jaws are around your ankle. A happy charging dog looks just like an angry charging dog, especially to someone who has been attacked by a dog.

    Posted by Liz August 6, 09 02:51 AM
  1. Dog advocates who compare their entitlements with the rights of children, as one commentor above has are part of the public perception problem.

    Dogs are property.

    Children are human beings, vested with certain inalienable rights, among them the pursuit of happiness.

    Until dog owners shout down the unjust comparisons of dogs and children, I for one, have no interest in granting them a slice of public property.

    Posted by crudmudgeon August 6, 09 02:57 AM
  1. These people need to find something better to do with their time. An off leash dog park will contain the dogs in one area. Outside of that area, the dogs should be leashed. It amazes me how much these curmudgeons just search for things to whine and complain about.

    Posted by Princess_Cal August 6, 09 03:40 AM
  1. You go Greta!!!!

    Posted by Tuppiye August 6, 09 06:49 AM
  1. So how many people have actually been "assaulted" by dogs? Or do Newton residents call having your hand sniffed assault?

    Posted by LeepII August 6, 09 08:05 AM
  1. I am frequently rushed by sometimes scary unleashed dogs in the Middlesex Fells. I usually carry a stick just in case. Regardless, I am always happy to read about Newtonians spying on each other. What snotty place.

    Posted by charlemagne August 6, 09 08:06 AM
  1. I like animals...when I want to like an animal. But like "parenting" this has slowly turned into something else, and changes made that never needed to be changed.
    Not everyone likes your animal/child. Why can this NOT be respected anymore??
    Many of these self important, over achiever attitudes from mediocrity need to get there heads out of clouds and learn manners!
    YOU ARE NOT THAT SPECIAL AND NEITHER ARE YOUR KIDS OR DOGS!

    Posted by listenup August 6, 09 08:07 AM
  1. Free the dogs, leash the people. Newton taxes would decrease. And yes, I live here.

    Posted by qmystr August 6, 09 08:08 AM
  1. These people are pathetic and need find a REAL issue to focus upon. They are clearly bored and slightly neurotic. I would be embarrassed to admit that I stalk my neighbors, take photographs and write down license plats. Get a life.

    Posted by Lonna August 6, 09 08:10 AM
  1. Intollerance and stereo typing.
    If ONE dog "attacks" a running (Attacks? Really?) then ALL dogs attack.
    If one person doesn't clean up their pooh, then dogs should be banned.
    Heard it all before. People are just clueless.
    Loved the "out of state plate" comment. She needs therapy to see who is the real problem.

    Posted by Todd Beaulieu August 6, 09 08:10 AM
  1. the guy with the camera and note pad recording info on dog owners is an ainal retentive control freak and need therapy not a lawsuit to resolve his issues.

    Posted by Nicolas August 6, 09 08:11 AM
  1. I am a dog lover, but not a dog owner right now. But I am not a lover of a lot of dog owners who have no business owning dogs. I walk around Horn Pond in Woburn a lot, which is Woburn's drinking water. There are often dogs off leash, swimming in the pond, and the amount of dog crap that people leave at pond edge is alarming. I'm glad I am not drinking that water. I guess these people know that the Woburn popos do not police the park at all. Which is also why the fowl feeding prohibition is ignored and there are tons of geese, swans and ducks covering all the walkways with their waste.
    My point is that we have all witnessed many incidences of inconsiderate dog owners. And the ones who do not pick up after their dogs are just plain sociopaths.

    Posted by JB August 6, 09 08:12 AM
  1. I agree with baroque in regards to the owners being just as obnoxious as the dogs. I, however, am a dog lover and understand how important it is to get your dogs out to play and socialize but seriously, if the owners don't take the responsibility then the dog is not going to listen. Owners should be more cognizant of others around them. I think my dog is the best thing alive, however, I understand that there are many people out there that are either afraid of dogs or do not like dogs at all and I respect that by keeping my dog on a leash where it is required. If everyone did this, then it would be a perfect world but unfortunately we always have our idiots that ruin it for everyone. It is a TRIAL park people...because of your stupidity, your poor pooches are no longer going to be able to play there and THEN who will be complaining?!

    Posted by Pooches Need Freedom Too August 6, 09 08:14 AM
  1. Sounds like the dogs are more civilized than the humans.

    Posted by pjm327 August 6, 09 08:15 AM
  1. As a resident, I find this whole issue laughable and the residents quoted in this article a total embarrassment. Residents alongside Cold Spring are upset because there are dogs? They should be more upset that the park is totally overgrown, poorly maintained, and filled with smelly, sludgy water. I've got a dog - I take him there, and sometimes even off leash (shocking!), but he's trained and I go there only when I don't have time to go to Weston - where the dogs can run free, and no one complains.

    Posted by chestnutwaban August 6, 09 08:15 AM
  1. Just one of many reasons I feel fortunate that I'm not wealthy enough to live in places like Newton. I think the degree of neurosis in the neighbors correlates with property values.

    Posted by Marc August 6, 09 08:17 AM
  1. I have always received some pushback for believing that Newton is a snotty, elite, and W.A.S.P. town. Thank you, Mr. Dyer, for proving my point.

    Posted by Katie. D. August 6, 09 08:17 AM
  1. The real shame is that so many modern suburbanites feel the need to drive to the dog park. Did it ever occur to them that if they WALKED, not only would they be in better shape, but their dog would probably be better behaved. And then the neighbors would have nothing to whine about.

    Whenever I visit my parents in Newton I walk my dog to Cold Spring. Newton is a beautiful city to walk in. Too bad the locals are too busy driving through to notice.

    Posted by SJB August 6, 09 08:21 AM
  1. ok then, level the park and put in affordable housing. Newton certainly needs some of that... that should make this Dyer nut and all the other obsessed stalkers in that neighborhood happy that the city is finally putting that space to a use that promotes the greater good. losers...

    I am a Newton resident and the much of my family lives in, was raised in, works for, or works in, the City of Newton.

    Posted by CRM August 6, 09 08:31 AM
  1. I have dogs, but I totally agree with the commentator above who complains about untrained, off-leash dogs. I keep my dogs on leash except in certain designated areas, and I make sure they come when called.
    SO MANY dog owners I know refuse to take the time and trouble to properly train their dogs. One dog I know would "playfully" KNOCK PEOPLE DOWN and steal their hats, gloves, and mittens, while his owners would uselessly chase after him, finally returning a soggy, mutilated item you with hardly an apology. They actually suggested my husband take off his gloves on a freezing cold day so their dog wouldn't be tempted!
    Owning a dog TAKES WORK! If you haven't done it, KEEP THE LEASH ON!

    Posted by tallgirl August 6, 09 08:31 AM
  1. This is what it's like to be a black dog in America. I'm constantly profiled, harrassed, and called names, simply because I have fur. And, I always get grief when I'm in Newton. The neighbors keep pulling me over and taking down my license plate number!

    Posted by Minniesmom August 6, 09 08:32 AM
  1. i am a huge dog lover with 2 dogs of my own, however i do not agree with unleashed dogs, it makes it unsafe for everyone. they should just fence in a small portion of the park and make that area the unleashed dog area. this could be nexpensive and good for everyone.

    Posted by Anonymous August 6, 09 08:33 AM
  1. I am a dog owner and my town has a fenced dog park but I do not use it.There are too many irresponsible pet owners. I've seen people put their dog in the fenced area and then go to sit in their car. A friend's dog had her ear bitten 1/2 off by an aggressive dog and the owner refused to give their name or own up to it. People are supposed to be monitoring their dog and be able to react if a fight starts and be responsible if their dog injures another.

    I can understand some of the frustrations these people have. If people just followed the rules, there would not be an issue. If there is a specified area, the dog should be leashed until they get to that area. People have a right to use the trails without fear of a loose dog. Even in my town with a dog park and a leash law, I come across loose dogs constantly and carry pepper spray when I run. I can't even run on the bike path which is less than a mile from the dog park because my dog is constantly harassed by these little rat dogs running off leash. She is a 90lb Bullmastiff that is always leashed when outside of her fenced yard but god forbid she bites one of these illegally off leash dogs that attacks her, I'll be the one to be sued.

    Watching and recording plate numbers seems to be a little nuts though. If a dog attacks you, then yes, get the plate number but I'm sure someone did not drive all the way from Vermont just to go to this dog park and I don't see where it says it is only open to town residents. The dog park in my town has people from other towns also.

    Posted by Michele August 6, 09 08:33 AM
  1. Newton is a long drive for a Vermont dog walker.

    Posted by H-man August 6, 09 08:35 AM
  1. Who cares. This is news?

    Posted by cjg August 6, 09 08:35 AM
  1. These people lead a sad existence. Spending your entire life fighting to win a battle against helpless animals. Figures. Typical newton Israelites.

    "See? See, they have a Vermont license plate"... really? That is pathetic.

    Just another reason why dogs are better than 99% of Newtonians. Have fun with that lawsuit, idiots. Good way to spend your money. Who's the first witness to get called to the stand? Fluffy the snickerdoodle from CT?

    I doubt you.

    Posted by Dave Iarocci August 6, 09 08:35 AM
  1. Talk about sad & pathetic. If this is the biggest problem folks in Newton have to worry about they should feel blessed. The town designed the off leash area for dogs, deal with it - just because you live in the town doesn't mean everything the town is or does is designed just for you - but I guess when you are that self absorbed it is hard to realize that simple fact.

    Oh my god a car from VT - call in the national guard... We should be thankful that the folks in VT don't act the same way when they see a car from Mass... Judging by the imbeciles in Newton they would have every right to....

    Posted by newtonispathetic August 6, 09 08:36 AM
  1. I think these people have way too much time on their hands. Who wants to spend their free time with activities like that and reporting people to police? I think they have all lost perspective.

    Posted by skm August 6, 09 08:37 AM
  1. Based on what I read...i dont see any difference between parents with children or dogs and their owners. Its all about taking responsibility for your actions. One thing for sure Newton...i bet you have safer streets because of dog owners...People walking dogs add an extra layer of security to your neighborhood. You all just got to find a way to get along and stop the finger pointing.

    Posted by bstnsoend August 6, 09 08:39 AM
  1. I find most dog owners to be very nice and thoughtful to others, but the few that aren't just ruin it for everyone.

    I have two young children and I have lost count how many unleashed large dogs have jumped on them at playgrounds that have "no dogs off leash" signs. It has made them scared of dogs. It is these thoughtless people who ruin it for everyone.

    I think these parks should be for everyone, not just the dogs. Go Newton!

    Posted by Seth August 6, 09 08:41 AM
  1. It cracks me up that this Liz woman says "Cesar says", as if everyone is supposed to know who this "dog whisperer" guy is. People like that will believe ANYTHING a supposed expert will tell them.

    Posted by Esrucesrever August 6, 09 08:43 AM
  1. I love, love, love that the same guy who is taking notes on the owners including their license plates and "height" is the same one who claims that non-dog walkers are being scrutinized with "attitude." That's just plain creepy.

    The anti-dog people need to loosen up, and the dog walkers need to make sure that they and their dogs are being model citizens. That means no out-of-control dogs careening around (as a dog-owner who has been attacked and have had my dogs attacked by other dogs, I do NOT love seeing an off-leash dog with no owner in sight careening towards me) and 100% compliance with the pooper-scooper laws. Bad, un-neighborly behavior just gives the anti-dog contingent more ammunition.

    Posted by greenbrier August 6, 09 08:45 AM
  1. I have gone to that dog park dozens of times and have never come across off leash dogs outside of the designated area. The section of the park dedicated to the off leash area is very secluded and makes up a very small part of the over all park. There aren't any random children there and even if there were all the dogs I have incountered have been very friendly. The people complaining about this park who don't live in the area clearly have no idea what they are talking about. The people from Newton who are patroling are pathetic. You are doing nothing but disparaging the name of your home town. A federal case? What a bunch of yuppie snobbery. I'm sure they would have no problem if it was in JP or Malden. I wasn't there but I was told by someone who I believe that one of these people was pacing back and forth in the park and when a dog came close to them they kicked the dog. Newton is full of dog lovers and there is no reason why both parties can't live together happily.

    Posted by Alex August 6, 09 08:46 AM
  1. The reason the neighbors are so upset about the unleased dog area is because of parking issues. The complaints about the dogs are secondary.

    If they made the area a true fenced in dog park (which it should be at 2 acres), then when the complaints did not stop the neighbors would be shown for their true colors.

    Posted by jank August 6, 09 08:46 AM
  1. I grew up in Newton in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. I don't recall it being quite this snotty, but I think far more yuppies have moved in since I left. This talk of dogs bum-rushing people and attacking is absolutely absurd. I live in Reading now, and take my dog to Sheepfold in the Middlesex Fells on an almost daily basis. Although not a sanctioned "dog park," there are routinely upwards of 25-30 dogs there, with a constant rotation and influx of new dogs every few minutes. I have to say, I don't ever recall a time where a non-dog owner/hiker/mountain biker walking through the park to get to the trails in the forest was assaulted or rushed by a dog. The dogs are way too into what they are doing -- playing with each other, wrestling, fetching, and so forth. The only time they pay any mind at all to even their OWNERS, is when a bag of treats comes out of a pocket. Admittedly, Sheepfold is one of the gateways to 2400 acres of woodlands, and is set pretty far back off of a road with no houses on it (at least on that stretch), so the parking situation, dogs running into yards, etc. are non-issues. With that said, maybe Cold Springs isn't the best place to have one of these designated "off-leash" parks. If there are six other places in Newton that they are thinking about turning into off-leash areas, then what's the big deal? Otherwise, is there another way into Cold Springs, where there are less homes? Or some other way to make it work?

    Posted by Beefstick August 6, 09 08:51 AM
  1. I lived in Newton for about 9 months and couldn't even make to staying there a year because I was so weirded out by the practically incestuous attitude of the place - how do you think it has remained one of the whitest enclaves in America??? I laugh when I hear stuff like this, because it is so true that they could be hyper-focusing on something so much more important! Now, I do not think that dog owners should have free reign, but seriously, this whole "witch hunt" style attitude with harassment, photographing and "watching" is kind of making me think of how Germans would turn in their neighbors over to the Nazi's for the slighest infractions, it's creepy!

    There is definitely one thing this article cleared up for me though - now I know where all the government loving crazies live who support politicitians and laws that take away any enjoyable freedom left in this country, thanks Newtonites!!!

    Posted by Sesamebabe August 6, 09 08:54 AM
  1. Fence in the dog park area - problem solved. I'm a dog owner and my dog is always in my sight and I would never allow it to poop in a park without picking it up.
    I can clearly see both sides of this issue.

    Posted by Rose August 6, 09 08:57 AM
  1. The people who don't like the dog park I just don't get you! I mean its JUST A DOG PARK!!!!!!!!

    Posted by dude123 August 6, 09 08:59 AM
  1. OH MY GOD!!!!!

    Posted by joe August 6, 09 09:00 AM
  1. We are fighting the same battle in Hampton against dog haters who complain about our use of the beach after 6pm. I have been down to the beach many times and never once have I seen anyone have a problem with a dog. The whiners complain that the beach is loeaded with dog waste. Once again every owner I see has a supply of plastic bags and NOT once have I seen dog waste on the baach. In Newton the dog haters have the other 10,000 acres of dog free areas to themselves. The whiners would be better served taking the money they are spending on attorney's fees and getting some therapy for their phobias and neuroses.

    Posted by Cujo August 6, 09 09:07 AM
  1. Outsider's perspective: We have the same exact problem up here in South Portland, Maine, where a PUBLIC beach where dogs have always been allowed at certain times of the day/year are now ostracized. The homeowners nearby want the area all to themselves, and most of them are probably from Massachusetts up here for the summer. I admit that some dog owners aren't as attentive as they need to be. That is the root of the problem. Look after your dog, don't yell after it, pick up its doodies and there should be no problem. I seriously doubt these dogs "attack" the neighbors. Put your energy into something more worthwhile. And dog owners, look after your dogs! Both sides can contribute to a peaceful solution.

    Posted by Jimbo August 6, 09 09:08 AM
  1. The woman with the Vermont plates is actually a Newton resident who registers her car at her ski house for better insurance rates.

    Posted by RiversRage August 6, 09 09:09 AM
  1. Newton will spend thousands for a dog park but where's the 40B housing?

    Posted by Bike1986 August 6, 09 09:14 AM
  1. In many cases it's not the dogs, it's the dog poop! These dog parks usually become disgusting mine fields. Dog owners really need to be more mindful of this.

    Posted by jp in nh August 6, 09 09:14 AM
  1. I bring my puppy to cold springs so she can socialize with other dogs and have fun! Dogs are supposed to be able to run around and be able to play and release all of their energy. But we always bring her on a leash into the area and then again when we leave and we always have plenty of baggies with us. Someone previously stated it is like bringing your child to the park and I couldn't agree more! She is our child, some of us do not have children for various reasons and so our puppy is our child and we bring her everywhere! For people who don't have dogs and love to complain about a perfect off leash park, why don't you put all of your time and effort into something good in this world! There are plenty of organizations to get yourself involved in but please leave us dog owners alone! Go harrass someone else!

    Posted by JK August 6, 09 09:18 AM
  1. For the love of Pete, this quote says it all "I've lived all over the United States and I've NEVER seen a more rabidly anti-dog state than Massachusetts." as well as this jewel: "arrogant, intolerant yuppie self-indulgence". Put them together and what do you get? A FINE description of our locale and our "community culture" which is so disgusting, I am not surprised that there is so much berating going on and the continuation of people leaving the area for greener pastures.

    Some of these Newtonites should take a trip out West. I was in a Macy's in Seattle once, and a women had her husky shopping with her. In Austin, TX- I've seen multiple dogs hanging out in outdoor BBQ/ bars on a Friday night while bands were playing. And yes, NYC is 10x more dog friendly than Boston. I remember when I first moved her, my dog had to stay with my parents for a year because I had THAT hard of a time finding a dog friendly around here.

    I understand the concern for property and such and there are indeed PLENTY of bad dog owners. But again, for the love of Pete! Fence in the dog area and call it a day. I feel bad for the Newton police and aldermen, having to deal with these stereotypical pretentious Newton people who surely contribute to why this is clearly one of the least dog friendly areas in the nation.

    By the way- whomever started insisting for there to be enforcement up in the Fells/ Sheepfold for off leash issues (we were up there one day when enforcement rolled in and issued warning for not following leash laws in the Sheepfold), many thanks- you have taken away one of the only decent dog friendly areas in the Boston area. Two more years- and I am moving back to Austin- the Boston of the South, AND one of the most dog friendly places in the USA!

    Posted by Lord Woofington August 6, 09 09:19 AM
  1. If you spend your time looking for trouble what do you think you will find?

    Posted by nematode August 6, 09 09:20 AM
  1. Are you people kidding me!
    I have a dog and he is well behaved off leash. How about the children that run " off leash". I love kids but they run crazy and all over my "picnic in the park" and scream/make lots of noise .Should we ban young children too? or put them in a fensed aea? Lets be serious. You people need to get a life. There are worse things happening in the world that need you attention.

    Posted by Patty August 6, 09 09:21 AM
  1. Many towns are facing the same issues and trying out some of the same off leash areas in a park or off-leash times in public parks. Some of the issues I see is a few dog owners refuse to pick up after their dogs, can't control their dogs and ruins it for the many who are vigilant.

    I think that dog owners themselves should develop and build private parks, locked and fenced off, using the correct type of sand or fill and paid for with user fees. I don't think it should be a public or tax payer priority.

    Posted by ncj August 6, 09 09:21 AM
  1. Plenty of dog owners pay for beautiful public schools, and never have children via taxes and never complain. How many public schools, and educational bonds, etc do single people pay for? And one dog park. Non dog owners should be bowing at the alter of these people. Call me when you are buioling the 6th off leash dog park in Newton.

    Posted by Darius August 6, 09 09:22 AM
  1. Instead of a report on the matter, this article should have been an alert to neighboring communities that Newton hasn't lost its touch. They continue to be as self-centered as always.
    When something this obnoxious reaches the heights it has, its a shame the people involved are too high on whatever pills their therapist prescribed to put their abundance of money to good use. When this is all said and done, I hope they are able to look back and realize that all the absurd cash spent on lawyer fees could have gone to a WORTHY cause. Disgusting.

    Posted by Steve-a-reeno August 6, 09 09:22 AM
  1. ‘‘What is that plate? Vermont? For all I know, that’s a dog-walker. Now they’re getting out and the radio is blaring. I don’t want to be a meanie and call the cops. But really.’’

    Or maybe someone just wants to walk in the park. I'll bear this in mind as the MA cars park illegally outside my VT home to take photographs. I mean... they could be DOG WALKERS. Quelle horreur! Thank you Newton for alerting me to the danger among us!

    I'm not a huge fan of of-the-leash dogs (outside of dog parks, that is), but perhaps the hysteria could be toned down a little.

    Posted by EMG August 6, 09 09:23 AM
  1. Here what should be done with the camera toting stalker.
    1. You could call the police and tell them some perv is making you feel uncomfortable.
    2. You could bring your own camera and follow him around and take pictures from all angles and tell him ( only if he asks what you are doing.) that you are excersizing your rights and there is nothing he can do about it.
    3. Keep your dog on a leash and circle him from 50 to 75 feet away as to not imply he is being harrased. Try it with 5 or 10 of your closest friends. Be nice.
    4. Ask his intentions with the pictures and tell him they connot be used without your written consent.
    5. Offer him a dog treat.
    6. Ask him if he has heard the word of the Lord today.
    7. Ask if he would like to donate to the Animal rescue leauge.
    Most of all...... Do not back down!! Make him feel just as uncomfortable as he is making you. Give him enough and he will move on.

    Posted by adoptadog August 6, 09 09:24 AM
  1. Good Lord! The same thing hapenned in Brookline in a fenced-in area made for dogs. Anti-dog people took down descriptions, car licence plates, ect. and had the park shut down. Nice. Get a life Newton...

    Posted by joeyspaniel August 6, 09 09:25 AM
  1. I pay a boat-load of taxes and I do not have kids. I pay for schools and public playgrounds. If I have to pay for everyone else's crying, snot-shooting rugrats, I bloody well should be able to enjoy the parks with my dog off leash in designated areas without being harassed. These people sound like the minutemen loonies looking for illegal aliens - PATHETIC.

    Posted by Nick August 6, 09 09:25 AM
  1. These morons are an embarrassment for normal Newtonites like myself and the other 95% who are normal, down to earth people.

    And besides, people have been unleashing dogs on Cold Spring for years, and will continue to do so, with or without a designated area for it.

    Posted by jon August 6, 09 09:25 AM
  1. I live in Newton, and I also live across from a playground/park. I would be thrilled if this was made into a "dog park" instead of the wild teens that are in it night and day. They trash the park, they trash the street, they get into loud physical fights (these are gangs of 15 or more). They are in the parks sometimes until 1:00 and 2:00 am and on the weekends return at 5:00 am from their nights out. A long as it was fenced completely so that others without dogs could be outside of the fenced area and as long as dog owners picked up after their dogs. I own a dog and have a fenced in yard (most Newton homes have yards, just spend the money and fence yours in). I also walk my dog on a leash when outside of my own property because he can run in his own front and back yard. And the Newton Police are very diligent and come out when called, but there is only so much they can do. Teens (and I'm sure irresponsible dog owners) just leave and then come back in after 10-15 mins.

    Posted by Sharon August 6, 09 09:29 AM
  1. Thank You Mr Dyer.

    Posted by Tom August 6, 09 09:29 AM
  1. I WISH someone cared this much when my 3-year old was attacked at Elm bank in Wellesley by a free running, 80-lb. ish dog who ran at her barking from a great distance while an ineffectual, middle aged woman ran behind calling the dog's name. She also had the nerve to say, "oh, he's friendly," as my baby was knocked to the ground, terrified. A free running dog isn't necessarily under it's owner's control. This woman could easily have adopted an abused shelter dog just the day before and, knowing nothing about dogs, have taken it to that park (which, by the way, bans off leash dogs). From that moment, I despised rule-breaking dog owners and free running dogs in public spaces in general, despite the fact that I was raised in a dog-loving family. As others have said, the militantly entitled and clueless dog people have tainted public perception of even responsible dog owners. Please do not say, "he's friendly," or "he's excited," when your dog makes contact with a stranger's child. It's absolutely not okay to violate the personal space of other people, esp. small children. Similarly, I would never allow my child to touch anyone's dog without explicit permission from BOTH me and the dog owner.

    Posted by local August 6, 09 09:30 AM
  1. Newton is a City, (over 85,000 residents). If you have dog that needs a larger space than the land you own to get exercise, that is your fault. Parks and open areas are meant for humans. Just because you think you dog is human and better behaved than a child doesn't change the fact that it is a dog. If the City is nice enough to let a parcel temporarily be used as a dog park then it is the obligation of the dog owners to reach into their pockets and construct a fence around the whole meadow. This would probably cost $25-$30K. Parking for the park should be on the Beacon St. side and dog owners should walk their dogs (leashed into the park). This is not an issue of NIMY, it is passionate and very vocal dog lovers pushing their agenda on people who don't share their views.

    Posted by molly August 6, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Only Massachusetts, meaning the towns and cities within Massachusetts, could screw up such a simple concept as an off leash dog park. Fence the area in just like playgrounds. When training dogs or when dogs play, dogs don't understand they have crossed an invisble boundary. Even with fences how many kids do you see stray from the fenced area? Never mind an invisible boundary. Some dogs won't come right away when called, some children don't come right away when their parents call them. Many children don't stay when told to and wander off, just like some dogs. Many people are not good dog owners, just like many people are not good parents. Dog poo is just as bad and stray human litter. How many people understand what Leave No Trace really means? Imagine that, this is what the comparison is between dogs and children PEOPLE!!! For such a highly educated state, we are complete idiots. I grew up and love it here, can't imgaine living anywhere else until something like this comes up and I am totally embarassed.

    Posted by Jamm August 6, 09 09:33 AM
  1. So this is a 67 acre park and people are obsessed with a one small area where dogs can run off their leash? Personally it sounds like with most MA residents there is ignorance and self-centered people on both sides of the issue. It just seems so obvious - keep you dog on leash except in the designated area and everyone without a dog don't go to that area. What is wrong with everyone in this state? and especially Newton?

    PS - The woman freaked about the one car from VT that might be in Newton should think about the thousands of cars and obnoxious MA residents that flood VT (NH, ME etc) every weekend and do a lot more damage than parking next to a park and walking a dog.

    Posted by Kelly August 6, 09 09:35 AM
  1. Two thoughts:

    1- the average dog is more humane than the average human.

    2- If this is THE big issue in Newton, then cut their town budget a little more because there are alot of towns who could use that money for schools, police and fire personnel.

    Here's the solution:
    Dog owners- follow the rules of the park.
    Dog/dog owner haters, get a life.
    It's THAT easy. Let's not make a federal case out of... oops, too late.

    Posted by LOL! August 6, 09 09:37 AM
  1. Your dogs are your dogs. Keep them home. If you don't have a place for them to run, then you probably shouldn't have a dog to begin with. Oh yeah...one more thing...your dogs are not children...they are, simply, dogs. Treat them as such.

    Posted by lennyd August 6, 09 09:39 AM
  1. This issue has nothing to do with snobbery. I enjoy walking in the woods, and walk in Cutler Pond Park on the Newton/Needham border. Owners frequently leave their dogs off leash. I was walking one lunch hour in my office clothes. A large Golden Retriever came running down the trail. He ran up to me, leaped and put his paws on my shoulders. He ran his slobbering tongue from my chin to my forehead, lifting my upper lip so that his tongue ran along my upper teeth, and knocking my glasses into the mud, My clothes were also now covered with muddy paw prints.
    His owner FINALLY came into view and stated -don't worry he just loves people.
    I am a dog owner but until idiots like that owner behave, off-leash areas will always be problematic, and should be fenced.

    Posted by Judy August 6, 09 09:40 AM
  1. People in Newton need to get a life. I have no children but I do have a dog. I pay for training so my dog is well behaved. I take him on off leash runs to make him even more well behaved. My dog is better behaved than some children that I see. My tax $ goes to build new schools for children that I do not have. I am ok with that. As a citizen of this state I want some of my tax $ to go to dog parks. Big open dog parks where dogs can actually run ang get their energy out so they are even more well behaved. Don't ppl say a tired child is a well behaved child? No, my dog is not human but he is also NOT PROPERTY. He is a part of my family just as much as a child would be.

    These people are stalkers and are going ot get themselves in trouble. We have a right to have animals and as taxpayers we should have places we can take out dogs. 2 acres out of 67 and ppl are complaining? Ia m sure the ppl in the article use every inch of that 67 acre area... that it total b.s. Also, lets not forget it's us dog owners that make places safer. We go to the places no one else will go to b/c we aren't allowed anywhere else. Then all of a sudden these places become safe and who starts to come in droves & leave their garbage around or think they have the right be there now? Humans.

    Now I am not saying dog onwers don't need to be responsible as well. If you know your dog doesn't come when called put them on the leash. If they poop clean up after them. If i see a kid (in a dog area) I still put my dog on a leash even though he loves kids and is super gentle with them. I want kids ot have good experiences with dogs so they will love animals as much as I do.

    Non dog ppl to be responsible as well. Don't let your kid come running up to my dog when he's on leash w/ out asking beforehand. Don't let them run around a dog area - go to your other 65 acres of land that you have. Teach them proper animal behavior and respect.

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Gandhi


    Posted by Red August 6, 09 09:44 AM
  1. Having lived in other parts of the country, most dog parks ARE fenced in - a large enough area (2 acres) will be plenty of space for dogs to run free without annoying non-dog lovers.

    Posted by LuLu August 6, 09 09:45 AM
  1. I believe the person who wrote this article put a very calculated spin on the whole issue, making Newton residents look self important and intolerant. It did not touch on any of the real issues people have with the park. I live right behind the park and can give you some first hand reasons why this off leash park is causing problems: 1. I have young children who play outside. Not only do the dogs run up the embankment and into my yard (not just poodles and lap dogs but pit bulls and german shepherds), I have to deal with the dogs owners running into my yard looking for their dogs. 2. When the dogs do make the hike up to my house, they leave excrement for me to clean up. It really comes down to the owners. A fence around the alloted space would not work if the owners do not leash their dogs anywhere else in the park. I love dogs and I am very fortunate to live next to a beautiful park. To say this is just a yuppy problem in a snobby town is an ignorant response to a real issue.

    Posted by Rachel Conroy August 6, 09 09:48 AM
  1. unless a dog popped on my lawn I wouldnt care. I love how everyone runs to lawyers...go figure its Newton; Buffy and Chet must be upset, lets go to the yacht club.

    Posted by matt August 6, 09 09:50 AM
  1. If you live in the city do not get a big dog - problem solved. Nothing worse than someone who works a full-time job or has little kids get a dog who needs a lot of space and then complain that they have no time/space to exercise the dog. City people who get large dogs are selfish.

    Posted by PatD August 6, 09 09:59 AM
  1. I'm a dog - can we talk? I love to go to the park, where I can get off my leash. And you know the best part of it? The best part is when I get to poopie without that goofball picking it up. Do you have any idea how disgusting it is to pinch a loaf on the grass and have someone bend down and actually touch it? And then she actually walks up the street with it. Hey lady, you're carrying a handful of doodie - say it out loud and tell me what you think. Am I the only one who believes that when you drop a stogie, it should stay dropped? Please, stop the madness. Let us do a 2 the natural way - dont' pick it up before it gets cold. Save the off-leash poopie park.

    Posted by Rex August 6, 09 10:16 AM
  1. No one who really cares about dogs would own one in a city. How can you keep a dog cooped up in a city apartment and then protest zoos and circuses? These people don't love their dogs - they love the way their dogs make them feel. It's just selfish. I love dogs, but I would never be so cruel as to own one unless I had a yard of my own large enough for it to play in.

    Posted by jim August 6, 09 10:20 AM
  1. As a Police Officer working in Boston I can not understand how this is a story! Every day I see the youth in the inner city shot, stabbed and promising young lives taken away. I see so many promising young men and women die, and nothing on the news when I go home. Nothing in the paper! When a dog is rabid in West Roxbury, or a dog fight breaks out in Newton it is news. As a white Police Officer I am tired of the double standard of the news. Children of color who are murdered in the inner city are not news worthy according to our local press. Tell the truth; maybe if the public really knew what happened everyday to our children it might actually cause some concern, then all of you do gooders might want to put your MONEY where your MOUTH is and help. As long as it is not in your backyard! Right?

    Posted by What? August 6, 09 10:20 AM
  1. This sounds like a PARKING problem, not a dog problem. The park neighbors seem mostly upset about the cars in their neighborhood. It seems to me that this is a risk you take when you live near a public park (in Jamaica Plain, folks deal with the same issues around the Pond, the Arboretum, and the Southwest Corridoor Park). Rather than stop people (even people from Vermont) from using the park, how about coming up with a reasonable plan for parking? They did it at Walden Pond.

    Posted by JP Gal August 6, 09 10:23 AM
  1. Get. A. Fence.

    Posted by K.B. August 6, 09 10:24 AM
  1. People's pets have as much right to public land as people do.

    Posted by Andy Hommel August 6, 09 10:25 AM
  1. Its totally not about the dogs. Its about residents being upset that people are parking infront of their house. I might drive down from New Hampshire with my dog just so that these people will be driven nuts.

    Posted by joe August 6, 09 10:27 AM
  1. I'm all for the off-leash area, but I understand both points of view. Many Newton dog owners do NOT have good "dog etiquette," and it makes the rest of us look bad. For some reason, many Newton dog owners seem to think they are simply above picking up dog poo. This spreads disease to other dogs and fuels the anti-dog coalition. I don't care if you have a small expensive dog. If it goes the bathroom, pick it up. To the nosy busy-bodies who have nothing better to do that nearly stalk pet owners, get over it. What exactly will taking photographs and license plates accomplish? It's not illegal to walk your dog in the park...what you're doing borders on harassment. Mr. Possinger, you say you can't use the trails because you'd be "attacked by dogs." Have there been any reported instances of this yet? Have you been attacked? This entire thing is ridiculous. Maybe I'll take my dog there today! I'm 5'2 for all those taking notes.

    Posted by Lovemypup August 6, 09 10:29 AM
  1. It is nice to be at the very top of maslow's hierarchy where dogs off the leash is your biggest problem. I love the USA where this kind of thing can happen! Even if it is a stupid waste of time, it shows how high of a standard of living we all enjoy.

    Posted by odiggity August 6, 09 10:31 AM
  1. To the comment that dogs are property, I totally disagree ! You definitely never had a dog . To many of us, they are part of the family. I do agree dogs that do not behave should stay on a leash. It is not fair to the dogs who just want to run and play happily without hurting or bothering anyone.

    Posted by Robbie August 6, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Why is an article about a Newton park getting front-and-center attention today? (apologies to Newton residents, and yes, all you dog lovers).

    And please give your articles more "intelligent" titles. Are you the NY Daily News now? Help me hold onto my weak hope that the Globe stop its descent to mediocrity

    Posted by ava August 6, 09 10:56 AM
  1. there are folks who have ill mannered children - once a parent let her daughter run up and poke my dog in the face. and there are folks who have ill mannered dogs - i have seen dogs who have jumped on people with enthusiasm to say hello. once when i was a child a neighborhood dog bit me on the leg. it was not the end of the world - we did not sue. life went on.
    i put a lot of effort into training my dog to be good with other people and to come when called - that said - she still is a dog & i would prefer to have a fenced in area. it is not so much as having my own backyard but being able to socialize with other dogs and dog owners.
    the benefits of taxes should be able to be enjoyed by all not just by people who have children.
    my dog is mellow, well trained, 13 years old and has never hurt anyone and it is actually traumatizing to me when i walk into a park (with my dog leashed) to get to an empty area where we can lay down on a blanket and someone strarts screaming and carrying on because they are 5 feet away and phobic about dogs.
    Mr. Dwyer sounds like a Monster.

    Posted by jude August 6, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Yes, hello this is Greta, I'm the one featured on the front page of the Metro Section of the Globe this morning. Currently I'm at Play-group but I told my staff to release my response. All dogs, regardless of size need to get out and play. I love to play with my friends both human and canine. I love to chase balls, run, jump, frolic, kiss, eat grass, run in puddles and just chill with my pals. I enjoy the dog park tremendously and I don't think I'd be such a happy dog without it! I'll be at the park today signing pawtographs...
    PS my staff always picks up after me!

    Posted by GretaLou_Poodle August 6, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I get a kick out of charlemagne, He carries a stick incase a dog runs by him. Maybe the dog wants to PLAY fetch?

    Posted by spostobeworking August 6, 09 11:05 AM
  1. Seriously, way to legitimize the newton stereotype! This whiner is probably the same person who rents out their "income property" to 8 college students from out of state. I agree with many of the comments that it is the irresponsibility of a few that spoils good things like an off leash park for the majority. Although I imagine its not a written rule on the park sign, I reserve the right to end aggressive dog behavior by putting my boot in another dogs a$$. Its unfortunate there are laws against doing the same to their direspectful owners as well as the idiot residents who harrass the rest of us.

    Kudos to the lawyer mentioned as he seem to be the only one able to capilatize on these idots and their lousy cause.

    Posted by juicyb August 6, 09 11:08 AM
  1. this is a REAL issue folks ... i concur with the opponents that most dog owners are grossly insensitive to the likes or perhaps dislike of others. for one, i am yet to find a single dog owner who does not say "oh he / she is a baby". really? your baby does kinda look like you! and btw i dont want your 4-legged or 2-legged baby licking my ankles or worse!

    dog owners - while i empathize with your 4-legged baby's needs for running around, you got to remember that you / your dog's freedom ends where my personal space begins. and until we all become cesar who can stop a crazy dog you ought to get that leash on.

    true story: a neighbor with a huge dog she calls her baby insisted on not using a leash till i reminded her of possible legal action that may arise if her baby as much as scratched my foot. oh now that big baby walks on a leash ... good move rover!

    Posted by nys August 6, 09 11:30 AM
  1. I own a very wild looking, smalll but intimiating herding dog and when she was young I brought her off leash to parks. I quicky realized I did not have the control over her that I should and invested in a remote collar and training so that I could walk her off lease confidently. It was expensive but well worth the investment for the piece of mind I now have. A dog not under voice command is a liability and runs the risk of serious injury.

    Posted by julie August 6, 09 11:30 AM
  1. The woman with the Vermont plates is actually a Newton resident who registers her car at her ski house for better insurance rates.

    Posted by RiversRage August 6, 09 09:09 AM
    *******************************************************************************************
    Then by all means please call the Registry to report the fraud.

    Posted by SingleCommuterWithBagel August 6, 09 11:40 AM
  1. ps and yes, for 13 years i have always picked up after my dog & the only time i saw someone who didn't pick up their dog's poop was this old guy in brooklyn who yelled at me in italian.....

    honestly, i have NO IDEA what kind of person doesn't pick up after their dog????

    -jude

    Posted by jude August 6, 09 11:40 AM
  1. People these days have too much time to worry about things that shouldn't bother them. I'm getting so sick of the "please all" attitude. First Christmas and angels being in schools, and having to say "Happy Holidays" now this crap of not allowing dogs to run free. People are so uptight its disgusting.

    Posted by Me August 6, 09 11:41 AM
  1. In the event that an attack by another dog resulting in injury or death to a service animal, the owner of that service animal has remedies under M.G.L.C. 272, Section 85B. In leagalizing dog parks, is the city of Newton willing to pay the over $50,000 and associated veterinary fees for care of the injured animal and replacement of a dog guide as well as possible punitive damages? . And please don't tell dog guide users to walk on the other side of the street...going to the back of the bus was resolved many years ago.

    Posted by doglovertoo August 6, 09 11:44 AM
  1. I have a 3 year old who did not used to be afraid of dogs, but is now. Why? Too many instances at our local park (where every day the dog owners ignore the leash law) of having a dog that is three times his weight, can run four times as fast, and has big teeth runs up to him and barks loudly. It terrifies him tremendously. I try to calm him down, tell him the nice doggie is just saying hello, and the dog-person eventually comes over and says that Sam is really very friendly. You know what? My son doesn't care. All he knows is that he's SCARED, and he's not listening to me or anyone.
    Is this what dog people want? Because it happens constantly. I wish they would just think for a minute about how dogs appear to toddlers. They are creating their own enemies.

    Posted by menotomyforever August 6, 09 12:02 PM
  1. Ruff Ruff! Bad people! Bad People!

    Posted by Lassie August 6, 09 12:02 PM
  1. I'm a loving dog owner who's property backs up to the trail. No objection to the dog park what so ever! Just keep your dog on the lease until you get to the open space (off the trail,) so my toddler, playing on our private property, doesn't freak out by a "friendly, well meaning" yet strange dog charging at him. Serioulsy, what's the big deal about keeping your dog on the lease while on the trail???

    Posted by newtonres August 6, 09 12:08 PM
  1. As a dog owner I see the two sides of the coin, my dog was attacked by another dog in a park where the other dog was off leash. Also, if there are children not all dogs are friendly. In my neighborhood, I try and be responsible by telling my neighbors of vicious and aggressive dogs. I think the solution should be that there be created a fenced in open area for the dogs to run around in.

    Posted by Proud Dog Mommy August 6, 09 12:25 PM
  1. I am laughing..but in Newton the pets have acces to beter healthcare and a higher standard of living than the majority of people living in MA. I heard Michael Vic is building a home there.

    Posted by Frankenstien August 6, 09 12:37 PM
  1. Great story ... I can't stop laughing. These losers have nothing better to do than fight with dogs and dog owners. Someone should round them up and bus them off to Mattapan for a day and let them work their magic on real crime prevention. Or perhaps we should put a fence up around these arrogant nutballs and charge a fee for people to come and see them.

    Posted by Hammer August 6, 09 12:44 PM
  1. Children and dogs do not belong in a city, period! I read in a newspaper article recently that there are more dogs than people in the South End of Boston. And the racket you hear at the "dog park" off Harrison Avenue in Roxbury is an annoyance. If dogs are a "status symbol" as the newspaper says, why would you want such a status symbol that s...ts, stinks and whose barking annoys people and forces then to watch where they step? There's even a company"Doody Calls" that sends people out to pick up dog s...t. Ugh! I can't imagine anyone who would take such a job unless it pays big bucks. First you had these people who were accessorizing with a baby, now it's dogs. I'll keep my birds, thank you. They don't stink, they don't annoy people and they don't s....t on the neighborhood sidewalks.

    Posted by Liz Pakula August 6, 09 12:48 PM
  1. PS- To all the jerks who make generalizations about Newton and complain about this or that annoyance at Cold Spring or elsewhere: it was Newton residents and the officials they elected who started this off-leash area. You're welcome. Maybe if people took the chips off their shoulders instead of seeming to almost WISH to get "attacked" so they can "put a boot up a dog's @ss" they would enjoy a walk in the park a little more. Maybe if people went about their day instead of waiting at their windows for hours hoping that someone will give them a reason to be angry, they would be more fulfilled and less apt to fight about who can walk where in a public park. Then again, maybe I am just asking too much of people.

    Posted by AndrewS August 6, 09 12:57 PM
  1. There is a large park near where I live that permits dogs off leash. The majority of dog owners have more dog than they can handle. Any off-leash park should charge a membershipfee to pay for a dog officer. Dog owners whose dogs go outside the permitted area, jump on others, or demonstrate a lack of training get one warning. After that, a stiff fine. They can't come back until they can show their dog has graduated from a reputable training school or trainer.

    I adopted my dog from a shelter and spent a lot of time and energy training him. He knows to come when called. And for all those Caesar Dog Whisperere fans, he recommends walking your dog before bringing him to a dog park so the dog can burn off his energy and not go crazy in the park.

    Posted by 4effenirresponsibledogowners August 6, 09 12:59 PM
  1. As taxpayers, dog owners have just as much right to use the public space afforded to everyone. I personaly can't stand whinning, crying, screaming nasty children whose parents don't pay attention to them. It is especially aggravating when they annoy me in a public place. But guess what? Just because I don't like them doesn't mean they should be banned from anywhere I may want to go. If you don't want to deal with other people, their children, dogs, etc. go buy yourself an island and live in isolation. Otherwise, grow up and learn to work on these issues like adults. Afence sounds like a great idea to me.

    And to the people who say dogs only belong at home - animals, including dogs, have just as much right to the land of this earth. Most of them were here before us and will be here after us. Humans are so incredibly selfish.

    Posted by molic August 6, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Hey spostobeworking...every walk through the Fells? Well, I do and there are sometimes pretty big unleashed dogs that will run right up and start growling. I'm not going to have my 4 year old get attacked by one of these unleashed/unpredictable beasts. A stick would do the trick if something happened. BTW, I still think Newton is snot central. You must be from Newton right?

    Posted by dj1mccarthy@yahoo.com August 6, 09 01:00 PM
  1. This problem is easily solved. Yes, dogs need exercise and time to socialize with one another as they are pack animals by nature. Yes, some people are allergic and/or afraid of dogs. Some people don't like exercising in fear of being lept at by a dog who doesn't know any better and is just playing. All of these issues can be addressed. Simply designate a large area (many acres) of the already gigantic park, fence it in so that the dogs don't run outside of it, but make sure it is large enough for them to run around. Require that dogs be leashed outside of it. Then, the non-dog folks can run walk whatever in the other areas. Employ some personnel to walk through the park every once in awhile to insure folks are following the rules. What is the big deal with making compromises??!!

    Sincerely, 'someone that doesn't really like dogs, but thinks they have a right to a good life too and so do their owners.'

    Posted by Ellen August 6, 09 01:03 PM
  1. As a new resident of Newton from the midwest, could we direct all this energy into improving the roads? The potholes here are larger than the backyard pool at our old house. The off-leash dog park was a nice benefit as we contemplated buying in Newton, but really folks... prioritize.

    Posted by Debbie August 6, 09 01:04 PM
  1. I understand both sides. I am a dog owner who loves to take my dog off the leash so she can get her energy out. We both end up happy at the end. However, there are always irresponsible people that take poorly behaved dogs off the leash, and refuse to admit or see that they are being inconsiderate. For example, just last week I was out with my little 15 pound dog and we were charged by a much larger, growling dog who I literally had to push away with my feet while its owner screamed from afar. Scenarios like this happen regularly even with leash laws. I think a good solution that may appease all is to make this area fenced in, even if its just partially. Not free, but hey one time cost that could create a happier living/recreation situation for all.

    Posted by dog owner August 6, 09 01:06 PM
  1. I think I want to let my cow or pig graze freely in the Boston Commons. How would dog owners feel about that?

    Posted by Tom August 6, 09 01:07 PM
  1. You people in Newton have way too much time on your hands. There are young men and women dying while fighting in two wars so you can keep track of whose in the park and whose dog is off-leash/on leash.we should do without the annual licensing. WAKE UP

    Posted by Airedales2 August 6, 09 01:07 PM
  1. I live in Brookline with my two retrievers and did not know about this park until I read this story (thanks Globe). There really aren't many places in Brookline to let the dogs run. I am going to check this park out and tell all my friends with dogs. I hope there's plenty of parking (legal or not). Here we come. Woof!

    Posted by Frank August 6, 09 01:12 PM
  1. Please as many have said get a life. Use the wasted legal fee money on someone who is unemployed, a family that needs food, etc. Newton has gone to the dogs.

    Posted by jimmarine August 6, 09 01:14 PM
  1. When you buy a house near a park, you need to have the foresight and understanding that there could be changes in the coming months/years/decades that will effect you directly, as far as how that land, or piece of that land, is used. There was a need for a dog park, as dog socialization has become more popular around the country over the past few years. Good, upstanding, tax paying citizens who own dogs want to see their towns and cities offer such services. As others here have said, this doesn't appear to be as much of a dog problem as it is an influx of people and parking problem. I live on a school route, and kids cut through my yard (and often times litter my yard with trash) every day of the school year, and you know what, I just accept the fact that I bought a house on that route to school, and I deal with it. If I want to keep the kids out, I will have to build a fence around my yard, at my expense. I know this. That's what I suggest the woman from Newton does who has dogs running up the embankment and pooping in her yard, etc. One more thing I would like to add -- the more socialization there is of dogs with other dogs, and dogs with other people, the less likely your son/daughter/self is bitten by a dog. That is all.

    Posted by Beefstick August 6, 09 01:21 PM
  1. This is one of the many reasons why I left Mass. for California.

    In San Francisco where I now live (and actually most of Europe), we bring dogs into bars, most parts of parks (w/o leash) and there is never an incident. People, just because a dog runs around does not mean he is going to attack you. The dogs here are more mellow because we give them freedom and don't keep them cooped up and locked on a leash.

    If more parks did what Newton is doing, the world would be a better place.

    Posted by Mateo August 6, 09 01:22 PM
  1. In my humble opinion, Jim Possinger comes across as the biggest fool of them all. He claims folks can't walk on the trails because they would get attacked. Has he been attacked? Has anyone been attacked? Or did he see a dog, excited to be heading toward the park, and naturally assume it was a blood-thirsty beast ready to attack? Would a dog walking along the trail, not headed to a dog park, act any differently? No.

    Posted by Mike August 6, 09 01:22 PM
  1. SIMPLE SOLUTION: put a fence around the off-leash area

    Posted by Alan August 6, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Oh great, there is an off leash dog park in Newton? I can't wait to visit! I'll be sure to park close to reduce my walking time!

    Posted by Ben F August 6, 09 01:24 PM
  1. What town is worst? Hingham or Newton, you decide.

    Posted by Maryanne August 6, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Ugh, more people with too much time on their hands. Perhaps they should get a dog, or at least a freaking hobby. Frankly if you have something to say, then please say it to my face, don't leave a note on my windshield you wind bag. I should start leaving notes on their homes, "Hi, please wear a muzzle next time you leave your home, as your lunatic rants are wearing thin on society. Thanks. Sincerely, The World". Oh, and thanks for making us aware of this park, can't wait to take my Lab there this weekend! Hope to see your scowling, miserable faces.

    Posted by Boss8120 August 6, 09 01:32 PM
  1. This is nuts. It's a field surrounded by woods. I live down the street and am embarrassed to call these people my neighbor.

    Posted by Sam August 6, 09 01:36 PM
  1. Is this for real? I am embarrassed to be a Newton resident. Instead of stalking dogowners, why don't these people donate some of their "free time" to a cause, maybe a dog shelter or a childrens shelter? This makes me think twice about living in liberal Newton. Please, take your hate somewhere else.

    Posted by Susan K. August 6, 09 01:41 PM
  1. How come the picture shows three people with dogs On a leash. I confused, me confused too

    Posted by Rover August 6, 09 01:43 PM
  1. People have been walking their dogs off leash for years at CSP throughout the park. Having a designated area will actually help the dogophobes as dog owners are more likely to keep their dogs on leash until they get to the designated area. Mr. Dyer - get a life!

    Posted by lasdf August 6, 09 01:45 PM
  1. I don't get why all the people keep coming on here and saying "I was at such and such park and a large off leash dog came and harrased me". Isn't that the point to having a designated park space that is off leash so you don't get bothered in other places? You people should be supporting this leashless park. This is a huge remote piece of land we are taling about here. I really just don't get people,

    Posted by Alex August 6, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Newton is a long drive for a Vermont dog walker.
    Posted by H-man August 6, 09 08:35 AM

    just because someone has out of state plates does not mean they don't live here. This is what I hate about boston people. typical townie mentality which is why I hate the boston area. i would like to live in a real city where people aren't so narrow mindidly stupid and small townish.

    Posted by noyb August 6, 09 01:46 PM
  1. Why don't you all spend a day down at Dana Farber and get your perspective back. There are adults and children fighting for their lives and you are being petty about some dogs running free on trails........Go spend some time making a difference.

    Posted by FED UP August 6, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Wow, I don't get it. If people are parking illegally or blocking the driveway of your nice suburban home, I suppose you have a right to be annoyed. But then, you should be annoyed because of their bad parking (which occurs all over Mass, so you should be used to that by now!), not because of the fact that they own dogs and wish to go for a walk with them.

    I really don't think dogs are the issue here, it's just the fact that now there are larger crowds frequenting the park that borders these Newtonians' property. So why make it about dogs??? It's not like we dog owners want to walk our pooches on your property, or take them for a stroll through the shopping mall, so for crying out loud, relax. Or at least focus your gripes on what is really bothering you (which apparently, is anyone not from Newton). But beware - after this article, I wouldn't be surprised to find some dog owners leaving special doggy surprises on your lawns, just to spite you. Maybe you won't notice, though, from up there on your high horses!

    Posted by Anonymous August 6, 09 01:51 PM
  1. Since this seems to be a "hot button" issue in the Western suburbs lately, it seems there should be separate parks for dogs and their owners and separate parks for people without dogs. Writing down license plates, leaving notes on windshields, etc. is harrassment. I mean, c'mon, given this rational, shouldn't we all be afraid of squirrels and wild turkeys charging us. Not to mention the fact that dog owners pay taxes to use the recreational areas. If they cannot, they should pay less taxes to the town. After all, people without children pay taxes for the schools that support people who do. I say, keep the two separate. A park for dog walkers and a park for people only. Segregation, that's the way to go! The two will never get along!

    Posted by For Real August 6, 09 01:57 PM
  1. THE GREAT NEWTON NEW ENGLAND DOG SIT-IN AND FESTIVAL!
    ATTENTION ALL GLOBE READERS.
    EVENT IS LIKE WOODSTOCK FOR DOGS.

    SATURDAY MORNING AUG 8 -- COME EARLY, STAY LATE

    * BRING YOUR DOG STARTING AT 7 AM ON SATURDAY FOR AN ALL DAY FESTIVAL OF DOG YAPPING, FROLICKING AND FUN. PRIZES FOR THE BIGGEST DOG, MESSIEST DOG AND DOG THAT POOHS THE MOST *

    FROLICKING GOOD TIME.

    ROVER


    Posted by ROVER August 6, 09 01:58 PM
  1. I was assaulted with a nasty look once. It's not something I will soon forget. I feel for you Mr. Dyer.

    Posted by Strono August 6, 09 02:01 PM
  1. I think I'll take a ride to Newton just to let my dog run around...sounds like a GREAT place for well behaved dogs! I'll get a big laugh out of anyone who tries to harrass me...unfortunately for those taking pictures, I myself am not that photogenic...but my dog is!

    Posted by AICPJTD August 6, 09 02:13 PM
  1. Some statistics to consider:
    Every day in the U.S., 1,000 people visit the Emergency Room because of dog bites. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are disproportionately affected by dog-related injuries. What’s worse, because they are typically at or below face level with a dog, they are particularly susceptible to facial injuries. 70 percent of dog bite–associated fatalities are in children.
    All of the arrogant and/or clueless dog owners who think it’s okay to leave their dog off leash should visit a pediatric plastic surgery department to look at some before and after pictures of little kids that have sustained total nose, ear, lip, or scalp amputations from someone’s “friendly” dog.

    “Oh, don’t be scared—he likes people…”

    Posted by allie August 6, 09 02:19 PM
  1. I am the nightmare of these uptight folks. I drive a lifted Ford 350, my rear bumper states that my gun has killed fewer people than Teddy K. Furthermore, I proudly display my McCain/Palin bumper sticker, which sticks right next to my NRA and USMC ones.

    I like to let my truck idle at high RPMs in front of a house that has two blue Volvo stations wagons; both with MV and Cambridge School of Weston stickers. While Idling I like to listen to AC/DC's Hell's Bells, which surely drowns out whatever patronizing drivel from the left these fiends are into.

    After making a suitable ruckus I let me six Dogo Argentino's out the truck, naturally they are leash-less. If it's trash day even better, the Dogo's find the weakest in the biped herd to terrorize. I love the Cold Springs dog park, thinking of it gives me goosebumps..

    Posted by Sabu LeChat August 6, 09 02:32 PM
  1. Maryann.
    Hingham, has a great dog park off of 3A. You'd be nuts to go there unless you had or dog or wanted to check out the dogs. Too bad you have to knock towns that have a lot to offer. Is Weymouth not doing it for you?

    Posted by julie August 6, 09 02:33 PM
  1. This is rediculous. People in Nedham need to meet reality. To hire a lawyer over something so trivial is just another indicator of how people with money could care less about the thousands of people loosing their jobs everyday. Take that money and donate it to a homeless shelter, god forbid you've ever even seen one in your life. The dog park does need to be fenced in and it needs to be the responsibility of the dog owners to maintain it. If people at the park notice irresponsible dog owners then there should be something in place to say that the owner cant come there anymore with their dog. Simple as that. Leave it to well educated socialites to make a big deal out of nothing, and to try and infringe on the happiness of other. In such a horrible economy and with moral being at its lowest cant they allow people to find enjoyment in something.

    Posted by Jen August 6, 09 02:36 PM
  1. If this park was a soccer/basefield field where a bunch of loud kids and their families came in droves and parked their cars on the street-- would there be the same complaints? Hummm?

    Posted by blackie4paws August 6, 09 02:37 PM
  1. Life is so short and dogs bring so much joy to people . Especially now with the economy and such. I lived in Newton for 30 years. Its not the same. My parents still live thier. Anyone to rat out an individual for letting thier dog off lease is a complete nut. If the dog bothered you or was unruly then I can see making a complaint. I would love to move back and start a dog walking business and allow 15 + dogs on this particular persons lawn and have a field day. You need a life and medication or maybe a hobbie. Seriously so pathetic ..

    Posted by Karen August 6, 09 02:39 PM
  1. Hey Allie 36,000 people a year die of the flu maybe we should outlaw handshakes and sneazing in public. Do you not get it? It's a seperate place for dogs to be off leash there is no reason for any children to be bitten unless you bring them into that section of the park. How thick are you people? We aren't talking about the Boston common here. Everyone who is against this dog park seems to have arguments that have nothing to do with the actual park. You all keep pointing out peole breaking rules like parking and having dogs off of leashes in other parts of the park. What does that have to do with the park itself? Somehow I don't think that getting rid of the park would fix either of those problems. In fact I would think it would actually make at least one of them significantly worse.

    Posted by Alex August 6, 09 02:49 PM
  1. Allie: All the more reason to have two separate parks. One for people, one for dogs and their owners. Dogs have just as much right to run free as children do. I understand the problem but it is not always the dogs who cause the problem. Children provoke dogs, too....pull their hair, sit on them, tease them....and the dog reacts. I grew up with dogs my entire life and they have been the joy of my life. I feel sorry for people who are afraid of dogs, who don't like music, and who don't have a sense of humor. Without those three things, life isn't worth living.

    Posted by For Real August 6, 09 02:56 PM
  1. allie: "Some statistics to consider:
    Every day in the U.S., 1,000 people visit the Emergency Room because of dog bites. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are disproportionately affected by dog-related injuries. What’s worse, because they are typically at or below face level with a dog, they are particularly susceptible to facial injuries. 70 percent of dog bite–associated fatalities are in children.
    All of the arrogant and/or clueless dog owners who think it’s okay to leave their dog off leash should visit a pediatric plastic surgery department to look at some before and after pictures of little kids that have sustained total nose, ear, lip, or scalp amputations from someone’s “friendly” dog.


    “Oh, don’t be scared—he likes people…”

    Perhaps if there were a designated dog park this would be less likely to happen. I know, as a dog owner, I would not bring my kid to run around a dog park. If you do, you're a dope.
    If you read the article that is the WHOLE point. Take a couple of acres of land. make it a doggie park and everyone else can enjoy the rest of the land. Just because all you dog haters don't want to share anything doesn't mean everyone has to suffer. These people complaining want everything completely their way - no compromise. Maybe they should volunteer their time at one of these plastic surgery places you suggest. Obviously they have plenty of time on their hands.

    Posted by Molic August 6, 09 02:59 PM
  1. I've been taking my dogs to Cold Springs for several months and have been parking my car over by the tennis courts and walking my "leashed" dogs through the trail. I would love to know how to get to the illegal parking, does anyone know?

    Posted by G August 6, 09 03:05 PM
  1. You took that emergency room information info out of context it is with children playing with THEIR dogs:
    Note that this comparison is limited to activities that children more or less voluntarily engage in, such as playing sports, playing with animals, etc
    Getting bitten by a dog is the fifth most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms caused by activities common among children. (See Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments, JAMA 2005;279:53; also see US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Injuries associated with selected sports and recreational equipment treated in hospital emergency departments, Consumer Product Safety Review, Summer 1996;1:5.) Note that this comparison is limited to activities that children more or less voluntarily engage in, such as playing sports, playing with animals, etc.

    Posted by lisa August 6, 09 03:06 PM
  1. Its sad that in Fall River, MA they are having a massive Liquified Natural Gas plant forced on their city despite 99% of the community being against it. In Newton they can have a dog park blocked because a few neighbors don't like people parking in front of their homes. These two cities are both in Massachusetts and only about 50 miles apart but might as well be on different planets.

    Posted by Bowser August 6, 09 03:23 PM
  1. Since the Franlin Park Zoo is having so much financial trouble, how about putting a fence around the area used by the people who complain and sell tickets to look at them. Then vistors can come and view some of the species on display

    Whinus Whinerius

    Corpulent Crapehangerserios

    Spoilus Everyonelesesfunus

    Pot Bellied Pain in the Neckus

    Nothing Better to doo-us

    The Wah Wah Wah

    The Mean Spirited Entitledarious

    Unfortunately, none of the above species are on the endangered list.


    Posted by Zookeeper August 6, 09 03:36 PM
  1. These dog owners should be the ones who are on leashes. And furthermore any dog owner who is caught with an unleashed animal should be rounded up and interned for later diposal. After all this is Newton and we have standards unlike the rest of the trash in this country,.

    Posted by JCP August 6, 09 04:05 PM
  1. Yeah, I agree that a FENCED park dedicated for dogs and their owners is a great thing. The problem is all the people that think they can let their pet run amok outside of the dog park. And by the way, Lisa and Alex, there are plenty of cases of mutilated children and adults who are victims of unprovoked attacks by "friendly" dogs.

    Why can't all dog owners just obey the law---keep their animals on leashes, and pick up their poop? The few people who don't make it bad for all of those who do try to be responsible.

    Posted by allie August 6, 09 04:13 PM
  1. Good god... Maybe all you people should put your children on leashes and then we can all get along! Really do the people of Newton not have anything better to worry about then dogs running in parks?!? I am so sick of hearing about all these awful dog owners and such! Why does no one ever give credit to the good dog owners? Here is an idea, start doing something more productive with your time and life!

    Posted by Sarah August 6, 09 04:26 PM
  1. Before we got a dog, my kids loved to play at the dog park and meet the dogs on the trails and in the off-leash park. Now my puppy is about to get her second set of shots and be able to play there. Dogs go to that park for socialization and for exersize. Those of you who oppose the park, if a dog didn't get excersize or socialization, it would be a living nighmare! Also, those of you against it, research more about Newton and dogs and put yourself in dog owner's shoes. This is one of the only (if not THE only) off leash dog park in the area. You can't ban us all from the ares if one irresponsible dog owner doesn't pick up after his/her dog and keeps them off leash in the trails. There are MANY places you can go where you can be alone without dogs, but Cold Spring isn't one of them. Let's get ahold of reality! It's a dog park... WITH DOGS! If you hate dogs, then cold spring isn't for you. It would break my heart to tell my kids "sorry- we can't play at the dog park, dog's can't play there."

    Someone-- Tell me what's wrong with that last sentance! I highly doubt that a dog that would "attack" would come to Cold Spring. Unless you call kissing an attack! Dogs DO have feelings and needs. You can't forget that. You can't push them out of their "space" because a dog park isn't YOUR space, it's a DOG park, it's theirs. I have to agree with many other post who say... Get a life! Live with it! It's a DOG park! It WON'T kill you and it WONT make the sun stop shining!!

    Posted by Kate Winters August 6, 09 04:46 PM
  1. wow. these busy bodies should maybe focus on some other kind of civic involvement. they could probably make some really positive changes for their community rather than alienating their neighbors and park-goers.

    seriously. it's just dogs.

    Posted by amy August 6, 09 05:13 PM
  1. 165 posts, and counting, over a park, and dogs, in Newton. And to read some of them....

    Quite frankly - arent there more pressing issues that need exposure?

    Globe will you please take this down and replace it with some real news? Thanks

    Posted by ava August 6, 09 06:15 PM
  1. I usually take my dogs to edmonds pk because it's nice and woodsy and hilly with trails and my dogs just love it. I ocassionaly get 'the look' but it's on rare occasion. This must be a more exlusive part of newton. I have never been to this park before but the pictures look nice and I think my dogs will love it. Can't wait to meet the person who will be taking pictures of my car and out of state plates.

    Posted by noyb August 6, 09 06:55 PM
  1. I grew up in Newton and own a dog. I would never let my dog off my leash let alone do his business without picking it up. Dog friendly park or not, there is a leash law for a reason. I returned to Newton visiting my parents when I tried to have a nice picnic w/my daughter a couple of years back in Edmunds Park, aka Cabot Woods. As a dog owner I have one thing to say to those who feel their dogs should be able to roam free to and vacate themselves w/o picking up their crap. Socialize my ass. Shame on you. What used to be a gorgeous park is now littered and disgusting with dogs everywhere and their aftermath left behind. It is unfortunate that I wasn't able to sit w/my daughter more than 5 minutes before I was attacked by loose dogs and the stench that was in the air from the feces left behind. To the residents who abuse the park shame on you for ruining what was once a beautiful sanctuary. I can only imagine what the inside of your homes look like. I am glad I no longer live on Blake Street to witness the destruction. You should all be fined or prosecuted. Leash your pets and pick up the mess. To those of you whose dogs love Edmunds Park...I used to love it too....back in the day when we appreciated its beauty and took care of it unlike yourselves. What a shame.

    Posted by Anonymous August 6, 09 10:11 PM
  1. Anonymous do you not understand that this is a designated area for a leashless park? These people are not breaking rules and the area is perfectly fine as far as dog poop goes. If people are breaking rules by having their dogs off leashes in other parts of the park that is a seprate issue as is parking illegally. Having a leashless dog park in a secluded part of a giant park seems like a great way to keep dogs from ruining your precious Edmunds Park. ITS A DESIGNATED AREA if you don't want to deal with the off leash dogs don't go there, don't take your children there. There are plenty of other parts of the park and other parks in Newton. We all pay taxes and a lot of us have dogs. We should get the benefits that we want as well. You people who just like to complain are sad. "I was at x park and was harrased by a dog so no dogs should be off leash anywhere." How ignorant do you sound. You know nothing about the actual issue and are just spouting off. Designating an area for off leash dogs seems like a great way to fix most of your complaints and yet you don't support it. I just don't get it.

    Oh and Allie you completely twisted those statisitcs to suit your argument. Most children are actually bitten by their own dogs.

    Posted by Alex August 7, 09 09:26 AM
  1. I live in Newton and spent several years living near Cold Spring Park. I've walked through that park more times than I can count, and of the hundreds of dogs I've seen there, not one ever created any serious problem for me. Perhaps it helps that, while I don't currently own a dog, I've lived with dogs in the past and don't have any phobias regarding them. The hysterical abutters might be better off hiring fencing contractors or psychiatrists rather than lawyers.

    Oh, and why has nobody mentioned coyotes?

    Posted by mtgordon August 7, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Dogs have bee man's companions for a very long time. Many dogs serve out their lives as members of a family. Other dogs serve by giving aid and comfort to the sick and elderly. Some are working dogs on a ranch or farm assisting farmers with herding and stray animals. A few are Seeing Eye dogs helping the blind lead better lives. Then there are search and rescue dogs that assist in finding the lost or rescuing disaster victims. There are tracking dogs, bomb sniffing dogs and other special skilled dogs eager to help people in any situation. The list goes on. A dog enriches man's life in ways far beyond any other creature on the planet. How about taking the road less traveled in today's world and consider that dogs are more than just property. I live in a town without a leash law, imagine that. Get the fence.

    Posted by doctor August 7, 09 05:13 PM
  1. I live in Newton and IF people were getting ACTUALLY hurt and not just offended -because they are entitled and have the money to hire a lawyer who obviously needs something more productive to do-then I could understand. These people absolutely need to understand they do not own the park, nothing outside their (often many) residences belongs solely to them. The degree of entitlement is worse than any dog off any leash, unless true documented injuries were happening and there is NO documentation to back that up, obviously.
    Who needs attention? The wealthy, entitled, whiners or Newton, we all know it, this is just another example.

    Posted by doesitreallymatter August 9, 09 01:45 PM
  1. I had to make the painful decision to say good-bye to my dog, Lucky, last Friday. He was a once in a lifetime best friend. We were so connected. I feel so Lucky to have had him to love for 14 years. My wish for everyone who wrote to this blog would be...that you get to experience that kind of love.

    Posted by jacqueline johnson August 9, 09 09:25 PM
  1. 10/25/09
    We are trying to set up an off-leash dog area in section of our city park (Takoma Park, MD). A public hearing will be scheduled soon. We hear it will be an uphill battle as City Manager (who makes ultimate decision) is against it. If anyone has suggestions to help us succeed please let me know. Thanks.

    P.S. Takoma Park is also a town where residents speak their minds.

    Posted by Mary Jane October 25, 09 09:20 PM
  1. Im a dog lover and I agree with them, but then I agree with jogger.I to have been attacked on the street while walking my dog on a leash by two dogs that were up to no good.I had to put my dog over my shoulders and keep walking till they left us alone.THE THING IS IF WE PAY DOG LICEANCE FOR OUR DOGS WHERES THAT MONEY GOING TOWARDS? WHY DONT THEY USE THE MONEY FROM THE DOG LICEANCE AND GET THEM A DOG PARK ,LETS THINK ABOUT THIS,AND STOP WASTING PEOPLES TIME AND MONEY AND HAVING PEOPLE STRESSED OUT.THERES PLEANTY OF PARKS IN NEWTON LETS NOT BE GREEDY THE DOGS PAY THERE WAY TO AND SO DO THE OWNERS.IM JUST GLAD I HAVE A FENCED IN YARD SO I DONT HAVE TO WORRY.THANKS AND HAVE A NICE DAY

    Posted by 3 dog person April 12, 10 01:26 PM