COLUMN: Safety should come first, dogs come second

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By Brooke Tindall

Man’s best friend, maybe, then again maybe not. The park and dogs just seem not to mix apparently. Dogs are great, until they hurt someone or cause a problem that is.

Dogs mean different things to different people. Some say a dog is like a member of their family, others however say it’s just a dog, nothing special about it. How you see it determines your view on a dog ordinance.

I’m sure we’ve all heard some form of news about a dog. Most of the time it’s negative, a dog attacking someone for example. That’s one of the many reasons a dog should be at least kept on a leash. Sometimes a leash doesn’t always hold up, especially on a big dog, like a Great Dane for example. The dog probably weighs as much as some people. If you don’t handle the dog right, it’s probably going to pull you around instead of the other way around.

With any type of dog being in a park it can sometimes open way to an accident of some sort. People love to take their dogs with them. They’re like their family. If they couldn’t take them some would be heartbroken, others wouldn’t mind as much.

But then again you have to think of some of the trouble people go to, to keep our parks, county, and city clean and safe. With dogs in the park sometimes people don’t notice, but dogs, as well as any animal, can tend to make a mess.

The best solution to dogs in the park would be to make a dog park of some sort, but that costs money — something that is spent on other things rather than a dog park or fence, due to the economy. The simple solution is to therefore ban the dogs from the park, or make some really strict rules.

There are certainly some ups and downs to this though. If you ban the dogs, it leaves people having to keep them in their yards. If they live in a place with no yard, there is hardly any place to take them, unless you put them on a leash and walk down the sidewalk, which is still OK.

Although no one expects it, a dog can get mad pretty easily and not mean to hurt someone. They could still play Frisbee in a yard or friend’s or family member’s yard, which is much safer than in a park full of children.

Personally, I love dogs and we have a few of our own, but safety should come before not really knowing what to expect from your dog.

If we keep our pets on a leash, pick up after their messes and take proper care of them, we might get a fenced in area or a dog park in the future. There, of course, would still be some clean up efforts, boundaries and restrictions, but it would be worth it. Of course, the city and county do what they have to, so keeping everything safe is what’s important.

We all love to have a nice, clean and safe park to play on the playground, walk on the track, play a sport or practice at one of the fields, or just sit on a bench and relax under a shade tree. And that’s the way it should be kept, with or maybe without dogs. It’s up to us, and the elected officials of our county and city. God bless.

Brooke Tindall is a teen columnist for The Anderson News. She is a freshman at Anderson County High School and can be reached at btindall95@gmail.com.