by KACI LIVINGSTON//Staff Writer
There is something about seeing dogs running freely with each other that shines a little happiness in one’s heart.
In a college town, it is not uncommon for most residents to have a faithful dog companion. Although pups may not complain most of the time about staying in an air- conditioned apartment, at night when restless, owners surely will. If only there were a way to let your canine companions release all their conserved energy in a healthy, nondestructive way.
Many cities across the United States have at least one or more dog parks accessible to the public. During Christmas break, I went to Dallas and Houston, where I saw all of the multiple park options just for dogs. The parks ranged in variety from those with small lakes, structures used for training unique sets of skills and plots of grass that have been fenced in and claimed as a dog park.
As a resident of the city of Lubbock, I cannot understand why the city has not yet made a public dog park. Many people I know own a dog and complain of not having a place to take their dog to run around off of a leash with other four-legged friends. I am not the only person who supports having a fenced-in dog park in Lubbock. There have been numerous attempts to open one. However, for some unknown reason, it has yet to happen.
With an open space for dogs to run freely, there are many benefits not only for the dogs but the community as well. Since there are not any dog parks here in Lubbock or surrounding areas, people would be open to driving a short distance driven by the love of their pups, therefore increasing Lubbock visitors.
Some problems caused by dog owners at public parks that could be avoided by having a dog park include off-leash dogs. Unleashed dogs in parks pose a huge inconvenience to runners, children and to the dog owners themselves. However, if there were more accessible dog parks, owners would have a designated place to bring their off-leashed dogs without disturbing the others.
When having a dog that will be around people or just trying to improve social skills, dog parks can play a huge role. Since there are generally others enjoying the park, canines and their owners will be around. How hard is it to not want to pet every dog in one’s visual path? I can easily answer that with one word: impossible.
As there are other people at the park, strangers’ hands will grace the face or backs of many dogs. Because of the positive social interaction, dogs will benefit, and aggression could potentially be lessened in other instances with people passed on the street or at parks during walks.
As a dog mom to two beautiful dogs, I believe there are so many benefits for the community, as well as to individuals, that could be reaped from having a dog park in Lubbock.