Nov. 16, 2015 Dog Park

I am so pleased and thankful for the job our city does with creating beautiful parks and “green spaces”. I am not sure of the exact number of parks that we have, but I will figure it out as I eventually do a story about each one of them. Let’s start with Dog Park.

Dog Park opened on January 24th, 2015. It cost the City $461,000. Although this is my least favorite of Bonita’s parks, I still love the fact that the city isn’t scared to pull the trigger on building new parks. The city’s willingness to spend money on parks has given us some of the most beautiful spots in S.W. Florida, and made Bonita Springs really stand out from any of the cities around us.

Why is Dog Park my least favorite? You can  say that I am not a “pet person”. It’s not that I hate dogs…I really like some of them. I do hate cats. I simply believe that animals should live outside. Deep in the woods.

When I was a kid growing up in Bonita Springs in the 70’s and early 80’s, people could get away with not wearing shoes for probably 60% of the time. It was simply the way things were. Circle-K, Ace Hardware, K-Mart, most small businesses and the restaurants that we could afford to eat in….no shoes were needed. Sandspurs be damned! We were tough. Our feet were bones wrapped in callouses wrapped in leather. We would stand barefoot on top of 160 deg. blacktop and chat about the latest KISS album.

Even Superman has Kryptonite, however. No matter how tough we were back then, we too, had our Kryptonite. It came in the form of a Dairy-Queen-whip-shaped loaf of dog shit hiding in the grass. To slide across one of these organic Claymores would bring us down. Way down. Especially if there was no hose around. It was a disgusting feeling that would leave me feeling violated. No amount of scalding hot showers would make the spaces between my toes feel clean. I felt “dirty”. Fecal flashbacks would haunt me for up to a week per episode.

Fast-forward to 2015. My Floridian-roots revival. Now, as a 50 year-old man, I am trying to bring back the pleasures of going unshod. I’ll be lucky to get my percentage of shoelessness up to 20% now. The world is a different place. But I really am trying. Some long-time, wonderful friends of mine recently laughed in disbelief when I showed up at their house for dinner with no shoes.

When I mow my yard, I wear shoes. I have to. Not only do sandspurs now hurt, but there is a 5′ corridor along the edge of my yard, bordering the sidewalk, that is littered with crusty piles of sun-baked dog shit. Did I just hear someone think, “ Well at least it’s hard now” ? You really think a crusty is that much better than a softy? My friends….it’s just as bad, only different. Have you ever hit a crusty with a lawnmower? Have you ever hit a pinata filled with corn starch? It turns to an airborne powder finer than Anthrax. It surrounds you, It sticks to your sweaty body and is inhaled deep in to your lungs. It is disgusting on a deep level. A level that sets off alarms for my psychological and hygienic self-preservation.

There is only one real solution. KEEP YOUR DAMNED DOG OFF OF MY LAWN!

I have 110′ of sidewalk along my yard. 110′ for your dog to do it’s itchy circles of decision as to whether or not this is a worthy spot to crap on. I hate my odds here, and I don’t want to play.

To those of you who are thinking, “Well I pick my dog’s poo-poo up in a little blue bag…” I have two things to say to you. First…no human should go scurrying around behind an animal to collect it’s hot turd in a micro-thin plastic bag. It is not nature’s order of things. You are a sissy. Second…Even if you do pick up your dog’s warm, fresh, offering in your little bag, there is residue on my grass. I pay a mortgage each month for my property. You and your dog stay off of it. If you feel like you have a right to have your dog relieve itself in my yard, just because you are going to pick it up, you are wrong! It is trespassing, plain and simple.

I get an absolutely crazy kick out of cheerfully honking my car horn and waving at people that are lugging around their little blue bags full of feces. It is impossibly hysterical to me to see someone actually wave back at me with the hand carrying the bagged turd! I will try to get a video of this to post on this blog. It’s priceless, and will no doubt go viral.

So, thank you, Bonita Springs, for the Dog Park. Keep up the tremendous work in creating parks! It really does help to make our city special. It may also equate to fewer piles of crap in my yard. That, to me, is well worth  $461,000.

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