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Bark City Ain’t What She Used To Be

Another week… another article in the Park Record about a bad dog. This time a person scrambled up a tree to avoid an aggressive dog by the library. If you read the article’s comments, they’re a mix of “the city needs to control dogs” and “it’s Bark City, get over it.” I think both miss the point.

People seem to talk about Park City as if it’s Mayberry with dogs. I imagine the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte with dogs replacing the people. That may have been true in some form 10 years ago? Maybe 20? But not now. It’s people with too many dogs, that they often can’t control, paying no attention, and taking no responsibility. It feeds into my thesis that it’s not the growth, it’s the people.

Yet calls for the city or county to do SOMETHING are as equally blind. The problem isn’t the 99% of dog owners… it’s the 1 %. Even if the county’s animal control department could crack down (I don’t think they could), it would harm the 99% of people generally doing the right thing. It would harm the Park City brand. It would frankly make things miserable for many people.

So what are we to do? We need to find equilibrium. We need to swing the pendulum back.

I’ve previously said you may want to consider recording encounters with police. Perhaps it’s time to consider recording encounters with bad dog owners, too. Nothing else has seemed to work and who knows if this will be any different. That said, sometimes just the act of recording makes people act differently.

If you happened to have recorded the April 20th event described in the Park Record, where the dog chases a man up a tree, I’ll pay the first person who can provide it $100 if it shows the dog, owner, and the incident. If that incident actually happened as described, it shouldn’t go unpunished in Park City.

I wish that everyone would take the view that we are all in this together — that we should work together to make our shared experiences pleasant ones. I’m just not sure that’s in the mindset of all Parkites. Actually, I’m sure it’s not. The million dollar question is whether we can change that.



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