Your opinion ("Dog's bite more costly than its bark," April 23 Roundup), while right on the money when it comes to owner responsibility, may have painted a negative picture of the off-leash dog park.
As one who takes a dog to the park on a daily basis, I can say that the vast majority of the dogs who are brought to the park are not aggressive. To my knowledge, the incident discussed in your (editorial) has been the only incident of "dog bites man." While there have been aggressive dogs in the park, the owners have generally done one of two things they have either stopped bringing their dogs or they have started bringing them when other dogs are not in the park. The aggression shown by these dogs has not been toward people, but toward other dogs. In each such incident that I have witnessed, the owner has quickly taken control of the aggressive dog.
I would encourage anyone who wishes to exercise their dogs to give the park a try. Come to the park and watch the dogs play together, large and small. Not only do the dogs seem to enjoy the socializing, but the humans do, too. The humans should be prepared to be asked their dog's name first. In fact, learning the names of the other people in the park often occurs as an afterthought.
Thanks to Paws in the Park for their work to make the park a reality, and to the town for its support of the project.
Susan Grubbs, Payson