Citizen complaint of the day: Amok dogs at Millennium Park

A fed-up citizen complains:

Millennium Park is NOT a dog park! I am sick and tired of being chased and nearly attacked by off-leash dogs. My son was just chased and knocked to the ground by an off-leash dog.



    Free tagging: 



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    Never heard of citizen's connect. Why does the name matter anyway?

    The difference

    They are different though. One gives you a response from a human being, the other gives you a (usually) unhelpful incoherent broken English jumble of letters by someone who must be barely literate.

    For real, why can't the city hire English or marketing majors to intern responding to reports or hell, just hire recent grads.


    when I lived in that area, I

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    when I lived in that area, I used that park as a dog park. It's pretty huge. I found most of the dog folks stuck to the upper fields, where as all the kids playing soccer were usually found on the lower fields. Never seemed to be an issue. There's not really any parks in that area, and the upper fields have paths that branch off into the nearby forest for more walking paths.

    Also, last I recall there were dog bag dispensers' there, which usually encourages dog walkers.

    Also, anyone complaining about a giant park with a dog playing there can screw off. Maybe leave your kid at home if you're so worried about him being traumatized by a playful dog


    But it is not a dog park.

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    It is a park that is used by folks to like to walk and run and use the fields for soccer. That being said, the rules of the park, say your dog must be leashed. Unfortunately, it appears that many dog owners forget how to read the rule board when exercising their dogs up there. And that is wrong.

    And, hey, thanks for being understanding about those folks who might be scared of dogs. Next time you run into one, trying telling him or her to just "screw off".



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    Asshats like you can leash your mutt and clean up after it like the rules require. The park is for humans, not for undisciplined dogs.

    It only takes a couple of attitudinal jerks like you to ruin things for everyone.

    Children should not have to be protected from dogs at the park. Go screw yourself. Or your pooch.


    I'm tired of "playful dogs" and their owners

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    "Maybe leave your kid at home if you're so worried about him being traumatized by a playful dog"

    Ah, the old "playful dog" routine. What is WRONG with these dog owners who always say "he won't hurt you" or "he's just playing" when their aggressive dog jumps on people in a public place? They should be fined.


    Lease your dog.

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    It's the rule.

    It is not a dog park. If you want your dog to run off leash, please go find a place where it is legal.


    The kid wasn't behaving right around the dog

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    Or "the dog was under voice command" or "the kid was running and shouldn't do that at a park with dogs".


    Never "gee, maybe I should keep my ill-behaved, poorly trained mutt on a leash"! No. Can't do that. It isn't "natural for the dog".


    Having already outed myself...

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    here as an occasional leash-law flouter and generally imperfect person, can I just ask you other, apparently more egregious dog owners to knock it off? Please? Clean up after your dog--every time. No "oh, it'll just biodegrade before the snow melts" (it won't) or "oh, I didn't see him--I was just busy examining this azalea bush." Every time. And do NOT let your dog bother people--that means get anywhere near them unless explicitly invited, let alone jump on them or knock a kid over. A lot of people are scared of dogs or do not like dogs--it is not our job to "help them get over it" by letting a dog race towards them while calling "she's really friendly!" It just makes us all look like jerks. It makes people dislike our dogs instead of seeing them as just another harmless part of the urban lifescape. Please--just don't give people excuses to despise all of us.


    I don't hate the dogs

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    It's true that some owners keep their dogs under great control, even off leash, and clean up when their dogs do what comes natural, but it's the assholes that lead to the stereotypes of dog owners.

    The low point- when dog owners opposed O'Malley's proposal for a dog park right there, as owners wanted to be able to keep their dogs off leash all over the park and worried about a crackdown. I say, let the crackdown begin.


    Sally nailed it

    Yup, what she said. Thanks, Sal.

    We are also occasional leash-law flouters, though we live out in the boonies which is a very different environment than Boston. Hopkinton State Park is close by, and we take our neighbor's dog there a lot. Depending on what's going on at the time, yes, we'll let her off leash. When you have 1200+ acres of park, with maybe <50 people there mostly concentrated in one or two areas, of which most also have dogs, I don't see the issue. Most importantly, the dog is harmless - really. We have dog-sat for a lot of dogs and this is the only dog we let off-leash in certain conditions. I've found that the dog people at Hop SP are very good with their dogs and I don't recall seeing any problems at all - though I'm sure there have been some.

    So there, I've said it. We break the law. I also recall doing 37 in a 35mph zone once.


    Sharon had a great dog park too....

    Fenced in and everything. Dedham also has a nice one but you have to pay. Brookline has several but you are supposed to pay there too, (and they are not all fenced in and share with people/kids)

    Don't forget Sheepfold on the

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    Don't forget Sheepfold on the Fells. Acres and Acres with off leash. I used to bring my Corgi but after about 10 minutes he'd wander over to the car and wait for us to take him home. He was a grumpy little guy.

    Why unleash in the first place?

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    Under very controlled circumstances in familiar and possibly remote terrain... okay...

    But in big populated parks, I don't understand why dog owners feel like they're entitled to let their dog off leash. Many don't seem to care if their dog goes and bothers someone, or plays to rough with a kid... which... fine.

    But if you put the shoe on the other foot... and say... your dog runs up to another dog with aggressive tendencies...

    Again, I can't stress this enough to dog owners... exactly why do you want to let your dog off leash? Is there really a justifiable reason, other than just being tired of having to walk your dog?

    Why not?

    I'm speaking from my own perspective out here in the boonies.

    Where we walk, we walk on trails and the dog likes to roam around, do serious sniffing, and chase the occasional squirrel. The chances of running into someone else is very small, and again, we have made the executive decision that this dog is absolutely no threat to anybody else. There really is no reason for a leash.

    Now, in more confined parks one finds in the city, I admit that the opportunities of going off-leash are limited. Even out here, when we approach areas where there are more people, we put the leash on, and this is with a perfectly harmless dog. (I know, I know, everybody thinks their dog is perfectly harmless.)

    My point is, it depends on the situation.

    I can't speak for everyone else, but...

    ... I don't bother other park users by letting my dog off leash in places where dogs ought to be leashed, but I do seek out off leash areas because... most dogs can run a lot faster than a person; it's hard to let them have a good sprint while they're on a leash. It's hard to play fetch, or frisbee, with a dog on leash. It's hard for dogs to play naturally with each other (which typically involves lots of pretty random running around, circling, jumping, etc. ) while they're on leash.


    Why let them off leash?

    The dog enjoys it more. The dog gets to play with other dogs without getting tangled, and he dog can roam free and sniff and take his time while the person can keep their hands free. Dogs also like to sprint and run.

    If the dog is well behaved, there is no reason to keep them on leash. The problem is that there are too many dogs with bad manners.

    it's not the dogs

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    >The problem is that there are too many dogs with bad manners.
    I'd argue that the the problem is that there are too many dog owners with bad manners.

    It's not out of laziness...

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    We don't let our dog off-leash because we're lazy. Otherwise, we wouldn't be in the park in the first place. It's good for a dog to be able to run and play with other dogs. We go to Stodder's Neck in Hingham. We live in a neighboring town with a fenced dog park. We went once or twice and that was it. You will see very different behavior in a fenced dog park. The dogs seems to be more aggressive under those circumstances.

    Stodder's Neck is a wide open space and we've never had any problems. I think when dogs are leashed they feel very constrained. Also, I think they pick up on the owner's nervousness, especially when encountering other leashed dogs. But, in an optimum place like Stodder's Neck, the owners are relaxed because we don't have to worry about people who are afraid of dogs (like I used to be), the police and other various things. So, the dogs are relaxed.

    We don't go to general use parks anymore so I can't speak to why owners would let their dogs off-leash in places like Millennium Park, but I understand the impulse behind it.


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    I stopped running around the paths up there a few years ago because of the off leash dog problem. Sounds like it has gotten worse.

    The issue is that the city has to have someone or someones patrol the park to enforce the rules. Until that happens, more owners will just feel that their dogs have a right to be "off-leash" and poo on you.



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    I stopped running around the paths up there a few years ago because of the off leash dog problem. Sounds like it has gotten worse.

    The issue is that the city has to have someone or someones patrol the park to enforce the rules. Until that happens, more owners will just feel that their dogs have a right to be "off-leash" and poo on you.


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    I stopped running around the paths up there a few years ago because of the off leash dog problem. Sounds like it has gotten worse.

    The issue is that the city has to have someone or someones patrol the park to enforce the rules. Until that happens, more owners will just feel that their dogs have a right to be "off-leash" and poo on you.


    Get therapy

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    Whoa. Apparently that was traumatic for you. Hope you're okay.

    It's the Law

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    All dogs are required by Law to be leashed when in public. This includes all community parks. Until the city establishes an area in Millennium Park as a "Dog Park", which allows dogs to run free in a fenced in area (a requirement of established dog park), then the people are the authorized users of the park and not the dogs. It will take a tragedy to change the ignorance of those that chose to break the Law. I just hope that dog owners also understand that they can be sued for any behavior their Dog initiates. Not only can they be sued for a bite, but can also be sued for any emotional or traumatic reaction a person with a phobia may have under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which allows those with a disorder the right to access a public facility without discrimination which would include any behavior that would invoke such trauma. Make sure you have insurance and lots of it if you chose to allow your pet run unleashed in a public space while breaking the city leash law.


    Ever driven over the speed

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    Ever driven over the speed limit or failed to signal appropriately at a turn or when changing lanes? Didn't think so, Mr. Perfect.

    What does driving have to do with the Lease Law?

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    Mike, due to my disability I am unable to enjoy the privilege of driving a car. So to answer you question of whether or not I fail to signal or drive over the speed limit, the answer would be "No".
    What does driving have to do with the Lease Law, anyway?

    I don't yield to pedestrians in cross walks

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    or stop at red lights when there's no one around... or no one would care... but I'm a safe driver so it's okay for me to do those things.

    If they only got rid of traffic lights, and if only pedestrians would understand that I am a friendly driver, things would be better.

    I also occasionally take things from the grocery store without paying for them. But I usually pay for things, so the occasional theft is okay, right? Or are laws to be followed only if YOU think they are okay?

    (sarcasm off)

    Best viral video ever

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    Thanks Elmer!

    I love the flying hip check worthy of the NHL.

    Places Where Dogs Can Run Free.

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    In honor of Sally's impassioned plea for dickish pooch owners to purchase a clue allow me to build a bit more of that bridge with some resources.

    The Commonwealth is loaded with resources and places.

    The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has more than 200,000 acres across the state.

    These are mainly 'hunting preserves' paid for by hunting and fishing license fees over the years.

    Hunting is more prevalent in semi rural areas when practiced at all and hunting seasons are mainly in late fall when leaves are off trees..

    Then there is the good old DCR.

    State Forests are generally the least restrictive. Dog owners are a constituency and this is recognized at the state level more readily than at the city/town level.

    Keep in mind that clobbered places like Walden may have site specific rules for dogs but many don't. The Fowl Meadow section of the Blue Hills system only posts rules about ATV's and that is on the border with Hyde Park.

    We also have Town conservation lands, especially old town forests, a relic from the days when a strategic reserve of timber was essential in a largely wood based material culture.

    Every city and town has a conservation commission but their information varies wildly.

    They are usually on a page of the town Gov website.

    Here's the impeccable Wellesley version.

    Generally, smaller city parks like Millenium are glorified nature bandages and charming booby prizes wrested from the wreckage of modern urbanization. Yes they may be large compared with some tiny postage stamp park but Burrage Wildlife Management Area is a few hundred acres.

    The Hockomock is large enough to be one of the few remaining wilderness areas in eastern MA.

    And urban parks are in cities.. duuh.

    That means a likely increase in the number and diversity of users.

    It is great to see dog specific places set aside with increasing frequency but the real issue should be about discovering all the killer places you can take a dog because it deserves the experience and it will do you a world of good too.

    Pooches are particularly scent based and getting them to places with symphonic olfactory options is an ultimate treat... their Disneyland or something.


    This is my issue. I pay taxes

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    This is my issue. I pay taxes. I also have to pay dog license fees. Now you're telling me I have to pay another fee to use a park for my dog? I'm sorry, what fees do you have to pay to use millennium? A dog off leash is no different then a child off leash. I don't see a requirement to keep them on a rope either

    I pay taxes too!

    Also excise tax. You have empowered me to run all red lights, ignore all stop signs, drive whichever way I feel like driving down one way streets, and for good measure, I won't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (especially the ones with dogs). After all, you apparently own the park since you pay taxes, and I now own the roads.

    Thank you!



    So the person whose kid was attacked has to move to a different park so people can continue to break the law without being bothered.



    This is an area where the

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    This is an area where the city has not been responsive enough to residents. People need somewhere they can take their dogs to run around in an enclosed space that keeps the dogs safe and keeps the dogs away from people who don't like them or want to be bothered by them. I don't understand why this is so hard for the city to do. If funding is the issue, raise the very low dog licensing fee ($6 for neutered/spayed) by a couple dollars and dedicate the money to dog parks, which are nothing more than proper fencing and a gate.

    There is a private group pushing for dog park at Millennium but this shouldn't be their responsibility, it's on the city to do.


    Rob, dog parks are a lot more

    Rob, dog parks are a lot more than a fence and a gate. And the city and several groups are working hard to address these issues at various locations, so dont just pooh-pooh them. Show up to a mtg sometime and educate yourself a bit...

    I'm a responsible dog owner

    I'm a responsible dog owner who always leashes but something should be said about dog owners with those extendable Flexi leashes.

    Not only are they prone to malfunction, but for a lot of folks, they may as well not be leashed at all.

    I've seen all too often people that just let the dog trail 20-30 feet or whatever the max length is in front of them with these leashes and all too often I've almost tripped over these lengths of cable from some idiot's pom swerving all over.

    The absolute worst is I was almost closelined whilst biking when some girl just let her dog trail out onto the street before her.

    You also have no way of knowing if someone is letting the slack out, so a dog could come running in your direction but an inattentive person could just keep the dog going, not hitting the brake.


    That's probably why

    They do not meet legal requirements as dog restraint devices.

    "No person owning or harboring a dog shall suffer or allow it to run at large in any street or public place in the City, nor permit it to go upon any street or public place unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding ten (10') feet in length."

    Ordinance 16-1.9


    O'Malley's proposal

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    I was there in those meetings and the reason folks opposed this was that the fenced in area was going to be too small and not allow people to get in their walks at the same time as their dogs (which is what I do). Ultimately though the idea had to be scrapped because of Millennium Park's former use as a land fill, the city thought that having a "dog park" in a certain area would lead to dogs digging holes and breaking through whatever remediation the city did in creating the park. So as far as I know, a "dog park" as exists in other parts of the city is impossible at Millennium.

    The compromise that was floated at those meetings was making the lower ring off leash or institute off leash hours. I would have been happy with either. O'Malley and the city did not go down that path since they would then have to change city regs on the leash laws and dog parks.

    As a general matter, the

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    As a general matter, the issue of the membrane in Millennium is a legitimate concern due to the methane gas underneath. That having been said, I think worrying about dogs digging it up is a tad much on the city's part considering that short stakes have been used up there for events to hold tents in the ground and so forth without going deep enough to pierce it. And obviously, there are many dogs there now as it is so it's not as if a dog park would further encourage bad behavior, it's already happening. That park is so huge (biggest in the city) that there must be a place there to accommodate this. Councilor O'Malley has been diligent in trying to come up with a solution for this, hopefully one can be found.

    Dog Park near Fresh Pond

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    It is part of a park that was an old landfill site. Doesn't seem to be an issue there.

    Problem at Millennium wasnt

    Problem at Millennium wasnt dogs getting at cap, it was being able to excavate to sufficient depth for drainage given their cap construction and the nearby watershed.

    Not sure how Danehy was done, doubtles they considered similar issues.

    Then again Boston isnt
    Cambridge isnt Somerville and some towns do just slap up fencing and a gate and call it a dog park, then wonder why the place stinks and the neighbors complain...

    Best of luck to O'Malley, he is a good guy...

    Walking a dog

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    This can be done with a leashed dog. In fact, more of us dog owner haters like seeing owners walking with their leashed dogs. I see them walking down the street all the time.

    I will admit. I wasn't at the meetings. My only knowledge of the meetings come from the newspapers. I also am confident that O'Malley is trying to satisfy all sides. If the Stony Brook park can attract the Millennium Park scofflaws, all the better for all parties.

    Despite my claim of being a dog owner hater, I obviously am not. I even stopped by the park on Brookline Ave. in Brookline today that allows off leash at certain times. It's a great place.

    Probably because

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    ..that is a support organization like "Friends of the ..."

    The park as noted on that link is in Boston, to wit West Roxbury.

    So a look at Boston Parks stuff gives you the official litany.

    The cadences are great, it's like 'found form' for parody lit.

    Other spaces in West Roxbury for dogs

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    There is a open space wooded area at the sanctuary behind Harvard Vanguard at 333 Independence Dr in West Roxbury that offers trails that lead to a giant open meadow in Hancock Woods. This would be ideal for a dog park. Maybe the city can look into this space as an option to build a park. Just a thought.