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State shuts Turtle Pond due to bacterial bloom that could kill dogs

The Boston Public Health Commission reports that Turtle Pond in Stony Brook Reservation has high levels of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that could kill any dogs that swim in the pond and ingest enough of the stuff, either by drinking the water or by licking themselves after a swim.

The bacteria won't kill people, but they already weren't supposed to swim in the pond, not because of cyanobacteria but because there are no lifeguards and people drown there every so often, most recently last summer.


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do dogs lick themselves?

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Well, if you have to ask . . .

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My dachshund will like his chest and paws before bedtime. It’s super endearing and also nasty

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If you're asking why dogs lick themselves, it's a dog thing. You wouldn't understand.

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Is don't talk about dogs licking themselves club. J/K

Actually dogs lick themselves for multiple reasons. Part of it has do with healing. Those doggo enzymes are amazing, and some of it has to do with grooming. Other reasons can be found at the AZ Animals website. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/why-dogs-lick-themselves/

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Just a week or two back someone reported someone drowning at Turtle Pond. Likely a passer-by in a car. This triggered a rescue response with divers to be sent there closing off Eneking parkway to traffic. It turned out that this was a couple of teens swimming there.

Needless to say the BFD chief in charge gave them a good talking-to and sent about a dozen trucks and associated staff back to their stations. At last check possible charges from State PD (which has jurisdiction at Turtle Pond from the Blue Hill Barracks) was unknown. These kids could also be billed for the response which would be in the thousands easily.

Swimming at Turtle Pond is prohibited at all times. As the link offered by Adam shows, there have been drownings there. Indeed several over a multi-year period. Yes, there is a dock (sometimes in disrepair) but that is not an invitation. The "No Swimming" signs are often broken and removed by the naysayers that insist on swimming and disregarding the rules set up for their own safety... and preservation of life.

And there seems to be plenty of self-entitled people that insist they know better, refuse to accept the restrictions, and swim anyway. What can be frosting is those same people will often encourage others to break the rules and risk those people's lives as well. We've all seen the posts here and in social media elsewhere encouraging this.

So along with the weeds just below the surface that will entangle you and the snapping turtles that don't know the difference between a small bit to eat and your toes, now we have a bacteria bloom. The swimmers and the dog owners will get sick and blame someone else.

Please do not compromise your own safety and that of your pets, or the dogs that you walk as a service down there. Also please stop encouraging others to risk their lives as well. Stupidity is not something to be shared openly.

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It seems like these bans on swimming become a self perpetuating cycle:

1) People swim someplace;
2) Some people can't swim, and drown;
3) Government declares a ban on swimming in said place;
4) Swimming access becomes more limited;
5) Even fewer people know how to swim because of that, then repeat at steps 1-2.

Is there any legitimate circumstance that justifies a ban, beyond the line of thinking that swimming should be banned anywhere in the state unless there is a lifeguard present? Swimming carries risk, but the presence of risk alone doesn't justify a ban.

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Worth noting that swimming without a lifeguard present is legal at most US beaches (granted, definitely not all). Even some of the beaches here in Boston!!!!

DCR just hates Turtle Pond for some unknown reason. Maybe it's just one person there with a grudge, who knows. In any case, seems like they're taking a very GOP/Norquist approach to the area, incrementally blocking it off and letting it go to shit, hoping it'll get a reputation as a nuisance and be shut down and sold off.

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Everybody who has a boat swims without a lifeguard. So then why would it be illegal to swim without a lifeguard from a dock? It is too easy for DCR to put up no-swimming signs that just ruin everybody's fun.

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