CITY GOING TO THE DOGS
STAFF - TORONTO
Local dog owners are up in arms after the latest example of inconsiderate parents allowing their kids to run amok in local parks, traumatizing dogs and owners alike. Last week saw a horde of baby-toting hipster parents invade a clearly marked and fenced-in dog park in the downtown Toronto Beaches area. Reportedly, kids were stealing dog toys and covering them with their own saliva and bite marks, children were chasing fearful dogs and dog-owners and thoughtless parents were leaving behind dirty diapers on the ground.
“It’s not like they don’t have plenty of park space of their own,” complains Monica DeSouza, a City archivist and the proud “mama” of a beguiling beagle terrier mix named Gadget. “Gadget was completely bowled over by this very aggressive child. The parent simply yelled from over twenty feet away, ‘It’s OK, she is very friendly. She loves dogs.’ I mean, who cares that she is ‘friendly’? The kid should be better behaved. Now whenever Gadget sees a child he hides behind my legs and whines. I am seriously concerned that I may have to take him to a pet psychologist.”
Artist and caterer Chip Peterson also sees it as a growing problem and one that is the result of changing demographics. “Look, I don’t blame the kids per se. I blame the parents – they simply let the kids run wild. This has been a doggy community for years – we have two dog treat bakeries in the neighbourhood, one traditional and the other vegetarian, gluten free and organic – and these people are pushing their way in without any consideration of our history and sensibilities. They are attracted by all the green space and then fail to respect it. I mean, keep your kid on a leash if you can’t control it.”
“These breeders make me sick – literally. I am allergic to children’s drool but you’re some sort of monster if you have no interest in these little Petri dishes in designer clothing – you should see some of the ridiculous outfits these people put their kids into – I mean, seriously, get a life,” adds Tamara Jacobson, a local dog walker and the outspoken founder of the anti-kid lobby, “Stop Kidding Around”.
Issues such as these are expected to dominate a city meeting later this month on local planning for the park with a proposition for a large fenced in area only allowing children and parents with a splash pad and water fountain of its own. It has local dog owners foaming at the mouth.