Sans dog run, owners enjoy a walk in the park
by Maggie Gordon
Aug 04, 2009 | 2679 views | 0 0 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Yisy Grullon walks a canine family of three. Mom, dad and puppy are all present.
Yisy Grullon brings her three dogs to Juniper Valley Park a couple times each week. “I wish there was a gate to close them in,” she said on Monday as she walked the canine trio along a sidewalk in the park.

She’s in favor of creating a dog run in the park where dogs can exercise without their leashes. “It would be better, because you want dogs to meet other dogs and be free,” she said. “We come here so they can meet other dogs, and let them sniff.”

As the sun shines down on a warm summer day, several people can be seen walking their dogs through the park, while others soak up the sun on benches lining the walkways. Carmen Cruzado sits reading a book on a bench. She is not a dog owner, but she does have an opinion about the proposed dog run.

“I think it’s cool. There’s a lot of dogs in the park,” she said. “It’s a friendly park and I don’t have a problem with it. Owners here are very good with their dogs.”

On the next bench over, Anthony Fernandez is enjoying the warm weather; he left his Maltese at home for the day. “I think any addition would be OK, and this would certainly please the dog owners,” he said.

But while some people feel the dog park would give their four-legged friends room to frolic freely, not everyone is comfortable with the idea. “I would worry about my dog being with other strange dogs, who might not have their shots,” said Joe Mammina, holding Kato, his five-month-old Akita puppy, by the leash. “He’s a good dog, and I don’t want him to get into fights.”

Mammina brings Kato to the park on a daily basis. “I would make it an exclusive place, where it would be safe for all dogs,” he said. “They should be screened – the pets and the owners. Look at their shots, the history of the dog, and the history of the person.” If it’s safe, he said he would bring Kato.

A safe dog run can be an asset to the community, said Helena Marino, another park visitor, as she stretched in the shade of a large tree. “They have one by my mom’s house, and the dogs get together there. It’s like a meeting place for them.”
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