Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the sign, or a vivid recollection of every new rule that was posted, but I will convey what I can.
We arrived at the dog park on Sunday to try and burn out some of Harper's excess energy. It's been tough on the girl. Chris isn't available because of studying, and I just haven't felt well enough to walk every day. I tried, but it wasn't always happening. So, needless to say, she was quite excited when we arrived. Much to our amazement, a new sign was posted saying that the park was at risk of being closed down, and that the following rules must be obeyed. They mostly involved cleaning up after and observing your dog. Nothing new, nothing surprising. What WAS surprising was a new ban on bringing toys to the park, and also an adamant reminder that you must bring your own water and take it home when you leave.
We were a little put off by this. Harper...is not a social dog. Not that she's mean to other dogs, she just has no interest in going to the dog park to run around with them. She might say hi to a few of the owners, but mostly? The dog is ball obsessed. The main reason we go is to have a large, fenced in space where we can use the long ball-tosser-stick-thing (I don't know the name) and wail that ball hundreds of yards. Restricting toys terminates our purpose.
Although, on a side note, my ever-so-concerned husband threw it OVER the fence into another fenced area, and then let me climb the fence to retrieve it. Thanks, hun.
Our immediate inclination was that it is an un-staffed park, and that they were just annoyed that it wasn't being maintained. On further thought, though, I realized that it's probably a health concern. If dog parks have too much waste present, it can cause a serious health hazard. There are any number of parasites that can live in waste, as well as the following list of diseases, as posted by the Organic Pet Digest:
* Parvovirus (Parvo)- This is a highly contagious disease, which often leads to death, is most commonly transmitted through contaminated feces. Symptoms of Parvo include diarrhea and vomiting. Parvo is most common in puppies but can affect a dog of any age.
* Giardia- This is a parasite that lives in various unexpected water sources. If consumed, it causes giardiasis, which has symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain and poor weight gain.
* Distemper- This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the respiratory and nervous systems, causing fever, lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and eventually death.
* Leptospirosis- A bacterial disease carried by wild animals or found in water sources. Symptoms include high fever, jaundice, hemorrhaging and bloody feces.
* Kennel Cough- A highly contagious disease caused by organisms. Symptoms include severe coughing spells sometimes followed by vomiting and gagging.
So, maybe there was a rational. Although, we may still sneak our own ball into the park. We just won't be sharing...if that's possible. "Ball" seems to be the equivalent of throwing a juicy steak sometimes, and you tend to get quite a few participants. Ah, well. It's a risk we'll have to take.