The event at the Norman dog park on April 3, 2021 is a travesty on so many levels. I hope the injured dog, in particular, is doing well and tip my hat to the individual who initiated the GoFundMe page to help with expenses!

Hopefully law enforcement will do their part and ensure that the individual who fired the shots receives due process (and fallout) and, most importantly, does to not return to the park.

But one aspect of this story which warrants further scrutiny is the size of shooter's dog, described to me by an eye witness as a "10 lbs or less"-sized dog. This variable is HUGE! The shooter and his small dog were in a pen designated for dogs over 30 lbs.

As a frequent patron of the park for the past 18 months, it has amazed me how many individuals, in the spirit of trying to socialize their own dogs, bring small dogs into the large dog pen. Many large breed dogs simply do not like small breed dogs and vice versa!

If you go to the dog park and do not honor the signage, then the setting becomes riskier for all. I am astutely aware of this each time I am at the park with my retired racing greyhound. Deemed "small animal safe," a sighthound could experience a lapse in judgment due to a startle where they might forget their "retirement rules" (...and bolt 0-45 mph to catch a small white hare).

Dogs will be dogs! And things can go from bad to worse in a nanosecond in such a fully-charged, dynamic place like a dog park! It is a risk we take when we go. But like so many others, it's become a "sanctuary" and an almost "necessary" part of our day. It is a spiritual place that we need to protect and keep safe. Let's not blame the dog for the "less than ideal" decisions we as dog parents make.

Lastly, carry a can of citronella pet deterrent to the dog park so that you may be adequately prepared for unfortunate events. The dog park is no place for a gun. Shame on you, sir!

Kathy Young



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