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When we lived in Fort Collins CO we had a big beautiful dog park built, lake & all. Space for small & large dogs separated by fencing. What we found out is that some dog owners would leave their dogs & go shopping then return to pick up their dogs. This happened for quite awhile until a puppy got killed and the killer's owner wasn't there. The cat was out of the bag so to speak. So now everyone is aware and looking out for this not to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
When we lived in Fort Collins CO we had a big beautiful dog park built, lake & all. Space for small & large dogs separated by fencing. What we found out is that some dog owners would leave their dogs & go shopping then return to pick up their dogs. This happened for quite awhile until a puppy got killed and the killer's owner wasn't there. The cat was out of the bag so to speak. So now everyone is aware and looking out for this not to happen.
It really is a shame that people have done what they appear to have done..all over the country it seems to be getting worse.
I used to take my recently passed Border Collie to dog friendly stores like Petsmart and Home Depot and she loved going. Petsmart was of course her favorite since she could pick out things herself (she wanted everything..LOL). Due to present conditions..none get to experience that fun anymore.

I haven't visited a dog park with any of my younger dogs and never will.
 

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I stopped going to dog parks long ago, because the ones in my area were usually dirty and few of them offered swimming or wooded terrain. But then the constant search for available off leash venues in my area which weren't too far from my house shrank dramatically, as more people were infesting our secret places due to exploding development. I used to drive for miles to find places my girls could romp and swim, and sometimes there were people there with dogs, but there were never any problems as the areas were not confined and there was plenty of room. Slowly even those places became too crowded, and people without dogs took over.

There was an area in a park on the Snoqualmie River at its confluence with the Tolt where ALL my puppies first swam because there was a perfect section with very little current. Now that area has been closed to vehicle traffic, and you have to walk from a parking lot and then down a large rutted path which, unfortunately, I can no longer do. I am extremely lucky because we moved in 2006 to our 13 acre property in that town, with our own two creeks and huge trees, and it's dog heaven! And even the mud can't ruin the joy! Only now my 12 and 9 year old girls do not get the opportunity to socialize with other dogs very often, unless they are at Home Depot or Petco when we are, and since my 12 year old lost an eye, she's snarly and snappy when other dogs creep up on her from her blind side, so I would never take her to a dog park. Our creeks are not deep enough for sustained swimming, so sometimes we go to the boat launch at the river, which can be crowded in the summer. However, my girls are usually so focused on the tennis ball they don't even pay attention to the other dogs - although they always have to say hi to the people, especially the kids in the summertime! My take? Dog parks are dirty because of people, can be overcrowded and people either don't pay attention to their pups or don't consider if their dogs have the tempearment to be there I can't speak to the disease factor, which is scary enough.
 
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