Silver Lake dog drama

Photo by Sandy Driscoll

Sandy Driscoll* was near the Silver Lake Dog Park this morning when she observed and photographed what  she describes as an all too familiar scene:

I see this all too often … a dog that gets loose and in traffic in front of the Silver Lake dog park. This lady, and several other concerned dog parkers, had stopped traffic to try and retrieve the wayward doggy!   I and many others waited several minutes as the dog darted in and out of traffic, evading capture. I finally left … but I’m sure they got the dog.

* Driscoll is an Eastsider advertiser

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  1. that’s me in the pic !
    Yes, the dog soon went safely back to his ‘momma’s’ arms.
    Thank you to all the patient drivers that waited while this pup (Rufus) got back to his senses and safe.
    i’ve already discussed this issue with the Parks Dept and am personally going to put something up to block the small gap between the fence and the gate where the smaller dogs can slip out. Hopefully, they will either approve it or come up with their own BETTER solution !

  2. Well done, Jen. And thanks for posting this. A reminder surely doesn’t hurt. Just this a.m. before this happened, another woman was chatting when she came in, and didn’t close the first gate all the way and we screamed for her to close it. I see it happen way too much.

  3. actually, strangely enough – when i got to the large dog side this morning, i walked in the gate and unleashed my dogs and a woman came up with her dog from the sidewalk, and immediately OPENED the gate that leads out to the sidewalk & street…with my UNLEASHED dogs in the entrance. ….OI VAY !
    my dogs could have totally taken off into the street.
    This is why there is a double gated system – so you can calmly unleash your dog(s) and then let them in the dog park (and visa versa). One at a time, folks, PLEASE !

  4. Are leashes not required? I am tired of dog owners who feel so entitled that the entire world needs to halt and work around them and their dogs. It would be tragic if a dog (or owner!) got serious hurt or worse because of simply not thinking through consequences. Stop preparing to blame the Parks Dept or the city – YOU need to take responsibility for yourself and your dog and make sure it does not mix in traffic. Why is it only in LA people are so stupid and infantile with taking responsibility for themselves?

  5. You might want to unleash your dog after you’re through BOTH gates. You’re kind of missing the point of the double-gated entrance.

  6. Jen – When I took that photo this morning, I was so impressed with your traffic control abilities! Great job! I live near that park, and often see people letting their dogs off leash before entering the gate. Even for those taking care to leash their dogs, it’s so easy for them to slip out of too-loose collars. I see it way to often.

    As an experienced dog trainer, I remind people all the time to keep their dogs leashed. Even if their dog is trustworthy, you can’t protect your own dog if it’s off leash and is attacked by another dog on the street.

    I did notice that Rufus was very skittish and wouldn’t come when called. That is exactly the reason why I also tell people that coming when called is the most important command for a dog to learn……..it could save his life some day. Today was Rufus’ lucky day, to have you and others save him. Good job!

  7. ok – well, clearly, an important fact is missing from this post (or isn’t understood well enough)….this dog…Rufus…was in the OFF LEASH area of the OFF LEASH DOG PARK in Silverlake…..ok Ras? There was an open gap between the gate and the fence, and this dog is small enough to fit through that gap. This has actually been an issue since AT LEAST 2005 – when i received a copy of an ‘incident report’ that was submitted to the SL Rec Center. In that case, the EXACT same thing happened. A dog was in the Off Leash Dog Area, and managed to slip out and went crazy in the street. Luckily, then also, the dog returned safely.
    Atwater Newbie (i know you from the AV Forum) – actually, YOU are missing the point of the double gated entries to off leash dog parks – the point is to have a SAFE area to UNLEASH your dog BEFORE you enter an off leash dog area – leashes can cause territorial issues – and the dog ON a leash in an OFF leash dog area, surrounded by off leash dogs, can become aggressive towards off leash dogs or can be attacked by off leash dogs. Open the gate, enter the gate, unleash your dog, then open the SECOND gate, enter the park with your UNLEASHED dog, close the second gate…get it?
    Sandy – thanks for being patient this morning. Sadly, yes, i’ve done plenty of traffic control on that street right there because of dogs escaping from the park, or because of strays wandering around the area, in and out of traffic. I’m 10,000% anti people walking their dogs TO/FRO the park off leash – it’s just plain STUPID ! But to be clear, that was NOT the case this morning with Rufus. As his owner said to me, after, “I thought i was in a safe place.”
    I just got home from putting some little pieces of aluminum 12″x24″ sheets to block that gap that Rufus got through, and one other spot I’ve been worried about….so hopefully, this won’t happen again…..
    (on a side note, I think ANY dog – even the best trained dog – can get super freaked out in such a situation and loose control/ability to hear/think – so hopefully, that was all that it was – and that Rufus is usually well behaved/trained. Or…Sandy…maybe you could have a new client!) 🙂

  8. Jen – I agree with everything you say. I was just about to suggest that you or some other smart dog park person just should take matters into your own hands and fix that little escape route. But I see you’ve already done it!! Good for you! Sometimes bypassing all that bureaucratic red tape and ‘just doing it’ is the best thing. Hopefully, this will save future doggies from unnecessary trauma or worse.

  9. Good to see the dog wasn’t hurt.

    It is amazing how many people don’t understand the two gate protocol, many a time I’ve seen families with a combined IQ of 50 open both gates and then just stand there blaming one another because they left the BBQ grill at home.

  10. Now what about those selfish dog owners, either headed to or returning from the dog park who let their animals roam free without a leash. As an longtime runner of the reservoir, nothing is scarier and more annoying than to see a dog suddenly lurch at you while approaching on a run., only to have the owner say “thats okay he-she dosent bite” My ass they dont bite!!!! Be more responsible it’s a public path.

  11. Isn’t this really just a case for “natural selection”?

    If they’re dumb enough to find a “tiny” hole in a fence and want to wriggle through it to run out in to traffic, I say they get what’s coming to them.

    And that goes for the hipster dopes running around in traffic stopping cars and trying to “save” something that obviously already had it’s own plan on what it REALLY wanted to do.

    I think the real question we should be asking is… how desperate is that dog to get away from that owner that the second it’s let off a leash it’s willing to run away through a tiny opening in a fence and bust out into oncoming traffic to escape/end it all?

    Why wasn’t Dr. Jack piloting that VW? He’d have given that doggie what he wanted.

  12. @jer – what about all those stupid pedestrians working out that step in your way or don’t understand right of way? i’m at the reservoir 2-3 times/week and rarely have issues with dogs + their owners. but all of the others working out just like me? can’t seem to realize they are sharing the space. i doubt you really have much issue with the dogs jer.

  13. If your dog is small enough to slip under the gate, it is time to get a bigger dog. Also, I endorse Bento Box.

  14. I guess the choice is, as a dog owner, would I rather deal with leash/territory issues or escape/run-over-by-car issues….

  15. AV Newbie – um, how about neither —- and just fill the hole where the smaller dogs can escape…..which is what i did that night……..kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?……

  16. jen, that sheet metal you used is kinda sharp!

  17. Dre – yeah, sorry, i folded the corners but it’s not perfect, i know.
    hopefully soon the City will come up with a better solution. Kinda drag though that someone stole the piece that was put on the large dog side gate.

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