Small Dog Area overlooked
       The Bear Creek Dog Park improvement plan detailed in the Sept. 8 issue of the Westside Pioneer includes some much-needed major improvements. Chief among these are a year-round restroom and a drinking/washing facility for dogs in the larger fenced area commonly known as the ADA (Any Dog Area). However, there is evidently no intention (as verified more than once with Dog Park officials) to provide water for the Small Dog Area (SDA).
       In fact there appear to be no plans for any improvements in the SDA, which is limited to dogs of 25 pounds or less. Hopefully, the stated intent to improve drainage with “new culverts and trail rehabilitation” will include some sorely needed work in the SDA. The ADA received major trail improvements a few years ago while the SDA has received none since its opening in November 2005.
       The failure to provide water in the SDA is difficult to understand. Currently SDA users bring water from home and use it to keep water bowls full. This practice was condemned in the GOCO grant request as “unsanitary.” (Actually the current practice is no more unsanitary than the mud puddles the dogs often choose to drink from.) Surely the small dogs are not expected to go into the ADA for water. This would be contrary to the basic intent of the SDA, which is and always has been to provide a separate, safe area for dogs that are a lot smaller than Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Labs, Goldens etc.
       Is the cost of providing water in the SDA prohibitive? As an example, the cost of 150 feet of water line, a concrete pad and a freeze-proof yard hydrant is estimated at $2,000. This is less than 1 percent of the total $280,000 estimated cost of the project. Clearly, SDA water is an affordable item which hopefully can be included among the Dog Park improvements.

Paul Sundberg