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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

Dog Parks

Posted Saturday, December 22, 2012, at 1:35 PM

Here he comes, Boomer the wonder dog!
As a foster mom of many dogs that have lacked confidence, it is always such a joy to see a dog emerge from its shell and become a playful pup. I love to see my dogs play and romp around outside. It means they're happy.

Boomer has been the most skittish foster I have had to date. He still creeps around the house and is not always at ease with noises unfamiliar to him. But, when he's outside and is feeling good, he let's loose.

I can see it in the sparkle of his eyes, the big, wide grin he gets, and the way he jumps and twists his entire body into some pretty amazing shapes.

Something that most dog owners love to watch is their dog running free. No restraints, but pure freedom. Spencer, IA does not have a dog park, but many people seem to think we do. The Clay County Fairgrounds is a popular spot as well as the wide open parking area across the street from the fair. I've seen dogs running loose at Oneota Park, the soccer fields, and Pedersen Park. These places are all within the city limits which means your dog needs to be on a leash. Sorry folks, it's the law. It's also for the safety of your dog and that of others.

I've taken Boomer to the Fair parking lot as well as an open area by the soccer fields because I too want to watch him run and play. How I do this safely is quite simple. I bought a 50 ft. rope, attached a carribeaner clip to one end and made a loop on the other end that I can slip my hand through. Yes, he does occasionally forget that I am attached to the end of this rope and you may see me suddenly lunge forward as he hits the end of it, but for the most part, he's pretty good about knowing the limit.

Today was his first experience with snowdrifts. Some rather deep ones I might add. Needless to say he got a good workout and was more than content to curl up in a blanket when we got home and have a nap.

This long line work is also an excellent method to use when teaching your dog to come to you from a distance. Just remember that you better have a great reward to dole out when they get to you.

Please, for the safety of your dog, for people, and other animals, have control of your dog by having some form of a restraint on him.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Dogs in Spencer must be on a leash that does not exceed 6 feet - I think 50 feet might be too long. Sorry folks, it's the law.

-- Posted by DaveMunson on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 8:21 AM

I've often seen hunters training young hunting dogs using a 50 ft line. Since so many dog owners let their dogs run loose at the CC Fairgrounds space (and I've witnessed this as well), the 50 ft line is a sensible compromise, allowing the dogs to frolic and have a good time, while still preventing them from running off or getting into other trouble.

-- Posted by JTennant on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 9:06 AM

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

-- Posted by Cookster on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 10:41 AM

DaveMunson is correct. Per City Code:


No privately owned animal shall be allowed to run at large in any City park except by permission of the Park Board, and every such animal shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet (6') in length or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle, except for the training of dogs, and only then by permission from the Park Board. (Ord. 38, 12-7-1953)

-- Posted by sammyjr on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 11:44 AM

the fair grounds isn't a city park. don't know how that affects your city code post.

-- Posted by Steelerfan100 on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 12:41 PM

Hey, thanks for that information! I assumed that as long as the owner had control of the dog and the dog was on some sort of leash that would be appropriate. I will need to check into what areas are available in Spencer for this sort of training and activity.

-- Posted by Foster Mom on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 8:43 PM

I wasn't aware of the limit on leash length either. I feel that is a rather unfortunate restriction. With all of the dogs that are allowed to run at large in city limits, I'd hate to think that time would be wasted ticketing those that are on a leash, just one that is past the limit.

I know that in my neighborhood, there are dogs running through my yard all the time. It is disruptive to my own dogs as well as the others that are in homes or kept outside. I hope that any effort to properly "police" dogs in the City of Spencer focuses first on the dogs that are allowed to run off leash in residential neighborhoods. This poses a much higher risk of danger than a dog on a 50' lead.

-- Posted by simonsays77 on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 8:55 AM

All these rules!! Gotta love a CAT! Hassle free, and loving animals. We were always dog folks until our last one died a few years back. Now we are getting older and the kids are kinda gone, we are loving the cats and the entertainment they provide is priceless. Not anti-dog but they are too loud and messy.

-- Posted by SteveJennings on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 2:19 PM

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It's a Dog's Life
Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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