The Chicago Park District recently tested for lead levels in its water fountains around the city.
Here are the results the Chicago Park District reported for the water fountains in our South Loop Dog Parks. Numbers are in parts per billion. ‘U‘ means “not detected at the laboratory reporting limit and/or method detection limit”
Fountain 33 High <2.0 U
Fountain 33 Dog <2.0 U
Fountain 1 High <2.0 U
Fountain 1 Low 2.1
Fountain 1 Dog <2.0 U
Fountain 1 High <2.0 U
Fountain 1 Low <2.0 U
Fountain 2 High <2.0 U
Fountain 2 Low <2.0 U
Fountain 3 High <2.0 U
Fountain 3 Low <2.0 U
There’s no information about d’Angelo Park DFA – that park is still under the control of CDOT.
Introducing the South Loop Dogs of the Week, Blu and Louis!
Blu and Louie’s human, Deborah, says:
Blu and Louie love Fred Anderson Dog Park! Blu is quite the attraction as he is obsessed with the fountain, barking and trying to eat the water, while Louie loves to chase and be chased!
Blu is the newest addition to our family, having adopted him from a rescue in Yorkville in April, Louie and I are very lucky and grateful for Blu!
Louis is the white dog with the black face, in back, and Blu the smaller black dog, in front.
What a great pair!
They sure have a lot of toys!!
An email from a user of Grant Bark Park brought to our attention the need to talk about park safety! We all want our local dog parks to be a safe, fun space for our dogs and ourselves, but what do you do when the worst happens and another dog attacks you or your dog?
The Short Answer: Call the police.
According to the Chicago Park District website, all owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs. If your dog is bitten or attacked, exchange information with the owner of the other dog.
Most owners in good faith will offer to pay for your vet bills. If the other owner is unwilling to speak with you, call the police and report the incident.
This comes up more frequently than we would like in Chicago dog parks – we hear it from our colleagues across the city – and we’re still trying to come up with a way to improve the information provided to dog park users and to clueless owners. This is a long term project we’ve been trying to get off the ground; we will update you later in the summer as we make progress.
Things to Look For – From PetBehaviorHelp.com
Understand what to do when corrections, squabbles and fights happen:
- Sudden, quick disagreements with lots of noise that end in a matter of seconds are normal and it is probably safe to allow the dogs to remain in the park if neither shows any inclination to continue the argument.
- Interrupt any situation that seems to be escalating.
- Use your voice in a calm, commanding way to stop the fight. Screaming simply increases the arousal of the dogs involved.
- Do NOT stick your hands into the middle of a dog fight to separate dogs. If physical intervention is needed, try to grab the back legs of your dog and “wheel-barrow” it until it calms down. Fighting dogs will often strike at anything that moves near their face and human hands are far more delicate than most areas where one dog will bite another.
- Do not allow additional dogs to jump into the fight. If you see or hear a squabble between other dogs, get your dog immediately and take it away from the area.
- Do not panic. It will not help the dogs. Remember that as a general rule, the louder the fight, the more bluff and bluster is involved and the less damage. Most dog fights between similar size dogs do not result in serious injury.
- Once a fight occurs, the adrenaline levels of the dogs involved, and many of those who witnessed the fight, will be raised for several hours. It is wise to take these dogs out of the park and exercise them elsewhere to avoid the potential of another fight.
If you have any advice or opinions, please feel free to leave a comment for discussion.
This is an update of Dog Park Safety: What to do when your dog is attacked posted 8.13.12 on the 16thWabashDogPark blog.
When the weather gets warmer…more dogs come out to play! So now is a good time to review the rules and etiquette for taking Fido to the park. Most important of course is to make sure your dog is properly vaccinated and socialized. Puppies under 4 months, dogs without all their shots, and aggressive or extremely timid dogs are best to avoid the dog park.
The best way to insure a good time for all, be respectful of your park (clean up after your dog) and always watch your dog. Make sure your pooch isn’t playing too rough or cowering in fear under the park bench. Always be there to protect your dog.
That said, here are the official rules for Chicago’s dog parks – click on the link for more information from the MonDog Website:
- Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs.
- Owners must remain with and watch their dogs at all times.
- Dogs must be leashed prior to and upon leaving the DFA.
- Owners must immediately clean up after their dogs.
- Dogs with a known history of, or who exhibit, dangerous behavior are prohibited.
- Dogs must be healthy, fully immunized, dewormed, and licensed.
- No dog will be allowed in a DFA unless it has a current rabies vaccination.
- Dog owners are responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of the DFA.
- Owners or other responsible persons must have a DFA permit with them for each dog visiting the DFA.
- Each dog visiting a DFA must display a current Chicago Park District DFA tag.
- DFA permits expire on December 31 of the year that it is issued.
- Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; younger children must be closely supervised.
- Only three dogs per person allowed.
- Puppies under four months old and female dogs in heat are prohibited.
- Failure to comply with the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Regulation for Chicago Park District DFAs can result in a fine.
Onto Etiquette…our dog parks will only continue to thrive if we are compassionate and considerate of our dog park neighbors.
- Clean up after your dog
- Don’t bring people food into the park
- Always ask before feeding another dog a treat
- Don’t discipline another person’s dog, but do remove your dog from an aggressive or inappropriate situation.
- Play with your dog and pay attention to him, but don’t forget to let him socialize with the other dogs.
- If you see another dog and their parent about to leave, call your dog over so they can leave easily.
- Always shut the gate behind you.
- Talk to people – chat about your puppies and give other dog parents a heads up if you’ve been there for a while and noticed anything unusual or a dog that could be potentially aggressive.
- Fill the water bowl, take the time to rinse out the bowl and fill it with fresh water if it’s been sitting there for a while.
Did we forget anything? What other tips can you think of for making our dog parks a better place?
Introducing South Loop Dog of the Week, Bijvoet!
Australian Shepherd Bijvoet (‘bye-foot’) is a bossy, fun, happy dog who loves to play agility, but loves her frisbee and soccer ball even more. This week she’s at the AKC National Agility Championship, appearing for the second time, and she’s doing great! She’s not the fastest dog, but she’s very consistent over the jumps, weaves and obstacles, and she’s now in 71st place out of over 400 dogs!
What a good dog!
Introducing Lucky and Rita, South Loop Dogs of the Week!
Lucky likes to visit her brick in the Grant Bark Park and play racquet ball chase, and Rita loves to torment her big sister and play chase, too! Both girls live to cuddle and generally clown around.
You can find these girls playing in Coliseum Dog Park on a regular basis!
Love that smile!
Introducing Tequila, South Loop Dog of the Week!
Kelsey writes –
Meet Tequila! Our two year old, fun, loving, snuggle monster!
We got Tequila from PAWS about a year and a half ago. She came into PAWS as a stray from another shelter, as she was next on their list to be euthanized. Thank God PAWS got to her just in time, because this amazing pup has changed our lives!
When my boyfriend, Patrick, and I first met Tequila, she was a confused, sad-faced, underweight pup. She was hesitant to trust anyone or anything she came into contact with. As for Patrick and I, we had just moved to Chicago and we are both huge animal lovers. Not to mention our new neighborhood in the south loop was ideal for dogs with the numerous dog parks, playgroups, and pups everywhere!
After having been through so much in her past, Tequila made a drastic transformation into the happiest, most perfect dog. She brings smiles to our faces each and every day and we absolutely love coming home to our loyal family member. Tequila has such an amazing personality. We often refer to her as being half human but, she loves to go to the dog park and socialize with the other neighborhood pups, too!
Tequila made our new surroundings in this city, home. We cannot imagine life without her peppy, uplifting, loving personality.
Wow, what a good (and photogenic!) girl!
Introducing Ada, South Loop Dog of the Week!
Ada’s a shepherd mix originally from Oklahoma. She’s almost one year old and she is super energetic. Ada loves all kinds of chewy toys, especially antlers! She can run super fast and loves to do laps around the dog park with all the dogs chasing her! She tumbles and plays and keeps up with all the dogs, even the big ones. Her owner, Hilary, also takes her running around the South Loop and along the lake.
Ada is a regular at the D’Angelo DFA.
What a great pup!
Introducing Daisy, South Loop Dog of the Week!
Daisy was adopted from PAWS Chicago almost a year ago, and she brings her pet parents nothing but joy!
Lisa and Justin write “Daisy enjoys long walks through the streets of Bridgeport, (we really need a dog park in Bridgeport), playing in the South Loop dog parks, lovingly chasing our cat, endless games of indoor fetch, and hiding her favorite bones in our couch! Daisy has never met a siren that she hasn’t stopped to howl at, is a world class cuddler, and her favorite place in our neighborhood is Bark N Bite, where she can stop to get treats from Laura and Kim.”
“We are so lucky to have had Daisy come into our lives!!”
What a good girl!
Is your pup a star? Of course she is!
We want to see your dog star as the South Loop Dog of the Week!
Just tell us about your pup and email a pic to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘.
South Loop Dog of the Week appears every Saturday at 11AM.
Who’ll be the next DOTW!
We’ve gotten an update about the design of Fred Anderson Park from Michael Lange, the project manager at the Chicago Park District.
The design drawings are almost complete, and we are privileged to be able share the latest with you. The overall design is very similar to what we’ve presented previously. But as they say, the devil is in the details! Here are some highlights:
- The small dog area has been expanded a bit. Good news for all the ‘small fluffies’ in the neighborhood! (a.)
- There is now one entrance gate, at the southwest corner, shared between the small- and large-dog parks. (b.)
- A bulletin board will be installed at the entrance area. (c.)
- There will be mounting posts for informational signs at the overlook in the center of the park. South Loop Dog PAC will be assembling material to post there in order to educate kids about dogs and about how to approach them. (d.)
- An expanded area is now to be covered by dog-friendly artificial grass! This is great news for fetch-driven dogs that might want to play here. The perimeter of the park remains concrete. (e.)
- There will be an access gate at the east of the park for maintenance, and a second double entry to the dog area. (f.)
- A space has been designed for a lockbox to store park maintenance materials. (g.)
- Shade sails will be place throughout the park (light blue triangles in the picture above), including over the performance stage! There will be benches and tables distributed throughout. (h.)
- In order to unify the whole area, even the sidewalk along S. Wabash will be integrated as part of the design into the rest of the park. (i.)
- The water runnels have been reconfigured somewhat; there will be two separate features, one in the small dog area, and one in the large dog area. (j.)
Construction is expected to start by summer, but we don’t really have hard information about the schedule. The park presumably will be completed early next year (2014). It’s going to be a substantial project, involving some remediation of the lot, and the construction of berms and other topological features will take some time.
We have raised one issue with the CPD: According to current plans the dog park will be surrounded by a 6′ high ‘Omega‘ fence. This is the type of fencing used at the Bartelme Park DFA. We think that a fence this high in a park this small will create the feeling of being in a cage or a prison, and have suggested that the fence height be 5′ – still a substantial barrier. It’s important to us to maintain a relationship between the dog owners in the DFA and the non-dog owning community that may be on the surrounding path or in adjacent park areas.
The board of the South Loop Dog PAC has been in ongoing communication with the CPD about this park since March of 2010. We thank Michael Lange for being willing to listen to us and to incorporate ideas from our dog-friendly perspective. We have to admit – it’s pretty gratifying to see many of our suggestions now implemented. We hope that this experience bodes well for future collaboration between the dog community and the CPD as new Chicago dog parks are designed and built.
As an aside, we’ll also be updating you soon about two other dog friendly area projects in the South Loop that we’re involved with:
- d’Angelo Park DFA – The story of our efforts to remediate problems introduced from the beginning by the design of this ersatz dog park.
- Coliseum Park Dog Run – An update on plans for improvements of the playground and DFA that were recently announced. SLDogPAC will be meeting with CPD representatives next week.
Finally, we invite any reader to please join South Loop Dog PAC – not just as a contributing ‘member’ but as an involved dog owner. We welcome your ideas, and your thoughts about and support for these projects!
There’s some good news about the development of Fred Anderson Park and DFA! Watch for an update from South Loop Dog PAC later this week.
A final design proposal for the Fred Anderson Park was presented at a community meeting on November 20th. What follows is a brief description to highlight how the proposed dog friendly area compares to other Chicago dog parks, and to point out some interesting design features.
Here’s an overall picture of the proposal:
The site is situated between 16th & 18th St, between Wabash Ave and the alley to the east. Right now, this area is just a vacant field and the small asphalt parking lot to the north:
The park will encompass about 1.1 acres. Now, Chicago dog ‘friendly’ areas are small, and this park will be no exception. Frisbee dogs and dogs running free – you will have to go elsewhere.
The proposed small-dog area is an oval about 67’ by 94’, and is surfaced primarily (80%) with concrete. About 18% of the surface will comprise an ‘artificial grass’ feature, a central raised planting, and a water runnel flowing from the planted area towards the center of the dog park.
The proposed large-dog area includes an entry space ~20’ wide by 70’ long and a larger ‘fetch’ area running north-south that is ~35’ wide by 226’ long. This fetch area will include two raised plantings (see the cross-section diagram, below), a strip of artificial grass and a water runnel flowing through it.
Overall, the small-dog area will comprise ~5200 sq ft (0.12 acre).
The large-dog area will comprise ~13700 sq ft (0.32 acre).
For comparison, Grant Bark Park is ~18000 sq ft (0.4 acre), and the average size of a Chicago DFA is ~0.18 acre. The Fred Anderson Dog Park now proposed occupies only about 45% of the ~1.1 acre site. This is less than the original design proposal presented two years ago, but is certainly an improvement over the revision that was presented last year.
However, it’s instructive to compare the 35’ x 226’ size of the ‘fetch’ area in the proposed design to what exists at Grant Bark Park – for perspective, it’s about the same size as just the gravel area of Grant Bark Park:
And, as designed, there’s no escaping that the dog park surface will be largely concrete, hard, and somewhat reminiscent of the Mary Bartelme Park DFA:
Thus, the proposed Fred Anderson Park dog ‘friendly’ area will be ~three quarters concrete, with only one-quarter of the area as artificial grass or elevated planted features.
There will be one double-gated entrance to the small-dog DFA. The large-dog DFA will have two double-gated entrances on opposite sides, one of which will provide access from the alleyway to the east.
There are some nice features to the design –
- An overlook – the center of the park will be elevated to create an ‘overlook’ over the dog friendly area. This might be a site for future sculpture [a statue dedicated to jazz legend Fred Anderson has been discussed], and should provide a space for informational graphics to bring the dog-owning and non-dog-owning communities together.
- Dog water fountains – there will be at least three different water fountains with dog-bowls and hose connections (for dog water play and maintenance).
- Equipment gates – an access gate from the east side of the park will allow access for large equipment, and there will be an access gate between the large- and small-dog areas.
- Surrounding path – a 7.5’ wide perimeter path will surround the dog-friendly area and connect the various parts of the park together.
- Shade structures – there will be shade sails installed around the dog park to provide protection from the sun and from the weather. South Loop Dog PAC has suggested a shade sail over the stage area, as well, in order to provide protection for performers and to reflect its use elsewhere in the park.
- Performance area – there will be an ~1000 sq ft performance stage anchoring a ~4500 sq ft ‘performance area’ at the northwest corner of the park. There will be seating and, we hope (per comments made at the community meeting!), some kind of performance lighting provided.
- Water features – the water feature seems particularly novel, as park users will press a switch to turn the flow of water on and off. Water will flow through a ‘concrete runnel a few inches deep with small stones and boulders embedded’.
Overall, it seems like an exciting plan! We are particularly interested in what you think about this proposal, and we welcome your comments below or by email. We expect to continue discussion with the Chicago Park District about this park, and will be sure to communicate your comments and concerns to them.
Cross section of the park, illustrating elevation changes:
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I trust that you all enjoyed your family gatherings and gluttonous feasts. I probably should have posted this prior to Turkey Day instead of the day after, but we can use the Thanksgiving hindsight to better prepare for the remaining holidays of 2012.
What can your dogs eat from your holiday table?
• Turkey, ham, roast beef. Lean proteins are okay to share with your dogs in moderation. The meats themselves should not pose a problem to your dog’s system, unless you are already aware of a poultry allergy, which is common in some breeds. The problem to watch for is the seasoning. Too much salt can cause them some distress. Same as in people, too much salt can make dogs bloated and distended, and it can make them drink more water than usual. This could wreak havoc on your walk schedule and your sleep schedule (urgent need for an unscheduled middle of the night walk).
The Chicago Park District and Alderman Fioretti’s office have organized an on-site tour of the new d’Angelo Park Dog Friendly Area this Saturday, November 10th at 11AM. They will be asking for your help organizing a DFA support committee and planning future organizational meetings. This may be your opportunity to support your local dog park, from the beginning!
We’ve scouted out the park for you, and will soon have information on our Chicago Dog Parks page!