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Tag: pee

L.A. flaw: Where’s a downtown dog to pee?

downtownlapee

Downtown Los Angeles is enjoying a spurt in growth, and with that has come a growth in spurts.

But just where in that concrete Shangri-La-La is a dog supposed to pee?

With the revitalization of downtown, and a campaign to attract upwardly mobile types (and their dogs), more of both are relocating to the area — only to find that convenient places for dogs to urinate weren’t part of the makeover, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The latest attempt to address the problem has been to locate small — and we do mean small — patches of artificial turf in areas designated (by humans) for canine toileting needs. As you can see above, it’s hardly a dog park.

Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District, said patches began being installed in August as part of a trial run. Three tree wells that no longer contained trees, in spaces away from restaurants and heavy pedestrian traffic, were used to install 4-by-4-foot patches of artificial grass.

If they’re popular and hold up to regular use, the program may be expanded, Besten told the newspaper.

By redirecting dogs to the patches, she said, the city can cut down on odors, peed-upon buildings, sidewalks and trash cans, and the residue that is tracked into offices and apartments. The patches are located at Spring and 7th, near the corner of 7th and Main, and on 6th just after Main. 

“They should have put them in a long time ago,” said downtown resident Helena Gaeta, who has trained her dachshund-Chihuahua mix to go in tree wells.  While downtown advertising campaigns targeted dog owners, she noted, there isn’t much greenspace available to dogs.

A survey by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District this year showed one of every three residents of the area owns a dog.

“Dogs have been the greatest thing for the downtown L.A. renaissance,” said Hal Bastian, executive vice president of the district. ”It creates a community because more people are on the streets. It’s a better environment.”

But even with dog owners scooping up poop — and, of course, not all do — pee remains a problem.

Not all dogs find the patches pee-worthy. Josh Jacobson, who recently moved from downtown Long Beach, said his two Chihuahuas avoid the turf patches, possibly because they hold too many scents.

“The dogs are still trying to figure it out,” he said.

(Photo: One of the patches of artificial turf installed in downtown L.A.; by Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times )

Expressing yourself, doggie style

As was the case with our kudzu dogs, this one requires just a squirt of imagination.

Ace and I were walking the streets of downtown Missoula when we saw a chocolate Labrador stopping to pee — well, not really stopping at all, which was the interesting part.

For almost half a block, he zig-zagged along the sidewalk, leaving a squiggly trail behind him.

Perhaps he, or his owner, had no time to stop — maybe the human had an urgent appointment, or maybe the dog had a weak bladder; or maybe, just maybe, the dog was expressing himself in the other meaning of the phrase.

Maybe he’d discovered a way around not being able to speak human — and it’s just a case of no one having discovered his amazing ability yet.

Sure, it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s see what happens when we turn it sideways.

Don’t bother moving your computer; allow me:

If I’m not mistaken, it spells Missoula, Montana.

Dogs banned from Concord cemeteries

The city council in Concord, New Hampshire, has voted to ban dogs — we’re talking live ones — from cemeteries.

Dogs are no longer permitted in the 13 cemeteries in Concord as a result of the vote, and those caught disturbing the deceased will face fines between $50 and $1,000, according to the Concord Monitor.

Councilor Steve Shurtleff proposed the measure, saying using cemeteries as dog parks is disrespectful — though it’s not clear whether anyone was actually doing that to any large extent.

What the councilors were aiming at, most agree, was preventing dogs from urinating or defecating in cemeteries.

What they passed was a blanket ban that fails to take into consideration that some families might want to bring their dog to visit a deceased family member — or bring a deceased family member’s dog to visit their master’s grave.

The council — apparently obsessed with dog waste, and apparently pandering to the uptight members of their constituency — neglected to factor in the comfort dogs can provide when families are coping with the death of a loved one.

So while we admire their effort to keep dead people covered with dirt — and the rocks set atop dead people covered with dirt — pristine, we’ll have to add this to our list of dumb dog laws.

Land of (doggie) disenchantment

Add New Mexico to our list of states with tiny, paw-unfriendly, less than inviting pet areas at their highway rest stops.

Land of Enchantment? I think not, at least not for dog owners whose otherwise pampered pets are restricted to gravel pits in which to pee and poop. Signs say that dogs are not allowed on the rest area’s grassy areas.

New Mexico may have its dog friendly pockets, and far nicer facilities elsewhere, but this rest area outside of Albuquerque – like similar ones we saw in North Carolina and Texas — isn’t one of them.

Interestingly, the other side of the rest stop had an area for livestock, with dirt instead of gravel, far larger and, unlike the dog side, with a source of water.

Near the human rest rooms was a sign that asked, “Do you approve of this rest area?” with buttons to push for yes and no. My long answer is a question: how much trouble would it be to designate one of the many large patches of unused grass for dogs, and supply some poop bags? Probably cheaper than the electronic sign. As you might guess, I pushed no. Five times.

(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)

Don’t mess in Texas

Not unlike the one we showed you in North Carolina — Texas has some ridiculous designated dog areas at its highway rest stops, too, like this one we encountered while driving down I-10.

Call it the cage of poop — almost totally unshaded, lined with large hunks of rock that can’t feel good on the paws, and about the size of a prison cell.

What better way to let your dog unwind from being cramped in the car than to stick him in a cramped, brutally hot, rock-lined, chain link-surrounded pen?

Wake up, highway departments. Our dogs, generally speaking, are traveling with us on vacation, not serving time. If you’re seeking tourists with pets, show a little respect for them as opposed to providing an Attica-like experience.

Man kills owner of dog who urinated on lawn

A former Marine known for taking great pride in his suburban Chicago lawn has been charged with fatally shooting a neighbor who let his dog urinate on the man’s front yard.

University Park, Illinois, resident, Charles Clements, 69, a former Marine, is being held on a $3 million bond in connection with the fatal shooting last Sunday of 23-year-old Joshua Funches, ABC News reported.

Patricia Funches, the victim’s mother, said Clements followed her son home, pulled out his gun, and shot him.

Police say Joshua Funches’ fox terrier urinated on Clements’ lawn, leading to an exchange of words between the two men. When police arrived at the scene, they found Funches bleeding on the ground in front of a vacant house.

Funches, a father of two, suffered a single gunshot wound in the abdomen, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Clements was famous for the upkeep on his well-manicured lawn, winning several local beautification awards. He kept a sign posted on his mailbox urging letter carriers not to walk on his grass.

Dog soils set on “Live with Regis and Kelly”

Beth Ostrosky Stern, wife of Howard Stern, spokeswoman for the North Shore Animal League, and author of a new book that kind of swiped our website’s name, appeared on “Live with Regis and Kelly” yesterday morning.

The author of “Oh My Dog” brought along three dogs — her own, a bulldog named Bianca, and two others, Scooter and Ladybug, who were rescued from the recent Tennessee floods and are up for adoption.

About halfway through Ostrosky Stern’s recitation of summertime tips for dog owners, Scooter urinated on the set’s fake bushes; then a little later Scooter squatted on the artificial grass for his morning constitutional.

It made what was a pretty cut and dried segment a little livelier.

The book, described as a manual for dog owners, has no connection to ohmidog!, the website.

Most reviews of the book have been less than kind, but we won’t go so far as to suggest that what Scooter was expressing was an editorial opinion.