Friday, August 26, 2011

Meet BLDPA President Maria

Hi, I'm Maria.  Thanks for visiting our new website.  I thought it would be cool if you had a chance to meet our Board of Directors. Thanks to Lindsay for being the first one to post!!

Where to start?  I guess you might be able to call me a Washingtonian - I've lived here since 1991, longer than I have lived anywhere else.  I've been in LeDroit Park since 2005.  Besides serving as President of BLDPA, I am also Vice President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association.  I love working in my community and meeting new and old neighbors alike.  For my full time job, I work on corporate environmental sustainability issues - my focus is raising awareness of environmental issues and promoting behavior change.

I have 3 dogs.  You can say that I'm a big animal lover.  I'm sure you've seen my dogs, Angel and Dora, in the dog park with my fiance, Mark.  Princess (the one with the hat below) is a bit old for the dog park (she is about 15 years old!)  But, you might see me at the corner of Elm and 3rd walking her  v e r y  s l o w l y . . . : )

My vision for our dog park is that it becomes a safe place for all kinds of dogs to come and play.  This will take a lot of effort from the humans using the park most of all.  The first step is to understand whether your dog is ready for the dog park.  Just because there *is* a dog park, does not mean that every dog should go there.  I encourage everyone to read about dog behavior - esp. in the dog park - and please follow the rules posted on the gate.  In addition, the Humane Society has a workshop that we hope to bring to our community in the next few months called "Dog Park Pawlitics".  There are also several books out there such as  Visiting the Dog Park,and  Off-Leash Dog Play.

Thanks for reading!  See you at the dog park!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meet BLDPA Board Member Lindsey!

Hi, I'm Lindsey.
Woops, that's a bit outdated.
Ah, that's more like it. My friend Chloe took that picture- she's one of my babysitting clients, and also an amazing photographer (for a 4 year old). I babysit for quite a few families in the neighborhood. I'm also an elementary school visual arts teacher at a school in Silver Spring, MD. 

I moved to Bloomingdale about 2 1/2 years ago after living in Petworth. Although I expected to buy my first place in the Logan area, I found my little carriage house here and fell in love with the friendly, quiet neighborhood. After a few renovations, I moved on to Bloomingdale Court and have been happy every since.

I volunteered to be on the board of directors for the BLDP because my dog, Pablo, is a huge part of my life.
He's a 7 year old Westie (West Highland) Terrier, with a little bit of Corgi thrown into the mix. When you see Pablo at the dog park, he will probably be walking along the perimeter fence and "marking" it every three feet or so, or sitting with me on the bench. He's a bit of an old man.

Pablo's best friend is my cat, Max.

He's a semi-blind, totally deaf, sweet as pie senior cat who came to live here in October when his previous owner had to move suddenly.

In future blog posts, I will share some of my short stories about ol' Pablo (and Max), and some of my cartoons. I like to take funny real-life quotes from my experiences in teaching (kids say the darndest things, after all) and combine them with my love of drawing cartoon animals. They're a big hit with my friends and family, so I hope you like them, too!

So... that's me, Secretary of the BLDPA Board of Directors. See you at the park!
- Lindsey :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aggressive Dogs Ruin Dog Parks

At the dog park this morning, an owner said to me, "Oh, dogs will be dogs" after his dog  attacked mine for trying to play with the same ball.  Yes, dogs will be dogs, and there will be a certain amount of what can be termed "rough-housing" in the dog park, but it is important, as a dog owner, to know when to draw the line on your dog's behavior.  The owner admitted that his dog can sometimes be toy-aggressive (officially called "territorial aggression").  What I said to the owner was, "If your dog is toy aggressive, perhaps it would be better not to play with toys around other dogs?"

Unfortunately, since our dog park opened a few months ago, I've heard many stories of dogs that were/are allowed to act aggressively in the dog park - to the point where some owners have stopped coming to avoid this.  As one of the individuals who worked very hard on bringing the dog park to our community, this is a bit of a bummer, to say the least.

Bottom line - your dogs should NEVER act in an overly aggressive way in the dog park.  If they are, please correct them and leave the dog park, if necessary, do not just say, "dogs will be dogs."  Although most aggression "flare-ups" can be controlled (and the dog we interacted with this morning did not show any aggression again after the incident), the Bloomingdale LeDroit Dog Park Association, with support from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, reserves the right to ban dogs from the dog park that show consistent aggression toward other dogs.  We hope to never have to do this, of course.

In addition, many parks around the country DO NOT allow any toys, sticks or balls within the dog park - to reduce aggressive behavior.  We don't want to have to do that either.

So please be alert, monitor your dog, correct aggressive behavior, leave the park if you have to . . . so that all our community canines can enjoy a little off-leash fun.

- Maria, President, BLDPA

Tuesday, August 16, 2011