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Issue 974

Sam Mazzotta

Make Your Town More Dog-Friendly

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I live in a town with no dog parks and very few sidewalks, other than in the town center and a few subdivisions. When I take my dog “Greta” outside in the morning I get dirty looks from the neighbors, even though I pick up after her. I live in an apartment with no yard, so I have to drive into the city to find an off-leash dog park so Greta can run. I love my town and don’t want to move, but I’m getting tired of this. Is there anything I can do? — Leeanne G., via email

DEAR LEEANNE: It can be frustrating to have to go so far to give Greta some recreation time. Here are a few ideas to try:

— Find like-minded dog owners by searching for or creating a group in your town, and get together to talk about concerns they have with walking their dogs.

— Contact city hall to find out if they have considered a dog park, or designating a park as dog-friendly. If so, ask how you can be a part of the process. If not, look into starting a community dog park. The AKC has some helpful tips on how to do this.

— Talk to your neighbors and ask if they have concerns about dogs.

— Commit to other solutions that may help make your town more dog-friendly: remind other dog owners to pick up droppings, post flyers that explain how to approach a strange dog, and of course, keep Greta on a leash where required.

Unfortunately, these tips put much of the onus on the dog owners. But that may be the best place to start. Good luck.

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(c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.