Patti Soldavini

The Dog Park Application Odyssey

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/25/2012 at 9:36 am

"Was all THAT really necessary?"

What a week. I spent an inordinate number of hours trying to get Olive “approved” for membership to one of the local dog parks. The one in the wealthy, snobby town with property taxes that exceed $20,000 a year for most of the homes that dot its landscape. First, I had to apply for a dog license for Olive in the township we live in. The only reason I didn’t do this when I first got her was that you can’t apply before a dog has had its rabies shot. Olive didn’t get her first rabies shot until she was about 5 months old, which is fairly standard. But according to the township paperwork, Olive would have had to have another rabies shot two months later just to meet their administrative requirements. “SCREW THAT,” I thought. “I’M NOT DOUBLE-DOSING OLIVE JUST SO SOME CLERK HAS AN EASIER JOB.” So, Olive has remained license-free until now. Besides, many weims have adverse reactions to vaccinations and while I’m lucky that Olive has not, I didn’t know that at the time. So, I fill out the paperwork, provide proof of rabies vaccination and mail it to the township. In a few days, Olive’s dog license arrives. One down, one to go. I pull the dog park application down from the website of the other township. My eyes widen as I review it and the attached legal waiver. They require so much evidence that after I’m done reading the application, I’m surprised they don’t want to paw print her and perform a cavity search. It’s starting to look like it would be easier to get Olive admitted to the bar. Not only do I have to demonstrate proof of rabies, spaying, distemper, bordatella, but I also have to show proof that she’s on heartworm medication and that she’s had a negative fecal test for the infamous giardia in the past six months. Then, Olive’s veterinarian has to sign the application. I also have to have a witness sign the liability waiver. Maybe the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles should take a page out of this book. In the end, I don’t really mind, although it doesn’t stop people who are not members from bringing dogs who don’t meet all these criteria to the park. No township in their right mind wants to “staff” a dog park because they might as well just hold up a sign (especially in the culturally litigious state of New Jersey) that says “Referee for lawsuits.” I drop off the application at the Vet’s for signature, pick it up the next day and then take it to the neighboring township’s municipal building where I am presented with yet another metal dog tag to place on Olive’s collar. There are now so many tags on her collar that she sounds like she’s playing the xylophone whenever she moves.

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  1. Phew, I am breathless after reading of the number of requirements!

  2. Who knows. That could be next. ;>)

  3. What No Pee Test…for Drugs…

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