It’s A Dog Life: The Sequel

Coincidentally, around the same time I was writing this morning’s post — celebrating the man-and-dog Friday get-togethers at Winslow Park — alert “06880” reader John Karrel sent this photo. It shows the other side of (hopefully a very few) dog owners at Westport’s favorite gathering spot:

Winslow Park poop

John notes that the plastic poop was plopped just a few steps away from 2 garbage bins, near the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

He saw many more blue bags in the wooded areas nearby.

John promises to head over today, with gloves and a big bag.

Which he will most certainly not leave lying lazily, grossly — and entitledly — on the ground.

18 responses to “It’s A Dog Life: The Sequel

  1. Robert Fatherley

    Hooray for you, Dan, with keeping these posts going to show the thoughtlessness of some of our citizens.

    It escapes me how small minded some people can be.

    Many thanks to John for his diligence. My neighbor and I walk there most mornings and continue to pick up debris at Winslow as well as in town along the river. Things, however, have gotten better with the amount of throw away and I am forever hopeful that more people will become aware of the issue.

    Your blogs are my daily reading…love the positive and historic ones especially….Many thanks, Julie Fatherley

  2. Just so you know, Dan, many of us dog owners are exceedingly scrupulous about cleaning up after our dogs and getting others to do the same. We routinely pick up and dispose of bags left by others (hard to figure that one out, since the owner has already done the hard work) and chase after people who fail to clean up after their dogs and shove bags at them. We are so very appreciative of this beautiful area to take our dogs when almost every other public area (e.g. the beach) prohibits them. Most Westport dog owners work hard to protect that privilege. Before labeling us as “entitled,” please be aware that many users of the park are out-of-towners or hired dog walkers who don’t share our sense of stewardship for this beautiful park. (And please don’t call it the “dog park” – it’s Winslow Park!)

    • Hi Jessica,

      I can’t argue with anything you’ve said — but I don’t think you can argue with my points, either. The very fact that you and many others clean up after some people reinforces my point. Though I’m not sure how anyone can figure out whether the poop-leavers (or picker-uppers) are Westporters, out-of-towners or hired dog walkers.

      As for what it’s called: Everyone in town calls it the “dog park.” The same way everyone says “let’s go to the beach,” not “let’s go to Compo.” That’s just the way it is.

  3. As a neighbor of Winslow Park I too have noticed, for many years, the curious practice of some (no doubt a very small number in the scheme of things) who practice what is depicted in the image above. In the broader sense though, what is unfortunately happening to Winslow Park is the steady decline of what was once, long ago, a stunning visual landscape. Moreover, the runoff and erosion from poorly maintained and/or ad hoc park trails into nearby Deadman’s Brook is palpable and has, in my view, contributed to the decline of that watercourse’s health. This situation and the level of maintenance that creates it is, of course, the direct result of a decision. It’s more or less the same decision that produces, just to pick a totally and completely random example, the sad and unwelcoming “green space” along the Saugatuck river in Parker Harding Plaza.

  4. As one of the Stewards at ALT’s Haskins Preserve located off South Compo on Green Acre Lane, I have all to often been tasked with picking up these blue bags. Sometimes, the people that leave them like to play hide and seek…hide them behind a rock or fling the bag into the barberry bushes. It is just rude and inconsiderate! Please make a conscience effort to police it and if you see someone leaving a bag behind…politely inform them that you think they have left a personal belonging behind. Last Spring at Haskins I noticed a woman off in the distance leave a blue bag by a tree at the edge of the woods…she proceeded onto one of the trails…She was the only one on the property and the only other car parked in the lot. I picked up the bag and proceeded back to the parking lot and placed the bag on her roof then went about my business. She obviously got the hint because by the time I returned her car was gone and so was the blue bag. One can only hope that she got the message. People like that are what ruins it for so many others!

    • Here and elsewhere it’s the humans (not the dogs) who leave a mess. In addition to the completely obnoxious bags left by dog walkers, the
      Haskins preserve is littered with cigarette butts, plastic bags, crushed cans, bottles and other disgusting artifacts of human entitlement.

  5. pambarkentin

    Bravo to John Karrel!

  6. Wait til somebody posts a photo of the, ahem, “on leash” area of the park populated by decidedly off-leash foot footed ones.

  7. A couple of trash bins closer to where people hang-around should solve the problem. Great park, good people, I would love to see more care by the town.

  8. In fairness to those tasked with managing the park’s decline, even if they did have the resources, they lack something even more fundamental: a maintenance plan – how do you know whether or not you are doing a good job if there are no agreed upon standards? I don’t mean to pick on Winslow, it’s a town-wide issue, and it applies equally to a certain house on the corner of Avery and Myrtle as it does to Parker Harding.

  9. Nancy W Hunter

    This is beginning to sound like a Grey Poupon commercial.

  10. That park could be wonderful. Most people would love what I would do to it. Some people would hate it. There is an overgrown orchard and areas that have gone wild. Some day maybe.

  11. Barbara Wanamaker

    Winslow Park is “maintained” by Parks and Rec … the same department that “maintains” the beach. Hmmmm.

  12. Loretta Hallock

    The bottom line is that is all boils down to money. Budget cuts. We cannot expect all the services if we continue to cut the budget.

    • So, all taxpayers should pay up to clean up after dog owners who misuse the $10,000,000 dog toilet which was paid for with taxpayer funds.

  13. OK, when you put it that way Mike, it does look bad. Yikes. I had mixed feelings when the park went, pardon the pun, to the dogs, many years ago, because I feared that use might possibly crowd out other passive recreational uses. And except mainly for sledding (which is not nothing) that is, more or less, what has happened. Sure, there is a dedicated “on leash” area, but it is, in reality, more of a suggestion, really – one that few seem to honor. And who can blame them? The fact is, Winslow is, in practice, a 100% dog park. Although I stopped going there to walk, I thought, well, at least this open space is loved and enjoyed and has a really passionate constituency, e.g. the dog owners – so it will be safe. With respect to the fact that Winslow had no plan of restoration or maintenance, I reasoned: (1) the park is clearly very important to the dog owners that frequent it, (2) it is only a matter of time before they work out what is happening to the place and (3), they will organize themselves into a powerful voice when they do. It certainly appears that, so far, I was wrong about #2 and #3.

  14. Nancy W Hunter

    Bylaws. Or, transform the dogs into bears.