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Doug Clark: Pooch park stink, really? Pour me a growler

What the hell’s happened to civil disobedience?

This question came to mind upon reading about the recent heartburn at a South Hill dog park.

Some park patrons, according to our news account, threatened to actually chain themselves to a fence to protest the rumor (that’s right, it was only a rumor) that said pooch-park might close.

For professional reasons, I am generally in favor of people behaving foolishly in public.

Imagine the angst-ridden South Hill dog lovers chained to the chain link, their anguished, quavering voices united in singing a slightly modified version of that beloved Beatles refrain …

“All we are saaaaying, is give leash a chance.”

Column gold, friends. Column gold.

Being a South Hill resident, however, I also see a geographic downside to this.

See, we South Hillers have long suffered from having the rest of Spokane look at us as affluent, self-absorbed ninnies.

Really. Even the psychic who reads my aura thinks this dog park idiocy won’t help the South Hill’s superficial image any.

Now, I love mutts as much as anyone. I pet dogs. I’ve owned dogs.

I talk to every dog I meet in that repetitive baby-talk voice.

“Who’s the good boy? Who is? That’s right. That’s right. No-no. No-boy. Don’t hump Doug’s leg. No-noo. Down, boy …”

Heck, if I had Bill Gates’ money, I’d build a park in every Spokane neighborhood where dogs could sniff and poop their hearts out.

Kibbles and bits are on me!

But canine affection aside, since when is the loss of a pooch park – real or imagined – worthy of a trip to Miller’s Hardware for 6 feet of chain and a Yale padlock?

The right answer, of course, is …


I’m biased, naturally.

I came of age in the turbulent 1960s, when activists cremated draft cards and brassieres and marched for civil rights.

Not that I ever took part in any of that stuff.

I was actually one of the early pioneers of a youth movement that later evolved into one of our largest societal subgroups.

Slackers, I think we now call them.

This required me to devote every waking hour to doing, well, nothing.

Even so, I still appreciated the fortitude it took for my socially conscious peers to protest the Vietnam War, say, and risk getting their craniums clobbered by the business end of some Gestapo cop’s billy club.

And while my memory’s not as fine-edged as it once was, I can say with confidence that no ’60s sit-in was ever held over a lousy dog park.

Not that there’s any danger that this unofficial South Hill park will close. The county animal protection service reportedly received a complaint about a dog jumping on somebody, which prompted an investigation and fueled the aforementioned rumor.

It’ll all get worked out. These trifles nearly always do.

Those looking for something to protest should look for a bigger outrage.

You know, like how the IRS abused certain political groups. Or the NSA’s roundup of private phone records.

Those new parking meters they’re putting up all over downtown Spokane are pretty evil, too.

Although I’m not sure you can chain yourself to a parking meter. If you go that route you’re probably better off using duct tape.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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