Sun Chronicle Photograph of the dog park; Satchel Pooch ('Get Fuzzy' Character by Darby Conley) added by the author who had WAYYY too much time on his hands.
Sun Chronicle Photograph of the dog park; Satchel Pooch (‘Get Fuzzy’ Character copyright by Darby Conley) added by Bob who had WAYYY too much time on his hands.

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 7/2008

Background: Here in Foxboro, a battle has raged — literally raged — over whether a dog park should be allowed to remain open. This is no joke (I wish it were) —
The dog park, which opened in September 2006, has become a legal battleground. A lawsuit filed by abutters and others seeking to close the park is pending in State Land Court. Week after week, the top story is the dog park. That a DOG PARK can cause people to literally scream at each other at town meetings, and become the primary focus of the media and public thought is just mind-boggling. As I’ve said before, thank God there’s nothing else going on, such as a presidential election, or a war or anything like that. So here’s my contribution to this ongoing story…


One of the tremendous disadvantages of this being a WEEKLY newspaper is that we have to wait seven days for dog park updates. I find this very difficult, as every aspect of my entire life has become consumed by this all-important matter of the dog park. To fill the dog park information gap, here’s an update of what’s happened since we last talked.

First up, I’ve done a great deal of research and pulled selectman meeting minutes going back to the founding of Foxboro (1620) and it’s incredibly suspicious that the dog park is not mentioned at all for over one hundred years. Why the cover up? What were the founding fathers of the town hiding? Were they holding secret dog park meetings in the 1600s? The only conclusion that a well-balanced, reasonable person would come to is emphatically YES.

On a related historical note, the first mention of the dog park occurs in the Foxboro Reporter edition of July 5, 1776. The headline reads: “Ye olde town dog park opens to grande fan-fare; canine recreation knoll proves very popular with the royals.” A smaller story on page nine mentions something about a document being signed in Philadelphia, and an editorial: “Independence for the colonies? It won’t amount to a thing, trust me.”

Back in the present: Could a battered economy, waning enthusiasm for the war in Iraq and President Bush’s low approval ratings spell trouble for Senator John McCain and other Republicans in November? According to a new poll, the answer depends on the dog park.

Gas prices in Foxboro have topped $9 a gallon. Despite no obvious connection, local residents have demanded that the dog park be closed.

Incidentally, although the event received very little coverage locally (due to wall-to-wall dog park coverage), apparently the New England Patriots had a pretty good season (18-1), although they didn’t win the Super Bowl, due to the unstoppable Eli Manning, an incredible Giants offensive line, and Coach Belichick’s preoccupation with the dog park.

This just in: People who live in towns with dog parks are 78.14% more likely to be happy than in towns that do not have dog parks.

This just in: Dog parks have been shown to cause small children to spontaneously combust. The controversial findings were published in “Cat Fancy” magazine.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for a 90% probability of a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season for 2008. How this will affect the dog park is not yet clear.

Stocks tumbled Tuesday as a troubling reading on the dog park underscored the drag of endless dog park stories on the local economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points, or about the cost of 1000 bags of Kibbles and Bits.

At the commencement for Foxboro High School, the class valedictorian emphasized to the graduates that, “The entire world is your dog park.”

Billy Ray Cyrus says he wasn’t around when Annie Leibovitz photographed his 15-year-old daughter, Miley, wrapped in a sheet with her back exposed, for the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Despite no obvious connection, local residents have demanded that the dog park be closed.

This just in — the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint are to drive a hybrid car, use less electricity, and support the dog park. Or not support it. Or something.

The recent “Underdog” movie was a minor hit, but pummeled by film critics as, “Obvious dog park propaganda.”

It’s official, the question will be on the November ballot: “Do you support or not permit non-approval of a law to de-ban unforbidding the opposite inverse of the reverse action of not undoing having a dog park is or is not the antithesis of not being contrary to a status of anti-unconstitutional?”

Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday, urging Americans to reject what he called the Bush administration’s legacy of “incompetence, negligence and failure on dog park issues.”

I loved this year’s Founders Day theme: “Foxboro, Home of the Dog Park.”

When the dog park issue gets to the Supreme Court (and it will) I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the swing vote. She just strikes me as a cat person.

Finally, why is it that no one has ever interviewed a DOG about the dog park? It’s THEIR park. Seems they should have a say in all this.

Stay tuned to this newspaper for complete dog park coverage (and nothing else) for at least the next decade (that’s 70 in dog years).

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