Monday, July 7, 2014

Dog Days In North Bay Village

His name is Kiko and he's a 7 year old Shih Tzu.  Kiko's not mine but he's claimed me for the last two months while his human, my friend and neighbor, is recovering from a complicated surgery.   Kiko lived with me for 8 weeks and now I take him out several times per day.   

But you see, here's the deal.  I never had a small dog before.  They are a different species than real dogs, you know, mutts of size, and I was very worried that I would not know how to care for a pleasant little fellow with 6 inch legs. 
I'm just standing up when I took this. 
That's how small he is.
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So I did what I did when I first got a dog - I took him to the dog park.  We went to the one on Miami Beach and while he scuttled around, I talked with other people there and asked them about my concerns.  Everyone had advice, and pretty good advice at that.  It turns out it's not that different than regular dogs but his fur required more grooming, and no very hard treats.

Dog parks do that.  They provide a place for urban dogs to run, play, learn things from each other and they provide the same for urban dog owners.   If North Bay Village is typical, we have some 600 dogs in our city and like their owners, most live in apartments without dedicated outdoor space.  88% of our population lives in multiunit buildings.   

Recently, a new resident of the North Bay Village has been pushing for the city to find space for these dogs and their owners.  She has managed to get it on the commission agenda tomorrow night.

It's needed.  Our residents should not need to drive their dogs to Miami Beach for some exercise and our residents need to know each other better.  This is what builds community.  It will be on the agenda tomorrow night, 7:30 PM, at 1666 JFK Causeway and we need a good turnout.   

And yeah, while I adjusted to Kiko, I got him to adjust to me.  No peeing in the kitchen, no begging at the table, no barking randomly and a walk means a walk.  No getting carried.  He seems to be good with it.  

Kevin Vericker
July 7, 2014

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