Jennifer Hainstock was not telling the truth when saying the Montini would be “the only hilly place in Sonoma where we can walk our dogs”. What about Bartholomew Park? That’s what, a two minute drive from the Plaza? I’d be willing to bet that the dog owners group that is making so much noise is all concentrated in the neighborhoods immediately east of the Plaza. What they really want is to be able to walk their dogs from home out to city trails without driving anywhere. If I were a dog owner, yes that would be nice.
But what about dog owners in the Springs who would have to drive to Montini, not very green eh? Local dog owners deserve a big dog park where their dogs can really run. But this dog park must serve the needs of all Sonoma Valley dogs, not just those on the near east side. Many will have to drive to a new dog park; it seems the most vocal folks here just don’t want it to be them. The perfect neighborhood needs a perfect dog situation, right? If nobody is supposed to drive to a dog park, how many dog parks do we need then? When will dogs be registered to vote? More bones for all! A stick for every snout!
The arguments against dogs on city nature trails are substantial and backed up by such environmental heavyweights as John Muir and Aldo Leopold. A goodly percentage of trail users are not looking to bring their domestic world with them when they go for a walk in the woods; this is a time to get away from all that. These places are refuges from city life, not a mindless extension of domesticity. At the very least, people such as myself are not just against dogs but rather for a chance to contemplate nature on its own terms; not nature as it would be, gone to the dogs.
In Sonoma people deserve to be able to walk to a small expression of nature; this is a valuable asset to a world increasingly over run by people and their stuff.