I go to the local dog park to provide variety for my beasts regarding outdoor time and exercise. At the dog park, they can RUN. However, I owning one big dog and one litte dog, I face the decision of using the “Big Dog” side or the “Little Dog” side. My 13 lb female, having grown up with the 75 lb male means, she is used to big dogs. Yet, on the Big Dog side, these large breeds treat her like prey. The owners pitifully lack leadership over their 100 lb puppies (rottweilers, shepherds) and I am not in the mood to get chomped. My little dog hides behind me to get away from the really big, really excited pups. Excitement turning into anxiety turning into aggression, I decided recently to try the small dog side of the fenced spaces. it’s like a pistol match: shooters exhibit unsportsmanlike behaviors which are best to walk away from. You consult with the refs and leave the rest to the officials. My time on the small dog side has, now, been a mixed bag of people freaking out over my big dog, to realizing he poses no threat. Big Friendly is a work dog; he cruises the park to sniff out and pee on choice blades of grass and to RUN. He plays independently and does not interact much with the other dogs. These other small dog owners state their concerns as the mere presence Big Friendly will incite their dogs to engage in aggressive behavior. Sounds like a dog who shouldn’t even be at the park until these owners have put them through Basic Training. So, I assure them if there appears to be any untoward behavior on the part of my big dog, I will leave. I do not want to create any angst. I am the one in a predicament with a big dog and a little dog. The other day though, when one particularly irate man actually pointed to the sign for the Small Dog side and said I had a big dog (like I didn’t know this), I left, only after introducing myself. Good manners always throws idiots off their warpath. It’s an Officer Presence tactic. I did stop and read the city code sign posted between the two dog size signs. Interestingly enough, nowhere did the codes and regulations specify size of dog. Dogs need to be vaccinated, bitches cannot be in heat, no dog fighting allowed, any aggressive dog behavior requires the owner to leave immediately, if one dog hurts another dog or person than the owner is responsible. for vet or doctor bills. I went home and called animal control. We cannot uphold the law, cite the law, use it to our advantage if we do not know the law as thoroughly as possible. It looked like the “Big Dog” and “Small Dog” signs were suggestions, not requirements, not law. I was right. But, I was also right to not push my point until my research of this issue was complete. If the signs indicated the dogs’ sizes and ONLY, then I would have to reroute my dog park time. After animal control, I called City Hall to double check my information. They are in the process of researching my concern and will get back to me. When, I go back to the dog park, I will have City Hall backing me up. I find it vital to uphold “good neighbor relations” yet not be the doormat. I did leave, door matting myself a bit. In the end though, it won’t send me away, it sent me to do my due diligence. Always, always, know the laws rules and regulations. Then apply them to your benefit.