Dog's Death At Dog Park Serves As Warning

 |  Nov 13th 2009  |   40 Contributions


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I received a very sad email yesterday from Dogster member Minika Hall. She wanted to share her recent tragedy at the dog park, which resulted in the loss of her beloved dog Miles', as a warning to other dog owners.

Miles' was an adorable Yorkie who loved the dog park, and Hall enjoyed taking him there on a daily basis. On Sunday they went for a visit but this time Minika did something she had never done before, brought him into the big dog side of the park.

Here are the details from The Buffalo News.

Miles, an eight-month-old Yorkie who frequented the park with his owner several times a week during the warmer weather, was enjoying a late-October romp.

But Hall made a decision she will always regret. She let her five-pound pooch make his first visit to a separate running area that generally accommodates larger dogs. Until Sunday, Miles had always frolicked in an adjacent area reserved for dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds. On this evening, the special area was empty, and she wanted Miles to have company.

"Miles wasn't afraid of big dogs," said Hall, her voice shaking. "He loved to play with the bigger dogs."

The Yorkie was playing with several other dogs, none of them very large or aggressive, according to Hall. She said what happened next is a blur, but she recalls Miles being stepped on and instantly falling to the ground.

At first, she thought he just had the wind knocked out of him or in a worst-case scenario was paralyzed. But after she and another Barkyard patron rushed the dog to an emergency clinic, reality set in. Miles' tiny neck had likely been crushed as the dogs played, she said.

"People need to see my dumb mistake," the distraught owner said. "They need to understand that when their dogs are playing, they have to consider the size of other dogs. I knew it, but I never recognized the importance of that until now."

On the side reserved for small dogs there is a warning that it is only for pups 30 lbs. and under, there is no size specifications on the larger side. Lisa and I bring the 'kids' over to our local dog park and we see many dog owners bringing their smaller dogs into the large side, and for the exact reason Minika did, there was no one in the smaller dog area to play with. I'm sure just like Hall the owners don't give a second thought to it being dangerous, why would they?

I know Minika feels guilty over her decision but this tragedy could have happened to anyone. If she had seen an article like this I have no doubt she would never have taken Miles' into the large dog side, and that's why she contacted me, to get the word out. Keep in mind, the dogs in the park were just playing with Miles', no one was vicious, but when you have a bunch of big dogs engaging in rough play it only takes a second for a tragedy to occur.

I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to Minika over the loss of Miles'. Thank you for sharing your very painful story to keep other dog owners from experiencing the grief you are now going through, I know it wasn't easy.

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