Dog’s eye view
To the Editor:
A word about the dog park from a dog’s point of view:
It is a given that dogs love to run, play and spend time with their own kind.
It is also a given that you and your dog will meet other dogs who do not have the temperament for this setting, and owners who do not watch, lead or have control over their dog or have any understanding of dog behavior. So who will be the pack leader of the park? I have often seen owners who let their dog run with a head held high directly at another dog, saying, “Don’t worry, he’s friendly,” having no idea how the other dog feels or the realization that a head-on meet may likely be interpreted as fighting words.
To a dog, a park is still a kennel in that it is a confined space. It is not a safe place to release the frustrations of the day. It is not the place for the excited, nervous, shy, fearful or dominant dog because you don’t know how the other dog(s) who may be excited, nervous, shy, fearful or dominant may react to this energy.
According to Cesar Milan, “A dog park can be used to maintain your dog’s social skills but not to burn off excess energy and it should never, ever be used as a substitute for the walk. The walk is the best and safest way for a dog to get to know another dog.”
Unlike children, dogs do not need to socialize or strike alliances with other dogs in a confined place. A pack develops over time and is fairly stable. Every time a new dog enters, there is an adjustment. Meeting new dogs in a fenced park is stressful.
Mike D’Abruzzi, trainer and behaviorist, says, “Once many dogs mature, they lose this super-social personality and it becomes more stressful than anything else to try to relate to these dogs that they don’t know … very unnatural to the dog. Dogs that stay more juvenile in personality and/or super confident can do fine there.”
Dog language is often subtle and their actions are much quicker than human reactions.
It is not abnormal for a dog to growl or raise his hackles when confronted with other dogs. But it is a clear signal that there will be a problem.
If you have never taken your dog to a park before, go with a trainer or experienced owner. Only enter a park with a calm, well-exercised dog. Many owners confuse happiness with excitement.
Do not bring food or treats to a dog park and be sure to watch your dog. This isn’t the time to take out the iPad. Your dog should be able and ready to respond to cues from you in case a problem develops. Here is where you have to hope the owners are on the same page. Even the most calm, gentle dogs are inclined to pile on and enter a fight between other dogs.
It is hard enough to break up a fight between dogs you know but have you ever thought of what you would do if you had to get between your dog and another dog you don’t know?
I would much prefer the town allow leash walked dogs on the beaches after 5 p.m., as it is in neighboring towns. If you really want your dog to have the pleasure of his own kind, adopt a second dog. Most shelters will have a professional help you choose and form your new pack without a training fee.
For me, there are too many variables among the humans’ judgments and the nature of the dog that predict negative outcomes, such as canine and human injury, costly insurance policies, litigious liability and some poor dog blamed for acting like a dog.
JOAN VECSEY, Shelter Island
To the Editor:
A most grateful thank you to Shelter Islander Mike, his family and neighbor for coming to the assistance on June 23 of two stranded sailors who were beached in front of their houses in the Silver Beach area when the mast on their catamaran came crashing down. Your display of hospitality, offering us food and beverage as well as physical assistance, was most appreciated. You were the epitome of the Good Samaritan. Thanks again.
KEN RICHTER and crew JAMES MATHEWS, Southold
To the Editor:
I read in last week’s Reporter a letter to the editor written by an East Hampton resident regarding air and noise pollution from East Hampton Airport. As a frequent visitor to Shelter Island and a resident of Noyac, I am well acquainted with the aerial barrage over our area. So last Friday, when what has become known as the “Million Dollar Seasonal Control Tower” began operations at East Hampton Airport, I was one of many noise-weary residents north and west of the airport who awaited the promised relief from the aerial assault; it never came. The following day, at an information meeting held at East Hampton Airport, I learned why.
At the June 30 airport meeting, East Hampton Councilman Dominick Stanzione enthused that the tower opening was an “historic” event; I don’t disagree with that since it certainly will merit mention in the annals of environmental misdeeds, as it will aid in bringing increasing commuter air traffic (i.e. that loud, low-flying red seaplane) and pollution to the East End. Yet Councilman Stanzione failed to mention that earlier claims by East Hampton town officials, airport management and aviation proponents — claims that the airport’s control tower would bring about noise abatement — were not on the agenda for the control tower operators. He did state that noise abatement was not an issue for air control operators. His statement was reinforced within minutes by Charles Carpenter, spokesman for Robertson Aviation, control tower operators, who said the tower’s purpose is solely safety and efficiency, not noise abatement. An FAA representative nodded assent to Carpenter’s comment.
Readers may recall having seen in media across the East End many newspaper ads sponsored by the East Hampton Aviation Association (EHAA) prior to last November’s East Hampton Town Board election. Numerous ads appeared in the form of 10 questions and answers, one of which stated: yes, a control tower would alleviate neighborhood noise, not only in East Hampton but over a 10-mile wide and half-mile high airspace surrounding the airport. Many East End residents therefore harbored the hope that their pleas for aircraft noise reduction would be acted upon. The aviation association’s ads also contended that accepting FAA funds would give East Hampton town “local” control over airport operations. Both published EHAA statements are misleading, at best, given Saturday’s pronouncements about the limited scope of operations the tower can control.
The disinformation campaign waged by East Hampton Airport expansionists will no doubt continue and the other disingenuous EHAA statements will eventually come to light but the case of the control tower gives rise now to troubling questions: Was EHAA ignorant of the facts or were they mislead by town officials and airport management? Or did they deliberately misinform the public to support the re-election of East Hampton Town Board members known to support special aviation interests and to vehemently favor increased airport operations? Many residents would like answers to those questions.
And this coming week, Shelter Island, North Fork and Southampton residents will again spend our national holiday enduring aircraft noise from East Hampton Airport operations that elected officials at local, state and federal levels have been unable or unwilling to prevent. Shame on them.
PATRICIA CURRIE, Sag Harbor
To the Editor:
Although the 4-poster program is doing a good job on Shelter Island to keep the tick population under control, we still have ticks. And, since the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has listed New York State — and particularly the East End (including Shelter Island) as a top contender for Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis, it is important to take precautions. Brian Kelly in Riverhead Patch offers some excellent tips:
Ten Tips to Tick Ticks Off:
1. Reduce leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and around the house.
2. Cut grass short and regularly.
3. Restrict use of ground cover, such as pachysandra.
4. Remove brush and leaves around stone walls and wood piles.
5. Where mice play, ticks will stay: Seal stone walls serving as nesting sites and small openings in the house that are entry points.
7. Rake leaves, as needed.
8. Create a tick-safe zone — a sunny, dry area around the home, swing sets, decks and patios — that is free of brush piles.
9. Use wood chips to help keep the buffer zone free of plants and restrict tick migration.
10. Trim tree branches to let in more sunlight.
Also, check yourself and your children daily for ticks. To remove an embedded tick, grasp it carefully with fine tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull outward gently but firmly. Do not use fingers, matches, nail polish or any other materials as this could cause the tick to inject infectious bacteria. Treat the bite site with a topical antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. Once removed, save the tick Scotch taped onto a card and take yourself and the tick to a doctor.
Wishing all of us a tick-free summer,
Chairman, Town Deer and Tick Committee