A CAUTIONARY TAIL, PART 2

Readers respond to Ken Hoffman's dog park debacle

Photo by Jacob Power

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about my dog Sally being attacked by three dogs (one owner) at Officer Lucy Dog Park in Bellaire. Admittedly, I was furious when I wrote the column. I am still furious. Despite a big sign with a long list of safety rules, this one person was allowed to bring his three big, violent dogs into that dog park. I managed to get my dog (and me) out of the park safely.

During our ensuing shouting, the owner of the other dogs told me, "I was here first" and "If you don't like it, don't bring your dog in here." The owner was right about one thing. I didn't like it, and I won't bring my dog there.

In fact, I won't bring my dog to any public dog park where there is no supervision, no assurance that vicious and sick dogs aren't present. It's just not worth the risk.

Dog park danger

It turns out, I did the smart thing. I did not confront the other dog owner. I called the Bellaire cops. Three officers, plus the city's animal control officer, arrived within 10 minutes. They talked to the owner of the vicious dogs, and he left. The police now have a report with information about this person and his dogs.

In Texas, if a dog harms another dog, the owner could be responsible for the vet bills resulting from his dog attacking another dog. If the owner's dog kills another dog, the owner could be responsible for replacing the dead dog. Yeah, that would make everything okay. Your dog killed my dog, my best friend, the dog I loved like there's no tomorrow … but you're going to give me $50 to get another one?

If that owner's dogs had killed Sally that day, I would have spent that night in jail.

Readers respond

Reader reaction to my column surprised me. I understand that people are passionate about their dogs (nobody more than me) and dog parks are popular. I expected to hear strong defenses of dog parks. That was not the case. Here are some of the responses I received.

  • "My dog also got attacked at the gate of Officer Lucy Dog Park; a pit bull grabbed him by the throat, tearing the skin and requiring stitches."
  • "At the very least, they'll get loaded with fleas."
  • "My dog was attacked twice at a dog park. I was frightened my dog would get killed. No more."
  • "Dog parks harbor disease, excrement, vicious dogs, and a-hole owners. We would never take our sweet girl to one."
  • "I think they are great. I wish people would bring their dogs there and not to restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and other places that are intended for humans."
  • "We used to go to dog parks all the time, but then our dog was attacked. I overheard the owner say after we pulled his dog off mine, 'He always does this.' My dog ended up with a $800 medical bill."
  • "Do not confront the bad dog owner — you and your dog could wind up sharing a hospital room."
  • "Come to Eadog Park. We are all a family and are familiar with everyone's dog. If anyone's dog acts up, we ask them to kindly leave. We don't tolerate that behavior."

Continue on CultureMap to read about the aftermath.


Getty Images

Maybe Bad Baylor isn't so bad after all. Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:

Houston 24, UConn 17

While my thoughts on the Cougars' coaching staff have not changed since last week, defensive back Grant Stuard further solidified my views that he is quite possibly the most disruptive player in college football. He's hungry and it shows. Stuard had 15 tackles, including a touchdown-saving effort to stop a 58-yard run by UConn's Kevin Mensah in the Cougars' 24-17 win over the Huskies on Saturday. While some credit the win to Houston coach Dana Holgorsen's son, Logan, I know the victory would not have been possible without Stuard. Dana Holgerson was caught on the sideline in the second quarter making a profanity-riddled comment about his players' inability to be coached which, to me, speaks volumes about his inability to communicate effectively with his team. "I say things all the time I don't mean," Holgorsen said. "In the heat of the battle, things on the sidelines, hot mics or cameras getting caught. My guys know good and well what I think of them, how hard I'd coach them and how much I think of them and how much I appreciate everything that they do." People who "appreciate" you show it. That's all I'm going to say about that. The Cougars return home to No. 19 SMU on Thursday night.

Texas 50, Kansas 48

Dicker. Kicker. On the brink of a massive upset by an unranked opponent, it was up to quarterback Sam Ehlinger and kicker Cameron Dicker to bring it home for the Longhorns. And they delivered. Ehlinger drove the Longhorns to the Jayhawks 21-yard line, putting Texas within field goal range with 1:11 left to play. Dicker kicked a 33-yarder as the clock expired to lift the Longhorns to a 50-48 victory, bringing an end to a fourth quarter scoring shootout that saw schools exchange six touchdowns, two field goals and a blocked extra point for a two-point safety. "I love kickers," said Herman, who makes a joke of not saying a kicker's name, and still didn't in his postgame news conference. "I'm glad that we have the one we have." Ehlinger finished with 399 yards passing, four touchdowns and added another 91 yards on the ground. "A win's a win," Ehlinger said. "Very thankful we were able to pull that out." Despite having the worst offense in the Big 12, the Jayhawks were explosive under recently promoted offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon. "I got guys that are fighting like hell to be a part of what we're doing here and Dearmon is one of them," Kansas coach Les Miles said. Despite the win, Texas could drop in the polls after nearly losing to the worst team in the Big 12. Texas is on the road against TCU next Saturday.

​Kansas State 24, TCU 17

It's been a long time coming for Kansas State. Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson threw two touchdowns that sparked a late game surge to top TCU 24-17 in Kansas State's first win on over a month and their first Big 12 win of the season. "Just the toughness and resolve because he got hit a lot and he always just kept coming back," Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said of Thompson. The Wildcats finished with only 266 yards in a game that felt like TCU should have won. "I mean, we practice what they do and then we react to whatever else they do," TCU cornerback Julius Lewis said. "We've got to keep working." TCU hosts Texas on Saturday.

Texas A&M 24, Mississippi 17

After trailing midway through the third quarter, Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike made two game-changing plays that elevated the Aggies to a 24-17 comeback victory over Ole' Miss in Saturday night. "I just tried to put myself in position to make big plays for my team," said Madubuike, who finished with five tackles, including a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. "It's blocking a ball, sacking a quarterback and all those little things that helped us come out with a win." Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond was 16-of-28 for 172 yards passing and 76 yards rushing on 15 carries. The Aggies host rival Mississippi State on Saturday.

LSU 36, Mississippi State 13

Another week of college football brings about another opportunity for me to rave about the amazing Joe Burrow. The Starkville crowd got a glimpse of Burrow's backside after the star quarterback was pulled to the ground by his pants during his third sack of the game. "I heard there was supposed to be a full moon in Starkville tonight," Burrow joked. Burrow finished 25-of-34 with 327 yards passing and four touchdowns to break LSU's season record with 29 in the No. 2 Tigers' 36-13 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday. "It's a testament to him, the receivers, the offensive line, the coaches," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "But we're just getting started. Our team is not satisfied." We know, coach. You're never satisfied and that's probably why the Tigers are so gosh darned talented. In Burrow's postgame comments, the team leader made it clear he and Orgeron are of one mind in their relentless quest for perfection. "If we play like this next week (versus No. 11 Auburn), we'll lose," Burrow said. "I think we're going to have to execute much better in the red zone than we did this week, because I don't think we'll get as many chances." At a glance it's hard to find fault in the final score for LSU. The Tigers had 415 yards of offense and forced three turnovers against Mississippi State. However, LSU struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, having to settle for field goals on its first three drives. "We didn't play our best game today, but I knew this day was going to come, and I'm proud of our defense," Orgeron said. "Your offense is not going to play great, on fire every week." Mississippi State freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader threw for 238 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice by the Tigers. Expect LSU to hold its poll position after taking care of business on the road against an unranked opponent. LSU hosts No. 11 Auburn next week.

​Baylor 45, Oklahoma State 27

Somehow, some way, Bad Baylor has managed to go undefeated for seven-straight games this season. Don't worry, I'm just as shocked as you. Baylor was the four-point underdog going into Saturday's game against Oklahoma State and for the first three quarters, we learned why. Oklahoma State led at halftime, in the third quarter and in the fourth. Baylor responded with 21 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes to beat the cowboys 45-27 on Saturday. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer completed 13-of-17 passes for 312 yards and one touchdown and ran for another score to extend the Bears' winning streak to nine games, the third longest in program history. "I thought we showed heart and I was very appreciative of our guys' effort," Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. "We knew eventually we were going to be OK. I think our team felt like, if we just hang in there, eventually we'll make enough plays to win. I thought everyone stepped up and it was a great team win. It wasn't perfect but they didn't panic." Bad Baylor will probably move up a few spots in the rankings but that's contingent upon how the teams ahead of them fare. Baylor is off next week and faces West Virginia at home on Oct. 31.

Iowa State 34, Texas Tech 24

Iowa State quarterback Brock Burdy threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns to rout Texas Tech 34-24 on Saturday. Freshman running back Breeve Hall ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cyclones to victory. Texas Tech plays at Kansas next Saturday.

UTSA 31, Rice 27

The Rice Owls fell to 0-7, losing at UTSA. This might have been the last chance for Rice to win a football game, as they went in favored.

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