Monday, May 17, 2010

Lawn Lovers vs. Dog Owners

University Park, Illinois

Lately it seems, there has been an increase in confrontations between homeowners who love their lawns and dog owners who exercise their dogs. The most serious of these incidents happened last week in the south suburbs of Chicago, when Charles Clements, a 69 year-old man shot and killed Joshua Funches, who was 23 years-old. What did Mr. Funches do? He walked his dog on his lawn and let the dog urinate on it.

Mr. Clements was a man who took great pride in his lawn. He didn't have a huge lawn but won neighborhood beautification awards for what he was able to accomplish. He used Kentucky Bluegrass which is one of the highest quality grasses available. This man also put up a sign telling the mailman to walk on the sidewalk and not his lawn.

This man had never had a previous encounter with the homeowner. In fact, the homeowner grabbed his gun and chased him down the block to shoot him. It's sad that a man who took great pleasure in keeping his lawn beautiful will have nothing but jail time to show for it. Equally sad is the fact that a young man who was being a responsible dog owner, had his life cruelly taken from him.

Copenhagen, Denmark

A 68-year-old man retaliated against a 41-year-old woman for not picking up after her dog. She had forgotten to bring a bag with her. When the homeowner approached her, she offered to go back home and get a bag and come back to pick up the mess. How did he retaliate? He rubbed her face into the feces. This guy wound up getting a suspended sentence of 30 days.

What's The Solution?

These are just two of many incidents that reflect on the tensions between people who love their lawns and those who love their dogs. The irony is that dog waste in small amounts actually contains nitrogen, the key ingredient in many lawn fertilizers. The problems arise when there is an overabundance of this element which causes yellow spots. If not treated in time, the lawn will not come back.

I think that both homeowners and dog owners need to have mutual respect for one another. Acting out in the heat of the moment never resolves anything but guarantees more problems.

Read Up On It!

Sun-Times Article by Mark Brown
The Copenhagen Post
Oh Mi Dog
Dog Gone It Lawn Problems
Yard Health

Let's Discuss!

Have you had a similar situation in your neighborhood? What ways were you able to find a suitable compromise?

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