Friday, July 10, 2009

Attention Property of Texas

Attention all Dog Parkers! Several new signs prohibiting leash-free activity on state property have appeared along the 45th Street fence line, starting at (no surprise) the bend in the trail by Crazy Guy's house and running all the  way to Bull Creek. Tony's Sarah, Sarah's mum Cindy, and I counted 5 or 6 new signs. Here is what each sign says:

Property of Texas
This Property is not a dog park.
Unleashed dogs are prohibited by City Leash Law (Sec. 3-4-1).
Violators will be subject to a maximum fine of $500
Property under video surveillance

Hmm.  A bit heavyhanded, no?—with Property capitalized in a that Germanic way. You almost expect to see it in Gothic type. The punctuation is uneven. Only two of the three complete sentences are followed by periods. I beg your pardon, what? Am I worried? My reaction was exactly this: "Meh." It's just another sign to be ignored. 

But the new signs immediately sparked a wildfire of speculation and conspiracy theories. Did the state actually put up these signs or did Crazy Guy make them privately and then dig serious holes in dirt as hard as concrete? Some people noticed that the signs were not constructed in as solid a fashion as the other signs we ignore and the dogs pee on every day. Then another person noticed that every time someone said the words video surveillance, a helicopter seemed to swoop overhead. I'm sure with the drawdown from Iraq that the good people at Camp Mabry now have an extra copter for covert ops at Dog Park. Advice: If you hear strains of "Ride of the Valkyries" emitted from overhead choppers, grab your dogs and hit the dirt. 

Video surveillance? Give me a break, people. Do we really think the city has resources during an economic recession to plant wireless surveillance cameras in the trees at Dog Park a la The Wire? Are we talking squirrel cams? Or worse, there's a Dog Park "mole."  (Hint: It's that dog you've never met before with the giant camera strapped to its head. No! It's that creepy guy in the city uniform who wants to take your picture for his My Space page.)

Whatever. It is just too effing hot to deal with these signs seriously. Frankly, I think that even the most stalwart of city servants will quit their jobs before agreeing to sweep Dog Park for violators of City Code 3-4-1 when it's 105 degrees outside in the shade. Still, Teddy's Johnny pointed out that we should keep our eyes open for increased attention from Animal Control, which is always a good idea. I always tend to get too lax about carrying leashes when the coast seems clear. 

So people, please don't Mess with the Property of Texas—even though the entity Texas is nothing without you, the Enfranchised Citizens, of Texas. Yeehaw! Leash up! 

PS: I did a quick search of the Internet for the actual text of City Code 3-4-1, but I could not find it online. Does anyone  know where I could find it? I think it would be good for us to know. Thanks, z


  1. Here's a link to a site that has the full Code on it:

    And the text of Code section §3-4-1:


    (A) Except as provided in Section 3-4-4 (Public Areas Where Restraint of a Dog is Not Required), an owner or handler of a dog shall keep the dog under restraint.

    (B) A person holding a dog on a leash or lead shall keep the dog under control at all times.

    Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-2(A) and (B); Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.

  2. P.S. Video surveillance? Hahahahahahahaha!

    That is a good one.

  3. Squirrel cams, that the way to go with this. Or, if you're a conspiracy theorist, you could imagine that a dog is wearing a wire and reporting back to Big Brother. I know this can happen because I watched the Pixar movie Up.

  4. Someone this morning said that they wish they knew where the cameras were so that they could moon in the correct direction.

    Maybe the squirrels themselves put the signs up? They made a mint selling pecans on the Chinese black market, wisely invested in a Florida company that processes loan foreclosures, and have hired a crew of laid-off thugs with opposable thumbs to do their dirty work.


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