Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Sad Day

I had a hint this was coming two weeks ago when I overheard one vendor telling another about some incident involving a dog and saying that dogs were to be banned from the market. I had assumed at the time that they were discussing a market other than Dupont Circle. Wishful thinking.

Last week the signs went up. There were a couple of dogs still to be seen here and there - whether it was in protest or blissful ignorance, I don't know. There was also some evidence of displeasure with the new dictum - the "No" had been smudged out on the blackboards.

This week everyone seemed to have capitulated. The signs were undisturbed and there was nary a dog in the market. I've never considered myself to be a "dog person", but I've always enjoyed seeing the variety of dogs on parade at the market and observing their interactions with people and other dogs. It just won't be the same without them.

(On a happier note, the Elephant Heart Plums are here!)


kob said...

I wonder what happened. Nice post.

Cathy said...

Thanks Patrick! Yeah, I've been wondering that myself. The market used to be so welcoming to dogs, even going so far as to put out water for them. I wish they'd reconsider.

Alanna Kellogg said...

Bah humbug on dogless markets. Last year I decided to pass on what was a very good farmers market here in St Louis; it was banning dogs with a cranky militancy. Yesterday I heard it's not doing very well, has "hardly any vegetables". In August. So there, dog banners.

Anonymous said...

The reason for the dog ban is that there have been two violent dog fights in the market over the past month, as well as many other near-misses in the past. Given that the market is crowded, with lots of little kids and other dogs around, the situation became dangerous.

I think it's sad, yes, but there were also quite a few dog owners who brought their dogs to the market knowing full well that their pets weren't the most socially well-adjusted animals. Yet they wanted to multi-task, to walk their dog while buying supplies at the market - a bit of a recipe for disaster, as it's nigh-on-impossible to concentrate on both. Add in the variables of other dogs and children, and it can get messy in a hurry.

So it's sad, yes, but it's something that Bernie and the FreshFarm crew had to do.

Anonymous said...

Any chance we can get the farmer's markets around here to ban unruly children and their parents who don't supervise them or the moms and dads with the obscene SUV strollers? I've stopped going to farmers markets in this area because I'm sick and tired of being heeled by these damn strollers and I'm equally sick of being pushed around by the inconsiderate louts piloting said strollers. Bring on the dogs any day; I'll take my chances with them over kids and inconsiderate adults.

Nupur said...

A few months ago, they banned dogs in our local market too, and we had to tie Dale outside to the fence. He keeps whining mournfully but luckily there are always passers-by who stop and pet him and keep him company while we shop.
I completely agree that kids in their giant strollers are a much bigger hassle than my poor dog will ever be.

Cathy said...

Hi Alanna - oh no, I hope that doesn't happen here! I love the FreshFarm market at Dupont Circle - there's nothing else around that comes close to matching it.

Hi Rudi - thanks for the background info. I sympathize with the difficult position they were in and understand that they must have felt they had no choice under the circumstances, but I still wish with all my heart that there was some other way to address the problem.

Hi DC dog lover - I suppose the problem with dogs at the market comes down to the same thing... a few inconsiderate owners who haven't adequately supervised their dogs.

Hi Nupur - Poor Dale! Gosh, sounds like it's happening all over the place. I think dogs are still allowed at Union Square - hope that doesn't change.

Rosa said...

I miss Dupont, or as we lovingly called it "bufont." No dogs? Bah humbug. But, yes, if people are being inconsiderate to others, boo hiss on them for ruining it for others!

Cathy said...

Hi Rosa - I love my periodic trips to Dupont Circle to visit the market and can easily imagine living in that neighborhood. I have to admit, I haven't explored much beyond the market, Firehook Bakery (yum!), and the park, but I know there's lots more to see.