McIntire Privilege. VI. Who Let the Dogs Out?

Time to return after a hiatus to the regular series on McIntire Privilege. To reiterate, McIntire Privilege is the thesis that residents of the McIntire District of Salem gain benefits, to the detriment other neighborhoods in Salem, without ever being conscious of said benefits.

Today it is the case of competing dog parks. In August at Gallows Hill Park a new sign was posted.


In almost 20 years of walking my dogs around Gallows Hill Park (first a Dalmatian and then a rat terrier) never saw such a warning sign at the park before. Leash laws are unenforceable and as such are a waste that serve only to aggravate neighbors, much like resident parking zones. The threat of coyote attacks from a coyote den resident behind the Gallows Hill water tower is way more effective at keeping all dogs leashed. My poor rattie survived becoming a coyote appetizer just steps from this sign, so lesson learned.


Meantime across town in Leslie’s Retreat Park abutting the McIntire District there is no leash law sign. There used to be one but vandals from the neighborhood tore it down. The city replaced the sign, which survived a couple of years before it was torn down again. A third time replaced and removed. Someone there is that does not like to be reminded of leash laws. The city surrendered, and as can be seen in the photo there is no longer a warning sign, though there is a doggie poop bag dispensary.

The leash law in this park is routinely violated, unlike in Gallows Hill Park. Despite the gate to the dog park  being but 100 feet from the parking area, dog parents routinely let their dogs off leash to run free. Such an incredible inconvenience perhaps to leash dogs for such a short distance ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Dogs being dogs, they are prone to chase whoever else passes near, be it bicyclists, commuters walking to the train station, stroller moms, or joggers, despite entreaties of doggie parents to not do so.

Now not all users of the dog park are residents of the McIntire District, but most are, and the ones who established the dog park resided in McIntire. Not having a leash warning sign and letting dogs run free of the leash – symptoms of McIntire Privilege?