Reader Rant: “Must Dusty Rhodes Dog Park Be this Dusty?

by on December 7, 2015 · 7 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Dusty Rhodes Dog park

Dusty Rhodes Dog Park, 2014.

By Jon Linney

What a gem the Dusty Rhodes dog park is. It is – or rather was – also an eye-pleasing splash of green awaiting us on our commute home to Ocean Beach or Point Loma. A gem on a key entryway to the Peninsula.

Visiting time clearly is the best time of the day for many a four-legged friend who gets to romp and run and roll – and socialize. That goes for their owners as well, a chance to enjoy the outdoors and sit and watch or socialize with other people who have brought their pets. Even non-dog owners who pass by cannot help but smile.

“Disneyland for Dogs,” is what OB resident Scott King calls it.

But “Disneyland for Dogs” has fallen into disrepair. Lush green has turned into drab desert brown as the spigots have been turned off completely to fight the drought. This dog park has done its part in the effort to conserve and much more. Now the only water flowing is probably at the pooch fountains where a pet can show how clever he is to catch a drink on the run.

Remnants of gull-dropped shells are rising to the surface, cutting dogs’ tender pads. What inevitably remains on the ground despite owners’ conscientious efforts is no longer being washed into the soil but… well, let’s not go there.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

With a little creative thinking, we can restore the dog park to its former glory. Reseeding the grass cannot be that expensive. Do some modest sprinkling between the fall rains. Or bring in a tanker trunk with recycled, non-potable water.

But it won’t happen unless we speak up.

Ocean Beach, “an attitude, not a place” surely knows how to speak up. Speak to the District Two Council Representative, the Ocean Beach Town Council or the Mission Bay planning group. Tell Park and Rec employees you appreciate their efforts and “by the way, we want our dog park back better than ever.”

Write to the OB Rag and yes, even consider a donation so it can continue to be your voice. An eyesore of a former gem doesn’t rank up there with some of the city’s thorniest problems like short-term vacation rentals or FAA waypoints. That’s right. It is much easier and inexpensive to solve.

A grassy enclosed field for dogs to run on and for the owners who pay the city’s bills to enjoy –is that too much to ask?

Jon Linney, who writes this as a community activist, is an officer of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, Point Loma Kiwanis and a member of the Point Loma Optimists Club.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rand December 7, 2015 at 11:48 am

Call it a doggie golf course. I don’t think dogs object to “real dirt”, although lush green shade always gets a long pause.


Jon Linney December 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm


Disneyland or golf, it’s great for dogs and owners to get out. An off-leash romp is great exercise.



Rick December 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

With all due respect to Mr. Linney, 3 or 4 blocks away from the cruddy OB dog park is the best leash-free doggie zone in all San Diego County: namely, Dog Beach! SOOOOoooooooooooooo much cooler than the tiny dusty park, why would anyone choose the latter over the former?? I used to take my Aussie shepherd to the park, but it became filled with holes, was dirty, nobody cleaned up the poop, the traffic whizzed by on 2 sides. And let’s be honest, it was never really lush at all, at least not for a long time; it’s always been a pretty crummy place to run your dog. Plus, it was often hard to park as the soccer teams would fill the spaces. No, I greatly prefer love Dog Beach, it’s just 2 minutes away, plenty of parking, cleaner, better views and so much more pleasant for man and dog!!


Jon Linney December 8, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Agreed, Dog Beach is a wonderful place. Still, it is great to have choices. Also, not all owners DRIVE to the park.



Joe Ward December 8, 2015 at 8:19 am

Get real. What do you think happens when you run a bunch of dogs on grass? It turns to dirt! It has nothing to do with how much water. Park is over used and a joke.


OB Dude December 8, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Does the city test for disease and/or viruses weekly…it’s obvious there’s no maintenance!

Check this out …..


Jon Linney December 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Fellow activist Don Sevrens reached out to Supervisor Greg Cox. His aide, Nerea Urtasun, has asked the county’s Department of Environmental Health to look into citizens’ concerns about animal health risks given the lack of watering and the impact on sanitary conditions. She also asked Council Member Lorie Zapf and the City Park and Recreation Department to explain their drought strategy. She has pledged to get back about their responses.

Jon Linney


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