Dog Killed Tues. Afternoon at 17th and S St, NW Dog Park


“Dear PoP,

Dolce was the most kind dog i have ever meet in my life. she got kill by a big dog tuesday @ the dog park in 17TH ST n Q ST in Dupont around 5pm. all the dog were having a good time when out of nowhere 2 big dogs came n run over her breaking her spin. my best friend was walking her. when she saw she wasn’t getting up my friend run to her n people gather around her n help her call the vet in 14th and S st. we took her there n had to put her to sleep. she left this world wrap in a towel laying in my lap. i have never seen any1 or anything die. thats the worst feeling in life. dont wish that to anyone.

what i learn from this is that small dog park like the 1 in 17th n Q st should only b for small dogs, n if u have a big dog be respectful of others people with small one n take responsibility for their actions.

the owners of the dogs never help my friend n we dont know what happen to them since my friend went in to panic mode n doesnt remember of the people around her.

i still thing she is coming back.

thank for reading this and it would help alot if u put her pic in her memory”

Ed. Note: This is obviously a very sensitive and sad situation so please be respectful and keep in mind that someone’s dog has just died. Also, obviously English is not the first language of this reader so please save grammatical suggestions for another time.

I know that the Shaw dog park at 11th and R St, NW has a separate area for small dogs. Do you guys know of other parks that have separate areas for small dogs?

They also have a very clear set of rules.

My sympathy to the reader at the loss of Dolce. If you and your pet use a dog park please be careful and mindful of your pet.

143 Comment

  • my heart goes out to Dolce’s family…I have two little pups and never take them to dog parks for this very reason

    • Apparently, someone has posted a “comment” under my name, stating that my dogs were the ones that ran over Dolce and are responsible for his death. This is completely false. I, nor my dogs, have been to the 17th and S Street dog park since early March. Fortunately, a reader of these comments immediately notified me of this misrepresentation.

      I suspect that the person using my name is the controversial dogwalker, because he did the same thing about a year ago on this same blog — assuming other people’s names in order to disparage others. You may remember that he is the person who frequents our dog parks with 7-20 dogs at a time. I found him again at our dog park, with 7 dogs, just last week and notified the DPR Urban Park Rangers. This is probably his perverse way of getting revenge, and it’s so sad that he is exploiting an apparent tragedy for his own personal interests.

      Another person reading these comments just informed me

    • I am very sorry for your loss. Dolce looks like she was a little angel.

      I will make sure to be very mindful of the little dogs at the park at all times. If we all try to learn from this Dolce may help save another little one’s life.

  • I’m very sorry for your loss. Dolce looks like the sweetest dog.

  • My sincere condolences for your loss. I think this is an important posting for your neighbors in the community to both be careful for their own pets, and mindful of others.

  • The dog park at 17th and S (I assume that’s the one this poster meant) has a capacity of something like 16 dogs posted (it might even be less). Everyday after work there are something like 30 dogs inside of the park. The park is routinely overcapacity. When it’s packed I just take my dog on a walk so as to avoid situations like this.

    While this is sad the blame can’t squarely be put on the owners of the two dogs that ran over this little pup. If someone has a small dog there are options like the 11th and R park. This was completely avoidable.

    • To say this was “completely avoidable” is insensitive. You were not there and do not know the whole situation.
      To Dolce’s family — I am so sorry for your loss, the adorable pup will be missed.

    • Moses is right – it is totally overrun every single day. That is also why I do not bring my small dog there. But I don’t think it’s fair to put any blame on Dolce’s parents at the moment – they’re surely devastated and probably blaming themselves, too. We don’t need to add to their grief, only support them. I mean this respectfully.

  • how horrible. i’m sorry that happened.

  • Sorry for your loss, I know it’s terrible. Best wishes,

  • This is sad and unfortunate. The word “attack” is misleading, no? It’s sounds like trampling, which would be a result of having a very small dog and very large dogs in the same space. I think that the T street park should be used as a second dog park, where one could be for dog under 25 lbs, and the other for larger dogs. The T street park has been in deplorable condition. A broken tree branch sat there for over a year last year!

    I live 1 block from this park and rarely bring our lab there because it is not appropriate for him. He needs more space for running and it is too easy for him to run into other dogs or people. He is friendly with dogs however. 11th and Q is much more suitable.

    If you would like to make a difference, everybody call or write city council and the mayor and tell them to make T street park a separate park for small dogs only, and stop wasting the space on a bunch of unkept withering plants!!!

    • I feel terrible for the owners of this dog. As other readers have said, that dog park is very frequently well over capacity, especially as it’s now light out after work and the weather is getting nicer. However, I live at 17th and T, and would hate to see the T Street park converted to a dog park. I love dogs, but the barking from the S St park can be overwhelming, and adding more noise or dogs to the block doesn’t seem considerate of the many neighbors with or without dogs who want to sit outside on the benches at T St, or not have barking come at them from all sides. Also, based on the experiences of the S St park, I have very little faith that another park a block away wouldn’t also quickly be over capacity, and would eventually lose it’s “small dog” only nature, as owners will simply start to go to whichever one is less crowded. Let’s ask the mayor to maintain the T St park better, and ask Circle Dogs (don’t they run the dog park?) to do a better job of enforcement to protect all of the dogs who enjoy using the S St space.

    • Do you think Gray is going to install another dog park? Zero chance. Those days are over, unfortunately.

    • Separate dog parks will never work. What about 30 pound corgis with 2 inch legs that think they are large dogs? Where do they go? And we can’t be having 27 dog parks in a neighborhood based on size. All out war now to get one dog park built, let alone multiple dog parks.

      Just watch your dog. There is always the chance a freak accident like this happens but it’s usually pretty easy to tell when the mass of large dogs starts running faster and faster. That’s my cue to grab my dog, bend my knees to avoid ACL damage, and get out of there.

    • Agree with Dave – but they ruled out T St. being a small dog park a few years back. It was originally the plan but the neighborhood didn’t want another park, to my recollection. But T St. “park” is thoroghly ridiculous.

  • My sincerest condolences. I recently had to put my Yorkie ‘Barkus Garvey’ to sleep and it was the most heart-wrenching experience of my life to date. I will say a prayer for your beautiful ‘Dolce’. Stay strong and be happy for the times you shared.

  • Having lost three pets in one year I can understand the pain that your experiencing. I’m deeply sorry for your traumatic loss and I send you my sincere condolences. ((Hugs))

  • Having lost three pets in one year I can understand the pain that you’re experiencing. I’m deeply sorry for your traumatic loss and I send you my sincere condolences. ((Hugs))

  • Sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing. maybe your story will save the lives of some other unsuspecting little dogs…

  • bfinpetworth

    So so sorry for your loss. As a lifetime dog person, I used to take my dogs to dog parks. However, over the years i’ve learned that they are risky ventures. You are placing trust in strangers that their dogs are appropriately socialized for the situation. Also, some owners believe in ” letting the dogs work it out” and won’t intervene when obvious trouble is brewing between dogs. I now walk right by dog parks.

  • I also have a small dog and rarely have the opportunity to bring him to a dog park due to too many large dogs being on-site. The concern is with him getting trampled on…not for fear of being attacked.

    Does anyone know of any small dog parks in the area? Also — is it possible for small dog owners to petition or get the community onboard with setting a side a set number of hours a week for small dogs only at a specific park? I’m specifically referring to the 11th and Park Rd dog park. Thoughts?

    • There’s a dog park in Hyattsville that has a separate area for small dogs.

    • Did you read the post?

    • The new Kingsman Field Dog Park (at D, 14th and Tennessee NE) has a separate area for small dogs.

    • I don’t think that 11th and Park Rd. is an official dog park as far as the city is concerned. There was no application, no community review and, as far as I know, there is no managing organization. You can find separately fenced areas for small dogs at the Shaw Dog Park at 11th and R Street NW and, if you’re willing to drive, at the Shirlington Dog Park in Virginia.

      • It’s not, nor is it planned to ever be. It’s WMATA’s property for their access tunnel, and they’ve allowed the neighborhood to use it (something Graham brokered during his tenure as Metro board chair). It does not receive any DPR funding for improvements, maintenance, programs, etc.

  • Very sorry for Dolce’s family. There needs to be seperate areas for large and small dogs if space allows. This is common in dog parks across the country. This could have happened in a home or backyard as with my small dog. A friends 70 pound airedale playfully pounced his back. Luckily no serious injury just a few scarey minutes for dog and owner.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, that is just horrible. That dog park scares me a bit because of how small it is and how many people/dogs get crammed in there.

  • heart breaking. i have a dog who is 50 pounds but is very timid when he’s in “doggy social settings” even around dog’s half his size so i can understand the nervousness around other dogs. max will definitely be getting an extra t-r-e-a-t and a longer, but more protective, w-a-l-k tonight

  • It sucks to lose a pet but no one should dictate the size of the dog allowed in a dog park. If anything owners with smaller dogs probably shouldnt take their pets to a dog park overcrowded with much larger dogs running around at breakneck speeds.

    • because there is an abundance of dog parks in the city

      • Right, so larger dogs who actually need space to run around should be barred from them?

        • Right. Little kids shouldn’t play in playgrounds either. Leave it to the High Schoolers who really need to stretch their legs and blow off some steam. Those toddlers are just going to get hurt. Keep them inside.

          • People who live in city apartments shouldn’t have large dogs. You’re right. They need space to run.

      • Sidewalks.

  • thank u ever1 for ll your kind words.
    to Rat King of Dupon
    when my friend go there those dogs were not there. if u have a big dog you should be responsible for their acts and she/he cant control its self around other dogs then that dog should never be around other dogs without a leash.
    she used to live with a pitbull n they go long just fine always paying with each other. the pitbull new somehow that it need to be careful with her

    • anon. gardener

      I absolutely agree. When you take your dog to a dog park, you should be watching them like a hawk, so you can intervene immediately if things get out of hand. Even though the dogs are in a fenced area and “free” they still need to be supervised, no matter the size or temperament of the dog.

      Dolce’s owner, I am so so sorry for your loss.

      • +1000. We have two dogs, a 20 lb-er and 30 lb-er. They play great with other dogs so long as the other dogs owners are watchful of their behaviour and we’re watchful of our dogs responses. We actually quit going to the 11th and R Park b/c the main dog area was over-run with a lot of “unsupervised” dogs and our dogs stopped feeling comfortable there. They both are happy to play with their buds, and we love talking with our responsible neighbors, at the 11th and Park park.

        I can’t express how sorry I am for your loss. We will all be thinking of sweet Dolce and keeping you and your family in mind.

        • ironic, but i stopped going to 11th and park after seeing how completely *irresponsible* owners are. lots of owner chatter, people on phones, people LEAVING THEIR DOG TO GO GET COFFEE. no thanks.

          the area is small, and dogs that aren’t getting along well don’t have any area to move out of the way.

          • People leaving their dogs to go get coffee????

            That says it all!! Sounds like rules are posted for show only.

            Close down this park or someone needs to change the board members. System or lack of is broken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • As a frequenter of the dog run at 11th and Park, I agree that there have been some irresponsible owners. However, the vast majority are very vigilant even when chatting with other owners. It has become a great source neighborhood community and I am thrilled that the owners don’t just stand around quietly by themselves. There is a solid group that effectively polices the dogs and, when necessary, negligent owners. In my opinion, the more people know each other, the more likely they are to foster a safe atmosphere for dogs of all sizes.

            Condolences to Dolce’s owner, walker, and everyone else that had to witness that tragic accident. Hopefully the pointless and anonymous blame game won’t continue much longer.

    • SO sorry Dolce’s owner – seeing her face I know I’ve met her before. Breaks my heart. 🙁 And a friend of mine, Jackie, who walks my dog sometimes, expresses her sadness as well…

  • @ Rat King of Dupont. Likewise, people with larger dogs should step up and help out if their dog hurts another instead of turning a blind eye. That’s so irresponsible. It was the first time Dolce was at that park and the first time the walker had taken the her for a walk there. This type of incident never entered her mind. She knows now, but it is too late. Dolce’s family understands that accidents will happen, but to not help out when your dog hurts another is ridiculously cowardly.

  • Wow. My dog is probably not much larger than Dolce. This is disturbing news. I’ve noticed that the park has instituted a no ball-playing rule (after 5pm and before 10am) presumably to cut down on this type of accident when the park is most crowded. This still comes as a shock and my condolences go out to you and your friend. Considering I’ve almost had my ankle broken as dogs plow into me at that park (usually my own!) I understand the hazards.

  • I am sorry for the loss as well. I will say though that it isnt always the large dog owners who should be responsible….ALL dog owners should be responsible, even the ones of small dogs. If I have a dog that is undersized, I would take it out of a situation where it could be in jeopardy of being trampled. Always be aware of your surroundings. RIP Dulce!

  • Dolce’s owner:
    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a member of the family. I am glad you were able to be there for Dolce at the end. I am sure she was so happy to see you. I know it is hard, but it does get better, I promise. Hang in there and know that there are many people in PoPville who are sending you our good thoughts to get you through this tough time.
    Rest in Peace Dolce.

  • How awful, my condolences.
    Owners need to be conscious of the park conditions and not let their big dogs run free in this small area when it’s crowded with dogs and people. If your dog needs to run take him somewhere else that is more appropriate.

    • Actually, owners need to be conscious of the fact that there are park rules about how many dogs are allowed in the park at one time and follow them. Overcrowding is not caused by dogs it’s caused by owners.

  • This is so sad and I’m very sorry for your loss. Dolce was a beautiful girl. Sending you lots of good thoughts and hugs.

  • I think it’s important for all dog owners to keep control of their dogs while at a dog park. Just because they are off the leash doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want, especially when it’s crowded. Big dogs especially should be taught to be gentle with other dogs that they could unintentionally hurt.

    Fortunately, my small, shy dog and I go to the Shaw dog park and have fun in the small dog area when it’s crowded. When it’s not crowded we go in the bigger area. I just can’t imagine having a horrible accident like this happen 🙁

  • Really sorry for your loss. What a sweet little doggie.

  • Heartbreaking.

  • I think we should tape up signage at the entrance of the park. If no one knows that someone’s dog died because of serious overcrowding issues, how are people supposed to prevent this from happening again?

  • OP: Please work on the grammer, especially the abreviations. I can’t even begin to get into the content.

  • My condolences to the owners of this sweet little pup. This is a horrible and very sad story. I’m now even more afraid to bring my 20lb terrier to the dog park. This definitely needs to be prevented in the future.

  • My condolences. Being a dog owner myself I feel for you and yours. Pets really become a member of the family.

    That being said, I think ALL dog owners should be on top of their pets. Not just owners of large dogs. I stopped frequenting dog parks due to owners of large and small dogs not supervising their pets. It was always large aggressive dogs running wild or small dogs barking and picking fights with the larger dogs while their owners yap away on their cell phones. It’s really a mess. It’s the dog owner’s responsibility to be aware of whats going on. If one feels there is a chance for something to go bad, then it’s your job to remove yourself and your dog from the situation. Dog parks were made for the purpose of allowing dogs to exercise. And how do dogs exercise? They run and chase things. And unfortunately poor Dolce was the victim of a terrible accident. It doesn’t seem like it was an attack as the title states.

    Again sorry for your loss.

  • This is so sad – I can only imagine what your friend is going through right now.

    I have to say that there are a lot of dog owners who seem to think that letting their pooch loose at the dog park means that they can stare at their phones. EVERYONE should take responsibility for their dogs. Just because you are in an enclosed area, that does not mean you do not have to be mindful of your dog.

  • houseintherear

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how sad you must feel.

    The only good thing that can be said is that this is a preventable event for the future… that park is just too crowded, and limits on dogs must be followed.

    There’s a man that lives nearby that will often yell at the dog owners when there are too many dogs in that park. We all laugh him off and call him crazy, but he’s actually very right.

  • I can’t even look at this. POP, please post something else so this isn’t at the top! 🙁

  • I’m so terribly sorry that you lost your dog in such an awful way.

    And I agree with the suggestions that a notice about this should be posted at that park. People really do need a reminder to keep an eye on their dog(s), even though they’re in a fenced-in area where it’s ok for them to be off-leash.

    • +1. Notice should be posted. People should be made aware of what happened. Having a reminder will make us all more alert to similar potentially dangerous situations when we take our dogs to the dog park.

  • This loss is horrible, but it’s not anyone’s fault. Period. It’s just highly unfortunate and probably unavoidable unless the city builds separate parks for big and small dogs, something that would be irresponsible right now. Again, this is a horrible loss, but let’s be reasonable and recognize that it isn’t just cause for finger pointing.

    • +1

      I have a midsize dog, but I understand animals are going to romp and tumble, and little dogs are going to nip and yip, and my dog has been on both sides of these events.

      The universe is not going to be restructured to protect a little dog, and I think that you’d do better to accept this tragedy as a painful accident. From what you describe, you weren’t negligent, and neither were the others. It is awfully sad to lose a pet like this, though. I’m sure the other dog owners feel as bad as you’d like to them to feel, too.

  • right on @puppy parent! and please, PLEASE speak up when people have their dogs off leashes in people parks. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to police it for us. Talk to your neigbors!For kids, for dogs, for the park, the self righteousness people show when letting their dog roam free in a city is so careless and reckless.

    • houseintherear

      I speak up every time I see an off-leash dog.

      My favorite time was when I encountered the woman on P St “accompanying” her huge dog. My dog growled when her dog saunted over to greet us, so I stopped and made my dog sit. The woman looked back and said, “Friendly?” And I said, “The dog? No. And me? Not to people with off-leash dogs.” So naturally, she called me a fat b***h and told me to eff off, adding that she’s “rich and skinny, unlike you”. Good times, thanks for saying things relevant to the situation at hand.

      I saw her last week walking the dog ON a leash, so hopefully someone talked/slapped some sense into her.

      She’s the short thin blond with the Bermese Mountain dog, always walking around 14th and P. If you ever see her with a dog off-leash, call the cops. I will.

  • To those you are saying that the dog should have been taken to a small dog run-this happened at a small dog run. The large dogs didn’t belong in there.

    And to the other people commenting on the OP’s grammar, did you miss where the blog author asked that people NOT comment on it but instead practice some self-restraint and have some sympathy for Dolce’s owner?

    I’m so sorry this happened to you and Dolce.

    • From what I’m reading (correct me if I’m wrong), there is a limit on the number of dogs in that park, which isn’t followed or enforced, but there isn’t a size limit.

      This is a terrible accident. Sorry for your loss, “Dolces owner”.

    • Why didn’t large dogs belong there? I thought this was the general dog run on S and 17th, no?

      I’ve had to put 3 pets to sleep in my life, and it is never fun. I’ve also been holding the hand of two family-members when they took their last breath. Having any creature, family-member or pet pass away in your arms is a very life-changing experience. I feel for the OP.

    • Yes, I thought this was the general dog run? Not a park designated for the smaller pups. Or is it your opinion that “The large dogs didn’t belong in there”.

      Again I feel your loss.

  • OP: I’m sorry for your loss.

  • what a sad situation. i’m so sorry, that must have been really horrifying. i can’t believe the owenrs of the large dogs didn’t help out or take responsibility, that is just shameful.

    (i also think it’s a sad commentary on the type of comments frequently seen on this blog that PoP has to kindly remind people to be respectful in their comments.)

  • This is very sad news indeed, and concerns me as a small dog owner. I was also warned recently about taking small dogs to a dog park because they might ignite the predatory instinct in big dogs, so you really have to be vigilant or take them to small dog parks. There is a great dog park in Shirlington that has a separate area for small dogs in case anyone is willing to cross the Potomac for a dog park.

    • The one on 11th has a nice small dog run that is actually quite large; unfortunately, sometimes people will bring big dogs in there anyway, but you can ask them to leave.

      The issue I’ve found is that sometimes small dogs “start” fights or are the initial aggressors, and when a large dog reacts, they may overreact for their relative size.

      In this instance, however, it honestly sounds like the small dog was trampled, not attacked… my 20lb dog was once completely knocked over by a doberman, running full speed towards a ball once. I had to take my dog to the vet because I thought her leg was broken, and the doberman’s owner was very apologetic, but it was honestly nobody’s fault; my dog just happened to be standing in the wrong spot. Luckily in my case, my dog was fine…

      • +1

        My well-mannered 90lb rottie hound mix has avoided countless fights that small dogs have tried to instigate with him at Shaw and Petworth parks. Last time a jack russel terrier literally put his front paws on my dog’s shoulders and barked directly into his ear and then bit his neck a couple times. My dog just walked away and tried to avoid him. If the small dog owners want to start pointing fingers, then it can go both ways (this isn’t necessarily directed at “Caro”, but just the comments in general). Instead, let’s just all agree that everyone will be more diligent with our own dogs no matter their size, follow the rules of all parks, and express our condolences to Dolce’s owner.

  • I’m very sorry to hear about the tragic accident on Tuesday. I bring my large dog to the 17th St. park often and do my best to stay within an arm’s reach of him at all times. Even with vigilance, it only takes a second for something to happen, especially when a chase starts and dogs are running at breakneck speeds.

    It seems like there should be a better solution, but I agree with everyone else who said that separate areas for large and small dogs would hopefully prevent these types of incidents from occurring.

    So sad – very sorry for your loss Dolce’s owner.

  • I’m just wondering if just once, the folks that post on this blog could refrain from sharing their condescending advice. Things like “even small dog owners need to be aware of their surroundings” or other silly statements accomplish nothing. First, you’re not an expert on this issue so your advice is no more valid than anyone else who pipes up, and second, you know the owner/friends are reading this blog and the comments, have some sympathy for their situation. Bad things happen and soemtimes nothing can be done to prevent them. Someone’s anonymous admonition of the owner’s alleged and speculated negligence or carelessness accomplishes nothing, so just lay off!

    I’m sorry that this happened – I couldnt imagine what a heart wrenching experience it is to lose a pet in such a violent manner. I’m afraid to take my dog to a dog park now!

    • Yeah, it would be one thing if the little dog was involved in a fight… but it sounds like a big dog just jumped on top of him and snapped his spine.

  • Between this and a horrible life-threatening infection my little dog picked up after visiting a dog park, I’m reluctant to ever take my dogs to one…

  • Our little Sheff is only 7 pounds and I just can’t imagine they way I would feel if this happened to him.

    I am so sorry for your loss. We are afraid to take our dog to the parks for this very reason.

    People disappear rather than take responsibility.

    May you dream often of Dolce and find peace.

  • OP: I am sorry you lost your Dog. She looked so sweet.
    K: I am sorry you lost your sole. I beleive you read PoP’s request, but did it anyway just to get a reaction from others. Get a hobby. Poor taste.

  • I take my dog here quite a bit (medium sized 35 lbs). I am saddened to hear of this tragedy. My thoughts go out to Dolce’s owners and friends.

  • sorry to read about your dog. I am sure Dolce is in doggie heaven.

    Be strong, accidents happen and we have to move on.

  • First of all, that sucks. Sorry for the OP’s loss. I dread the day I have to sit with my pup and go through that.

    As a frequenter of all sorts of dog parks in a 3-state area, though, I’ve got a few thoughts:

    (1) Areas for big and small dogs aren’t a luxury of most city dog parks. You can do this if you have 4 acres of suburban park land, and it makes sense in that situation. But parks like this are carved out of very little space in the city, and there’s just no dividing the space on some arbitrary size lines. Small and big dog owners alike should be able to use the space, and everybody has to be responsible for their pet’s actions and safety.

    (2) Dog parks are only as good as the dog owners who use them. Yes, “dog will be dogs” is a legitimate observation, but when dogs succumb to their inner demons and it affects other people/dogs, it’s time for the dog owner to step in and be the better angel, not to step back and claim “they’re dogs, that’s what they do.” I generally follow a version of the 5-second rule: if something problematic goes on for more than 5 seconds, and the owner is ignoring it (either intentionally or because he’s not paying attention), that owner is a jackass, and anybody in the park is free to take his dog by the choke-chain and deliver a harsh rebuke to the owner. Think of it like pre-schoolers on a playground. When one starts pushing others, the bad kid’s parent better get on his horse and correct his child before somebody else does.

    3) You know your dog better than anybody. If you know poochie’s a fighter/doesn’t do well with crowds of dogs/runs rampant without regard for his surroundings/etc. … well, don’t take your dog to a dog park. 90% of dogs can manage just fine. But some of them just can’t. Their owners have to face reality and either get professional training until the behavior is corrected or keep the dog on a leash. And if you’re using a public dog park to train/socialize your dog, that’s fine, but hyper-vigilance and instant response has to be your first priority.

    4) Sometimes you just can’t prevent accidents and bad things happen to other people’s dogs because of your dog. If that happens, you apologize profusely for your dog, make sure the other dog and his owner is OK, and offer to pay the vet bill if something went horribly wrong. Sounds like this was an accident, if I’m reading it correctly, but just packing up and going home while somebody’s pet died?? That’s bad form.

    • Actually, I lived in the surburbs for years, and never saw a dog park with a separate area for small dogs until I moved to the city.

      • Originally, I’m from a rural area, so I had never seen a “dog park” until I moved to the city and got a dog. My dogs in earlier life used to have a 2 mile roam-radius. (So yeah, Jeff Foxowrthy jokes might apply.)

        The place in the ‘burbs I was thinking of was Quiet Waters up in Annapolis. Great dog park, but wish they’d re-open the dog beach. I suppose also that most kennels separate big from small, now that I think about it.

    • +1. a dog was once attacking mine at a dog park and didn’t back off after a yelp. dogs get in a tussle sometimes – but if they’re at a dog park, they should be well socialized enough to know when they’re inflicting pain and back off. i (foolishly, as it was probably risky) stepped in, grabbed his dog by the hind legs and launched him 6 feet to get him to back off. the owner was pissed at me, but since he wasn’t doing anything about it – i didn’t really care what he thought. all’s fair in love and dog wars.

    • Very well stated and if George is a board member he should most definetly STEP UP and help out!!!

      • George is a board member at the Shaw Dog Park, not the S Street Dog Park.

        • Apparently, someone has posted a “comment” under my name, stating that my dogs were the ones that ran over Dolce and are responsible for his death. This is completely false. I, nor my dogs, have been to the 17th and S Street dog park since early March. Fortunately, a reader of these comments immediately notified me of this misrepresentation.

          I suspect that the person using my name is the controversial dogwalker, because he did the same thing about a year ago on this same blog — assuming other people’s names in order to disparage others. You may remember that he is the person who frequents our dog parks with 7-20 dogs at a time. I found him again at our dog park, with 7 dogs, just last week and notified the DPR Urban Park Rangers. This is probably his perverse way of getting revenge, and it’s so sad that he is exploiting an apparent tragedy for his own personal interests

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Sir, I have deleted those comments. If that ever happens again, please just email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail

  • It has little to do with size. It has to do with people who cannot control their large or small, disobedient and aggressive dogs. People let their dogs that they know are aggressive and uncontrollable run rampant in that park probably because they can’t control them at home either. Our puppy who is larger than most dogs was attacked at 17th and S two weeks ago after two dogs who are always there and acting aggressively, latched onto his neck and wouldn’t let go until I forcibly removed their jaws from his neck. The owner mumbled something that may have been “sorry” and let her dogs go after the next dog. I was too shocked and concerned with my dog to say anything but I think there needs to be more self policing towards owners who bring aggressive and uncontrollable dogs to public parks.

  • ready to get crucified here: but i really believe that large dogs don’t belong in urban environments.

    • Do you believe that people moving to urban environments with large dogs should surrender them to a shelter?

      Also, have you been to a suburban McMansion neighborhood lately? Those people have smaller yards than most of us city-dwellers.

      Or do you believe than one must live on acres of farmland to own a big dog?

    • It’s not a large or small issue, it is the energy level of the dog and owner. Jack Russells are super hyper dogs, while many larger breeds don’t need as much exercise. When getting a dog you match the energy level of both human and owner. The dog parks are not just about getting exercise, they are very much about socializing the dogs. Dogs that don’t have somewhat regular interactions with other dogs often become somewhat aggressive towards other dogs. Dog parks are necessary for both large and small dogs. But thanks for your uneducated opinion.

  • I’m the one who was walking Dolce. The dog park was clean and it was not crowded. We were all watching our dogs. The 2 big dogs that ran over Dolce were playing, they were not out of control. It happened very quickly and there were 2 people who helped me find a vet close by, and I’m very grateful to them. It happened so fast. The owners of the big dogs may have not even known that their dogs injured Dolce. When I get another small dog I will definitely not take it to a park with a lot of other big dogs. I don’t think that it was the fault of the big dogs or the dog owners. It was a horrible accident. Dolce was a lovely dog and I am happy to have known her.

    BTW, the people criticizing the grammar: grow up!!!!

    • I think the lesson we should all take away from this is: be wary of lettting dogs that are small, old, weak, or have health problems run freely with very large dogs in a relatively small space.

  • A solution to the overcrowding could be that you check out some sort of numbered park tag to use the park, which you hand to the next person waiting to enter when you are done. Similar to the dressing rooms at stores where you hang the number on the doorknob.

  • There is an additional dog park at 39th and Newark in the McLean Gardens district that offers a separate gated area for small dogs. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Dolce.

  • I was at the dog park when this terrible incident happened. First, I want to express my condolences to Dolce’s owner. I know how hard it is to lose a pet and having it happen in such a traumatic way must only compound the tragedy. I saw the incident occur and it was absolutely heartbreaking.

    However, I feel I need to clarify that the larger dogs were not being agressive and in no way attacked Dolce. They were playfully chasing each other and crossed paths with the direction Dolce was walking. Unfortunately, each dog probably weighed ten times what Dolce did.

    As to the reaction of the dogs owners (who I don’t know), the whole incident happened really quickly. As soon as people realized that Dolce was injured, pretty much everybody immediately went to hold on to their dogs to keep them away from her. Within 30 seconds or so, Dolce’s handler had taken her out of the park and was headed to the vet and nobody at there seemed to know who she was or how to contact her.

    That being said, it is a big problem when owners do not supervise their dogs in the park. Very often, people spend the whole time sitting on a bench or glued to their blackberry and don’t step in when their dogs are constantly barking or being agressive and out of control. While I don’t believe this incident was caused by a lack of supervision, I hope it will at least compel owners take greater responsibility over their dogs.

    • I didn’t see the event, but I no longer take my dog to that park. I have a 100lb dog and much like this thread proves, no matter WHAT happens at the park, the big dog is and its owner is blamed for it all simply for being big.
      The agreed to “rule” was that there would be 20 dogs there for 20 minute max. That rule is NEVER followed. Even though this event was not caused by overcrowding, it still is an issue that never hurts to be brought up because it is constantly ignored. I live right across the street and besides the horrible noise, I see the overcrowding every day and it is unsustainable – a worse event will happen and it’s just a matter of time, unfortunately.
      Circle Dogs started out well intentioned, but the sanitation and organization have been lacking since almost day one (I can smell it across the street, too). Infections, fights, an injuries will become more common unless the ‘old timers’ start to care about the park again.

      As I don’t foree people getting off their blackberries or calling their moms when they’re not at the park, I just stay away. It was a beautiful place but too many events overshadow it to me. My husband still takes her to the park once in a while and I cringe when he tells me.

      I would also like to add that there is a 2 dog per person limit as well as, technically, dog walkers are not supposed to be there (you are not legally allowed to earn money while utilizing the park, which presumably dog walkers are). Selectively ignoring this (this includes Basenji man) doesn’t help anyone.

      This whole incident is incredibly unfortunate and I feel terrible for all the owners involved, but I hope people who utilize the park and those charged with running it step up and work to make it a better facility for the health of dogs and the people there with them.

    • I agree!

    • I agree.

  • I am so very sorry that this happened. I have a large dog and I have been to a lot of different dog parks but not in DC. Some people go to these parks to socialise their dogs and some to be social themselves. I have seen people that never even look back at their dogs. Of course, I am not saying this is the case in this situation.
    The right thing here would be for the owners or owner of these dogs to STEP UP and help out with this situation.
    Dolce can not be replace but certainly the doctor bill could be paid. I am hoping that is already in the works.
    People should come together and help each other out in times of tragedy and sadness.
    If anyone knows who owns these dogs, they should help identify the owners if they have not already identified themselves. I hope this process is already being done the right way.
    This is a horrible tragedy and probably not the fault of the owners(probably). Only they really know. Some dogs are naturally aggressive. I had a dog grab my Labrador by the neck and shake. The dog would not let go and I am sure would not have let go until my dog hit the ground. The owner did not turn around and acknowledge this was her dog when we called out for help. I know how to stop this but it would have hurt or killed the dog if I had done what I needed to do. I was afraid to stick my hand in. A very large man came over and grabbed the dog off.
    After the dog was pulled off and restrained, the owner walked over and commented “is she playing around again?”
    The gentleman and I explained to her but she still insisted that her dog was playing. That type of dog should not be brought to a dog park. The rules plainly state this. She is a regular!!!
    Once again, I am so very sorry for you loss and I am sorry anyone had to watch this tragic event.

  • My condolences to you and your friend for the loss of your dog. I am an owner of a large dog, (80 lbs) and I definitely do not take him to this park. It’s too small for large dogs. My dog is not aggressive, but certainly does not feel comfortable in this small space that is often overcrowded with too many personalities. Often, tragedies have to happen before changes ensue, but hopefully, we can honestly look at this situation and consider a provision for smaller dogs only, maybe even during certain hours.

    • This is the most sensible solution I’ve read on this board. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to set-aside a couple of hours a week for small dogs only at this dog park. I like the small space at Shaw but it is almost empty. I hope some more owners start to use it.

      • This is something we tried to have after one of the meetings about the park. But as usual, people can’t share and complain. People already ignore the no toys rule, blatantly, even after being asked to put the toy away EVEN THOUGH it’s for their own dog’s safety. I don’t expect any rules such as “this 90 min block on Sunday is for dogs over 50lbs only” or something to actually be followed.

        The park needs policing but I won’t hold my breath. And it needs people who are asked to follow the rules to kindly respect the rules. Not holding my breath for that one either

  • George,
    I do not believe that you tried to help after reading all the posts. You may not have gotten the chance to help so I am certainly not placing blame that you did not but I do NOT understand why you would say you did.
    Pointing out rules that do not apply are not the way to handle this situation. The rules state that ALL OWNERS SHOULD HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR DOGS. Obviously, you did not. People in glass houses should not throw rocks.
    You should step down off the board or fix the problem.
    Control you dogs and keep them from running wild in the Dog Park. That should probably be in your yard or in the park in a time when it is not busy.
    Step up, contact the owner, and help with or pay the doctor bill.
    I believe this was an accident but your dogs caused the accident. Maybe that will help them deal with some of this sadness and move on. Kindness usually does help.

  • From OP. Dolce’s owner. He asked that I send on his behalf. “I would like to thank everyone for their supportive comments. Just to be clear, I never said that Dolce was attacked by two dogs.  I was told by the walker that she was run over by two larger dogs. If everyone was watching their dogs that day, then certainly the owners of the larger dogs know what happened, and that is for them to deal with. I can only deal with my anger and pain by expressing it here and hoping to prevent this from happening again.  Irregardless, for Dolce, I am sending the following note to [email protected].  I ask that you do the same.  Hello my name is Diego and I was the proud owner of Dolce.  She was gravely injured after being run over by two larger dogs at the dog park on the corner of 17th st and S St NW.  Although it was an accident, the owners of those dogs never came to help or to offer apologies.  My hope is that this will not happen to any other dog, of any size.  I would like the city to change the rules at this dog park. Since this dog park is so small, I don’t think they should allow dogs larger than 20 pounds to be there. Larger dogs need a lot more space to run. It is entirely overcrowded at times for there to be a mix. This was the first time that Dolce visited this park. She grew up with  a big pitbull and knew how to behave around big dogs.  I beg that people with larger dogs exercise more caution with their pets.  Please put into place stricter guidelines so this will not happen again. Thank you for listening”

    We need to make these parks safer for all dogs! I think most have agreed here today that this park is overcrowded and at times out of control

    • Wow.

      I think most people here agree that this was an accident.

      I think that most here agree that the park:

      1. Can become over-crowded due to the lack of HUMANS violating the already stated maximum capacity. Humans should not enter the park if it is at capacity, and should leave when they realize it is over capacity.

      2. Lack of attentive human owners can create a hazardous park area if and when any dog gets out of control.

      This is why we can not have nice things.

  • I actually stopped going to the S street park after my large dog was attacked by another dog and the owner was too busy flirting with a group of girls to even be aware that his dogs was out of control and try to restrain him. I left the park after the incident with both me and my dog bleeding and the other owner and his dog stayed and did not even acknowledge the attack. I have also had to grab dogs who have gotten out of the park due to people opening both gates at the same time. It became too stressful to be around a group of unaware and careless owners who have probably never owned a dog before. It is a gorgeous park and sorely needed, but the people who go there make the whole experience a negative one. I now go to the park off of Adams Mill road and find that I am actually dealing with people who keep an eye on their dogs and are not there for social time.

    As an owner with a dog who loves to play chase, I cringe at the thought of her running over a smaller dog and causing it’s death. This is a horrible and heart wrenching experience for all concerned and particularly Dolce’s owners. The fact is that the park is usually horribly over crowded at the time this happened and the majority of the owners are socializing or not paying attention to their dogs makes this incident one that was bound to happen sooner or later.

  • I would like to thank everyone for their supportive comments. Just to be clear, I never said that Dolce was attacked by two dogs. I was told by the walker that she was run over by two larger dogs. If everyone was watching their dogs that day, then certainly the owners of the larger dogs know what happened, and that is for them to deal with. I can only deal with my anger and pain by expressing it here and hoping to prevent this from happening again.
    Irregardless, for Dolce, I am sending the following note to [email protected].
    I ask that you do the same. Hello my name is Diego and I was the proud owner of Dolce. She was gravely injured after being run over by two larger dogs at the dog park on the corner of 17th st and S St NW. Although it was an accident, the owners of those dogs never came to help or to offer apologies. My hope is that this will not happen to any other dog, of any size. I would like the city to change the rules at this dog park. Since this dog park is so small, I don’t think they should allow dogs larger than 20 pounds to be there. Larger dogs need a lot more space to run. It is entirely overcrowded at times for there to be a mix. This was the first time that Dolce visited this park. She grew up with a big pitbull and knew how to behave around big dogs. I beg that people with larger dogs exercise more caution with their pets. Please put into place stricter guidelines so this will not happen again. Thank you for listening

    • To Dolce’s owner, my sincere sympathies go out.

      However, it is a bit ridiculous to request a 20 lb limit on the park. As many have said, accidents can occur, and precautions should be taken by all parties. Speaking as the owner of a large dog, I have had my dog seriously injured by a small (under 15 lb) dog at a park before – accidents can occur, and not just by larger dogs. Many frequent instigators at the dog parks are actually smaller dogs. As others have said, the main rule is to use your common sense and pay attention.

  • I am so sorry for the lost. However, I think some people are just insensitive to start blaming on the dolce’s parents. First of all the sign says NO DOGS OVER 25 LB!!! Can’t people understand this? This is something that is so upsetting because people cannot read or understand the point of this news is. The owner of Dolce’s needs to find the big dogs owners and make them pay of the lost of an amazing dog. I’m sorry to the owner of Dolce. RIP DOLCE

    • If you’re referring to the sign in the picture above that sign is not posted at the dog park where this incident occurred. That sign is the one from the Shaw Dog Park. There is no size limit for the S Street Dog Park.

  • Dear Dolce’s Owner,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I feel so bad that you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing Dolce’s story as it may help save another doggie’s life. I would not have even imagined this could happen.

    My condolences. Peace to you.

  • My condolences to Dolce’s parents.

    I just spoke with George Kassouf and he did not write this comment. He was not at the S Street dog park at all yesterday.

    Shame on the person who is using someone else’s name to make them seem at fault!

  • What a horrible accident. I have two little dogs and don’t take them to dog parks because owners just don’t pay attention. I definitely think that someone should post signs at the park letting owners know that a dog was killed there and folks should be more attentive to their pets.

  • **RIP Dolce**

    My dog Ruby and I hope you’re getting all the steak, bones, peanuts, squeaky toys and cheese you can handle in doggie heaven 😀

  • We would like to say that we are very sorry that something as tragic as this has happened at the dog park. Our condolences go to Dolce’s family. Our little guy holds the same name and we have received several calls from our dear friends and neighbors.

    I have read many of the postings on this blog and I can tell you that it makes me sad to hear about this terrible accident. It gives me the chills when I read the name “Dolce” on these postings (our little guy has the same name)…I cannot imagine what the owner and the friend that was walking the little dog are feeling now. Hang in there and be sure that many people in our community have the respect and consideration that this subject requires.

    To our friends: Our little Dolce, the Shi-Tzu is well. We have taken him to the park a few times, but I can tell you that after this incident we will think twice about any dog parks. This is not something to blame the owners of small or big dogs, but a unfortunate accident that involves the nature of having playful dogs that might be unaware of their own sizes and weights…our little guy is small, but he loves to play with the all dogs…no matter their size.

    Sorry again for your loss!

  • I learned a horrible horrible lesson on Friday, 4/8/2011, and I will live with the guilt forever. My small young dog was killed at a dog park in Gainesville, FL. I stupidly allowed her in the large dog area even though there was a small dog area. The dog shook her like a toy and she was dead within seconds. She died in my arms. My 8 year old witnessed it as well & I will never take another dog to the dog park as long as I live.

  • I am a family member of Dolce. I have gone to the park around 8PM two times since the incident…just trying to make sense of the incident. I am horrified by what takes place. The park is so over crowded. Please let others know how horrible and fast something can happen to their dog. And that includes a dog of any size. From what I saw the larger dogs are in just as much danger as the smaller ones with the over crowding. We will post our memorial plans for Dolce once we get her ashes back. We sincerely appreciate everyone who supported us through this hard time. Peace.

  • To the writer, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Once you get over this, get another dog. They are truly a gift.

    The following is not directed to the woman who lost her beloved pet but is a general comment.

    I would not take my pet to an open dog park. You have no proof that the people there are responsible enough to get shots for their animals.

  • I first want to say that I was terribly saddened to hear of this incident and loss. I have read all of the posts and and agree with many of the comments regarding dog owner vigilance, as well as those who understand that it was indeed an accident (which in no way diminishes the tragedy).

    As a dog walker who visits the park a few times a week (albeit when least crowded), I am surprised by all of the negativity and blame pointing in these posts. It is obvious that the community has rallied to offer condolences and it appears that the dog owner’s friend and a few others aware of the situation worked together to rush Dolce to the vet. I think dog parks will always have drawbacks but they also do a lot of good: dogs (like the rescue terrier I bring there) can learn proper socialization, owners can ask questions about dog behavior and get feedback from others; neighbors who might otherwise never meet each other – have the opportunity to become acquainted;and most importantly… already socialized dogs get playtime as the pack animals they are.

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