DEAR ABBY: Many cities have set aside land for use as "dog parks." They are designed to be open places where dog owners can let their pets off leash to run free.
Last Saturday, a woman brought her 18-month-old son into the dog park. Several of us suggested to her that it wasn't a good idea to let her toddler wander free among 20-plus strange dogs. She said he had been knocked down several times by their own dog, and always got up and laughed and chased after the dog.
I am glad their family dog is child-friendly. My dog is not. Children's quick movements, high-pitched squeals and tendency to hit, poke and grab all scare my dog.
Abby, a dog park is designed to allow dogs the opportunity to run free and socialize with other dogs. What might happen in an encounter between a child and the wrong dog terrifies me. Please pass on this request to parents: If you bring your dog to the dog park, leave your babies at home -- or at least keep them close to you and away from the dogs. -- CHILD AND DOG LOVER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR C & D LOVER: Your letter may avert a tragedy. A wise parent will remember that not all dogs are friendly and will closely supervise a dog's encounter with a child until the parent is certain that both the child and the dog can be trusted.