An exorbitantly wealthy town is reportedly using its dog park as a proxy war to play out long-standing, simmering aggressions, and the pets clearly deserve better.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that in the crazy rich enclave of Chevy Chase Village, in Maryland, some residents are up in arms over the purported noise and disarray produced by the recent addition of a dog park, which the community spent $134,000 to build last fall. According to the Post, the drama has got messier than, um, a park made for dogs:
“[A]fter about a month, signs decrying the barking of those dogs began appearing around the park. The village police started receiving almost daily calls about the noise, mostly from one particular neighbor whose house backs up to the park. By spring, the tension had escalated so much that the Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers called a public hearing. Then another in June. And another in July.”
To give you a sense of how insulated and elite this community is: Chevy Chase Village is one of the 17 wealthiest communities in the country, with a population that’s 95.9 percent white and a median income of $460,000.
To wit: The chair of the village board, who has found herself at the center of the conflict, is Elissa Leonard — wife of Jerome Powell, whom President Trump appointed as chair of the Federal Reserve. She has reportedly found herself besieged by aggrieved community members, many of whom seem violently perturbed by the slightest inconvenience. A resident who called police on the dogs several times described her plight thusly to the Post: “Around dinner time, I’d like to be able to sit on my deck and maybe read a book and chat with a friend or have a glass of wine, and the dogs are barking.” Another resident, a real-estate developer, told the outlet that concerns over noise levels had caused some neighbors to ostracize “a certain standard poodle whose name should be withheld.”
Those in support of the park are being just as dramatic. One pro-dog resident, former Maryland attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler, said of the complainers, “They should be put in jail.”
The board has reportedly implemented several reforms in hopes of satisfying the community’s more miserly inhabitants, such as moving back the park’s opening time and hiring an epidemiology expert to study the behavior of dogs and humans in the park.
Let’s review the facts, shall we? Dogs are: devoted, low-maintenance, friendly to all, amenable to learning new tricks. The extremely wealthy people interviewed for this article are fond of absolute silence and incarceration, spiteful toward their neighbors, resistant to change. The dogs deserve better than this and should be allowed to leave.