The dog ate my homework, my notes and my computer. One might think this is a lame excuse that students only give teacher, or one might think that, because this happened to you, the dog is just bad and mischievous. But let's get to the root cause of this problem, when was the last time the dog ran and played until it couldn't anymore? The answer to this question is probably a long a time. If the answer though is just yesterday, or earlier today, then you probably wouldn't know anything about the dog eating your notes, homework . or computer. An exercised dog is more behaved than the stove up in an apartment dog because he has used all the energy that he should have been able to use. A dog park is an ideal place for this energy to be spent. This allows the student to study without as great a fear of the aforementioned, not that it will prevent it, but if the dog is well exercised it is more well behaved.
Dog ownership among students is growing more and more popular. Dog ownership in general is growing more and more popular. There are 9,982 students currently enrolled at the University of West Florida (UWF). Lots of these students, not to mention the faculty, are dog owners. Statistics show that 39% of all households in the U.S. own at least one dog, and 37% of those owners own two dogs or more (U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics). This means we could assume that 39% of the students enrolled at UWF own at least one dog assuming that each student is from a different household. That means that there are 3,693 dog owners who attend UWF. While there are many students here from the same household this number did not include the 39% of dog owners who own two or more dogs, nor does it include faculty and staff here at UWF which is where we get away with still using number. With this said, most students live in an apartment, which has no yard to speak of, or in a neighbor with a very small yard. After the students leave their dogs inside or even shut up in a kennel all day, when the student finally gets home from classes or work to let the dog out it still has very little room to run around. This is why I propose that UWF build an on campus dog park for student and faculty dog owners to bring their four legged friends to so that the dogs can run and play in a wide open area, which is what dogs need and deserve. This would also provide a place for owners, and their dogs. to go to meet and socialize with other dogs and dog owners.
General Background and Benefits
So what exactly is a dog park? A dog park is defined by Wikipedia as a "facility set aside for dogs and their owners to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment" (Dog Park). This controlled environment is generally enclosed by a fence enclosing an area anywhere from a half acre to as big as one wants to build the park; some dog parks are up to fifty acres in size. Dog parks provide a space for dogs and humans to recreate together, this recreation promotes good physical and mental well being for both the dog and its owner (students and faculty in our case). Research shows that people find it easier to talk to one another when dogs are the initial focus because it helps break down those initial barriers that cause people to view one another as strangers. So, these dog parks would help promote socialization between fellow student and faculty dog owners here at UWF by providing a common interest to break down those initial barriers. Studies also show that dog companionship, which dog parks promote, improve people's health because the dog promotes people going out and exercising, provides people with entertaining activity, and provides people with comfort through touch, as well as giving us something fun to watch. This all also leads to reduced stress levels which students and faculty both need (Dog Park). The loyalty and companionship a dog provides can obviously be very beneficial, and a dog park is an ideal place for...