Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dog's Passing Shows How Long Dog Park Debate Has Gone On

       On February 10 the dog who was one man's inspiration to fight for a dog park in Thompson Park died.  Mia was just shy of 14.
        Owner Scott Gates treated his friend well for all the years the two of them fought the battle for a municipal dog park, a common amenity in most communities but not something that caught on here.
         Controversy and personalities stymied the quest and media treated the issue as comical and there was never editorial support.
          None of that changes Mr. Gate's loss or the fact Mia was a sweet dog we all knew from her many public appearances.
          The notion of a dog park was adopted by the last Council, but it's unlikely to proceed in the foreseeable future.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this. Condolences to Scott. But look at the life the dog had. Mr Gates took the dog everywhere with him. The times I've met him, it was very obvious the dog had been around people a lot, and was very friendly and sociable. All of us who love dogs have experienced this kind of loss. But Scott, you gave her the best life possible. Hold your head up, mourn, then go out and give another dog a good life just as you did Mia.

Jeff, thanks for letting us know about this.

Anonymous said...


It is very unfortunate that the issue went on so long that Mia was never able to enjoy the park herself.

From my perspective, and I do not own a dog, a dog park seemed like a nice idea, and I just wish that the council did not kill the project simply because they had a dislike for Mr. Gates. As legislators we would hope that personalities and personal feelings stay our of the decision, but this is just not how our local government works. I often question the real professionalism of our city leaders who seem to let personal feelings get in the way of sound policy. The site selected was simply not appropriate, and I wish that other options had been more carefully explored. Condolences to Mr. Gates on his loss.

Anonymous said...

Again sorry about Mia. And a dog park should be a job the city will have to pay for in the long run. And have the say so where it goes not Scott or anyone else. They could have had a dog park a couple of times but he found reasons not to put them there because it wasn't thee dog park he wanted. Should be in the middle of the city not way over on the other side of town. Plus there is no need for a dog park in watertown.

Anonymous said...

9:27, I don't believe for a second that the city council killed the dog park project simply because they had a dislike for Scott Gates. What a preposterous notion. Your attempt to interject emotional and personal factors into the discussion only cloud the issue further and seems contradictory to your stated opinion that the city council shouldn't do so. Scott Gates was a pain in the ass and there's no doubt the council grew tired of his incessant badgering. The simple fact is there was inadequate public support for putting a dog park at Thompson Park. This Park is a treasure for the city and county residents, and it was obvious the city leaders had little interest in going contrary to public opinion just to placate one mans desire, no matter how ardent his desire. His repeated, annoying attempt to suggest there was overwhelming support for his pet project at Thompkins only succeeded to expose the very lack of said support. It is a testament to the patience and intent to encourage public participation in government by the city council that they allowed Gates to exceed the bounds of reasonable appeal.

It's sad he lost his dog, but it should be and is irrelevant to the issue. Lots of people lose beloved pets, but don't make it a public affair. This publicity only serves to stroke his ego.

Anonymous said...

No 1:13, it's not about anyone's ego. It's about a good, loving dog owner who lost his dog. I'm surprised and disappointed that some posters have turned this into a dog park debate. Leave it alone for a bit, will you? Scott, you're a good man, and you gave your dog a great life. That's all we can do. When you're ready, find another and do the same.

Juston LaJoie said...

Sorry Scott ..

Anonymous said...

Sorry 3:03 Scott makes it about the dog park everytime he says dog park. So we all feel sorry about MIA. But enough is enough Scott just needs to take time off and let the issue calm down everyone is sick of hearing him go on and on about the same old nothing.

Anonymous said...

OK 8:41, you won me over. I was just thinking there is a time and a place. But I now hate Scott Gates too. I wish he would get in a car accident and be really injured. I hate him so much. And I'm glad his dog died.

Anonymous said...

Dam 8;41 A LITTLE HARSH AREN'T YOU. I can't see why such a non issue thing like a dog park, Has a life of its own its like watching a bad soap opera over and over. The council should get a pair and put a stop to all this stupid stuff it has taken way to much time to move on. Again its not about Scott his dog its about the city moving on lets all move onto things that really need to be done.

Anonymous said...


841 Completely ignorant and uncalled for. As a Christian I learned very early not to wish for bad things to happen to anyone, no matter how much you may disagree with their position. Karma has a funny way of catching up to people who brew your kind of toxic hatred. I will pray for you because you really could use the prayers. In the meantime, Mr. Gates is someone who, right or wrong, stood up for what he believed in and was willing to put himself out there to try to make things better. Shame on you 841. Maybe you could use a little time at Church....

Anonymous said...

Time for a cat

Anonymous said...

I never wanted the poor dog to die. But at that age and the health issues, it was that time. SG is still an useless person. Even if he got a job next week, shut his mouth, and stopped being a weirdo, I could not like him. It's the whine in his voice, crying life isn't fair, and boo hoo for me! Pisses me off! Life isn't fair. Deal with it!

Anonymous said...

I am soooo with you, 6:58. Scott is a very baaad person. I hate him. I hate how he dresses, I hate how he talks. I hate his hairstyle, and the food he eats. Whatever car he drives I hate. If he has a lady friend, I hate her too. His parents were definitely bad people. I'll bet he doesn't believe in Santa, and steals from little kids. I try to hate everyone I'm supposed to hate.

Anonymous said...

Geesh this comment section degenerated into name calling at record pace. The lack of compassion and empathy is concerning. However a few people with no class should not be considered representative of the town as a whole.

Condolences to Mr Gates on the loss of a wonder companion, you are an exemplary pet owner.

Anonymous said...

Mia will no longer have to endure the embarrassment of having an Scott as an owner.
Her suffering is over.
Bow wow to you!

Cross that bridge Mia and enjoy your eternal freedom!

Anonymous said...

11:37, we said we hate him. We did the best we can. Relax.

Anonymous said...


What is wrong with you people? A man looses a member of his family and all you can do is call him names and try to hurt him more? I honestly don't know how you hate mongers can look at your selves in the mirror. Do you have 2 or 3 cups of hate before starting your days? I hope you never have to know the pain that you heap on others. Get a life!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think almost everyone posting feels empathy towards him, but as long as Gates continues to put himself out there with his campaign, the campaign against him will continue.
He makes himself fair game.
Here or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...


830 I have to completely disagree. Just because he feels pasionate about his issue does not give people the right to attack him, call him names, or wish bad things to happen to him. No wonder none good wants to step up and try to change things. When they do they are viciously attacked, defamed and punished for their efforts.

Thank god there are people in this world that are willing to stand up for what they believe. Just imagine where civil rights, gay rights, gender equality etc... would be if none stood up. We may not agree with them, but we should all appreciate the bravery that they show knowing how stupid people are likely to react and treat them. If you can not say something nice please keep your poison to yourselves.

Anonymous said...

6.59....Why do you think there is a hate for the man? It isn't because everyone here is bad. It's him. He is bad for all. I loved it when he went South that one Winter. I think he should try it again.

Anonymous said...

1:10 equating the Gates dog park obsession with civil rights, gay rights and gender equality is quite a bit over the top wouldn't you think?

I was not against his efforts from the start but he quickly changed that. His anxious tone and mean spirited method of trying to force feed his ideas non-stop over a number of years to a completely unreceptive audience that ultimately has to foot the bill for this folly is what wore me down.
When you hit that point you calls 'em like you sees 'em.
The guy is a complete whack job, a nut case.