An open letter to the people Chevy Chase Village,
Hey guys. In case you don't know me, well, my parents named me Toby... Toby Knapp... and I'm a puppy owner who talks for a living and who plays some music on an iHeartRadio station near you or via our app on your phone.
Yesterday, as the world made fun of your neighborhood for whatever reasons, I decided to go visit your beautiful enclave, to see for myself what your Dog Park is all about... to hear just how loud the barking might be... and to see if, in fact, that park needs to go away...
... and God, I hope it doesn't.
Your dog park is absolutely beautiful. Of all of the dog parks I've visited in Montgomery County, Maryland, and there are many, yours is perhaps the crown jewel of dog parks. It's exquisite. The perfect balance of nature and harmony, a true place of zen where the people are genuine, friendly, welcoming... it was nirvana. The Apple Store of Dog Parks. A place where harmony, balance, humanity and love... converge.
Talking with your neighbors yesterday, I fell in love with your dog park. It stopped being the butt of "First World Problem" jokes about the plight of the "uber-rich" and it became something very real. With a soul. And a heart. And, yeah, dogs...
... which weren't barking, I might add. Don't take my word for it. Watch the Facebook Live video above.
The only "dog" that barked the entire time I was there... was me.
I'm told by the people I met yesterday that there are just two people who have caused all of this ruckus which now threatens to close this incredible community treasure. I don't pretend to know the specifics of your neighborhood, nor do I have a right to get involved in your drama, but I do know this... if the two voices are the loudest voices in the room, they're the only voices which will be heard. And while I can understand that some barking may have caused some headaches, and that parking issues may be a thing on the streets in your neighborhood, I would hope that, for the sake of preserving this amazing space for friendly people and their friendly pets, that you come to some sort of resolution which benefits all... and keeps this park open.
While I was there, I didn't hear any barking. The new friends I met told me that when there is barking, dog owners, sensitive to the concerns of the two, are quick to make sure they calm their pets. They also tell me that one of the two - who complained about the parking - is NOT in favor of closing the park. I'm hopeful they will add their voice to what needs to be a chorus of praise for this great space... a space which needs to be saved.
People of Chevy Chase Village, I am hopeful that you, the people who have been moved by this space, will speak up to save this space. What you have is a treasure. It's what the word "community" is all about. It's the shining example of everything that is good about what we as people are all about...
... and it's a great place for the dogs, too.
Let me know if you need me to add my voice to your conversation.