LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Grand Haven becoming Mutt City U.S.A.

Aug 17, 2012


As a frequent visitor to the downtown area, I thought the whole city was a dog park. Whether it be Washington Street or the boardwalk, one is always running into dogs and owners with little respect for people or our city. They may pick up poop most of the time, but do nothing to stop them from peeing on boardwalk monuments and streetscape items on Washington. I sure wouldn't sit on the grass near the boardwalk because some dog has probably peed there.

It’s too bad someone vandalized a plywood piece of "art.” If that's what it is called. Personally I believe these pieces have made a mockery of downtown and I will not frequent any establishment with one.

While on the subject of parks, I would like to see a "human park" where no animals are allowed and one could take a peaceful stroll. Finally, when they take down the Dewey Hill sign, Coast Guard City U.S.A., they could replace it with Mutt City U.S.A. I'm sure there would be many contributors.

— Kirke Harris, Spring Lake



Sure sounds like Kirke Harris isn't a dog lover! I'll tell ya what, Mr. Harris...if our love of dogs bothers you so much that you can't even SHOP at a store that suppors LOCAL ARTISTS, maybe it's best if you stay in Spring Lake. I'm sure Spring Lake has parks that you can frequent that may be less "dog-friendly". Here's a tip for you....People in GH LOVE their dogs...they're members of our family, and we are BLESSED to live in a town that encourages our love of dogs, and welcomes them into the community. As long as responsible owners are cleaning up after their pets, there is no problem! And hey...would you prefer they used YOUR toilet to relieve themselves in, instead of on the grass??? There are just so many REAL problems in this world...maybe you should focus on that, instead of innocent dogs. Just sayin'.


Exactly! Don't like it, stay out of our town!


I agree with xoxo. If you don't like it, stay in your own town.

Besides Kirke, as you are not a resident of Grand Haven, none of YOUR tax dollars were used to pay for the dog park. So you really don't have a say. Get over yourself.

Kirke is the kind of person that will always find something to complain about. If it was not residents walking their dogs in the city, or the elected city officials spending money as they see fit, it would be something else. A hater has to hate.

If he's not already, he will end up as the stereotypical old guy sitting on his front porch yelling "HEY YOU KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN!".

Tri-cities realist

Growing up in the same neighborhood as Mr. Harris, he was already like that 20 years ago. What a shame.


Wow, what crawled up your britches this morning? Obviously someone has something against dogs. I've lived in Grand Haven my entire life and I've never seen a problem with too many dogs downtown. And the dog statues around town ARE art. Obviously you did not read any articles about the time and effort these artists put into those works. Shame on the tribune for publishing this absolute waste of time article on here.


Heck move out of Spring Lake... I'm embarressed we share the same side of the bridge. This is a waste of print... but, fun to yell at a dog hater.


I think people like Kirke Harris write stuff like this, just to get arguments going, inviting people to throw darts at his words, then he sits back and entertains himself with the replys we write which then validates for himself how he truly feels about himself. Sad! I feel sorry for you Kirke ~ really. - I just read a book called 'Unsaid' by Neil Abramson. In that book he refers to people living 'small lives'. Kirke, based on what you wrote here..you are living a very 'small' life and I feel very sorry for you.

There is one place I know of that you may enjoy. It is called Rosy Mound park and it is located just South of Robbins Road on LakeShore Drive. Many years ago, before Ottawa County bought the park and destroyed it with all the boardwalks and stairs and rules and fee's etc,,, it use to be one of my favorite places to bring my dogs. We would run through the trails, they would chase squirrels back up into the trees and we would find our way down to the Lake to take a swim and frolic in the sand. That park today, is perfect for you Kirke, you won't even run into a goat there because they are not allowed there either :) The sign says NO PETS and NO GOATS. I will caution you though, once on the beach and past the natural water line to the shoreline - you will find many many dogs enjoying themselves, chasing seagulls, swimming and acting like an acceptable member of society.

Really Kirke? Really?


“acceptable member of society” NOT Dog are a parasite ....an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment. They mark their surroundings with urine....Walk anywhere downtown on the board walk and can see and smell it…. Back yard pen for these filthy animals.


I'll bet you let your dog lick your mouth.


Yes, but I won't let him lick yours.



I just saw him licking himself, he wants a kissy from you


Yes, but I wouldn't let him lick yours.


You obviously are a bitter person. The rockets and the dog art have added a lot to our beautiful city and we citizens and the tourists like them very much. By the way you know Spring Lake had a dog park before Grand Haven, it was a boy scout project I believe. So you and your diatribe can take them on next. Also seeing how your from Spring Lake the citizens of Grand Haven would appreciate it if you would stay there!!!


Gotta agree w/Mr. Harris. This town has gone to the dogs. I want a place to walk my cats, somewhere where a dog won't chase them- not really, I wouldn't think of taking my cats out, so why take your dog everywhere? My cats are part of my family, but I don't take them out with me- they are stupid animals, like dogs are. Just try to walk down a sidewalk in DT GH without having to avoid, go around, or wait for dog(s) & their owner(s) while the dogs greet dogs (read: smell each others butt) blocking the entire sidewalk and (the owners) thinking nothing of it. The humble dog is not a human and should not be treated as such. They do not belong in crowds, at fireworks displays, at parades. They are not allowed in stores for a reason- they are dirty animals. They cannot tell you when they have to take a crap, so they go anywhere. (This is where we get into some real 'crap' here, because not every dog owner will take care of their dog's excrement as evidenced by my mowing along the bike path in my front yard yesterday and my tractor tires were full of it). Put diapers on your dog and I will welcome it, because your dog pees everywhere, literally (my garbage cans today will attest to that- why do you even let them do that when you walk them!!?). Probably even poops & pees inside your house, they are so stupid that way. At least my cats go out into the garage in a litter box- every time. Leaving your dog(s) at home is the true 'sociable' thing to do..


Mr Harris, sounds like you are barking up the wrong tree! LOL
May I second xoxo's motion to "stay out".?.?


Wonder if Mr. Harris has a problem with seagulls and other birds that fly over the beach. Surely they must use the beach as one big litter box. And what about the fish swimming in the lake? Wonder where their potties are?? Didn't see him complaining about the decorated fish that adorned businesses last time around so maybe he's a "fish person".

As the old saying goes "opinions are like bellybuttons - everyone has one", so I guess we should respect the fact that Mr. Harris has his own feeling on the subject matter. Personally I have been in public places where there have been children that act worse than my dog. Should we ban them too??? Maybe we should get a check list from Mr. Harris as to who & what are allowed in certain areas. Betcha it would be a very long one.

I along with many of my dog loving friends will support the businesses downtown that do display the dog art. Don't worry Mr. Harris, with your negative attitude you should just stay at home and write your letters telling everyone what it wrong with them ..............I don't think you will be missed at all.


BAHAHAHA! Great letter! Very well written, I wish I would have written it. I have nothing more to add.


Well Mr. Harris and all the other dog haters better stay out of downtown on Saturday September 8th because we will be having Bark For Life down there and there will be lots of dogs!!! Its a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and if you want to join us, go check out the VERY colorful Art dog in front of Must Love Dogs downtown, all the info is on the dog :)



Tiki III

As a dog owner and part time GH resident who regularly takes my furry friend to all sorts of places and events around town I always enjoy the many people (particularly the kids) coming up to greet her and pet her. I have also taken her to the new dog park and really enjoyed meeting the other dog owners and watching our pets play off leash together. It is always amazing how dogs of varioius breeds and temperaments are tolerant of each other and make new friends. Too bad some humans haven't figured out what our "animals" already know. Ultimately, our canine companions enrich our lives in many ways that some people don't understand. It's sad, those folks don't know what they are missing.


You're crazy. Why not complain that our town is bad because we have too many trees that people look at....and those trees take precious oxygen. I like turtles, though. Please move to a trailer in the woods. You'll be much happier.


Trees take precious oxygen? That's news to me...


You're crazy. Why not complain that our town is bad because we have too many trees that people look at....and those trees take precious oxygen. I like turtles, though. Please move to a trailer in the woods. You'll be much happier.

No One Special

You hit a home-run on this one pal...plain and simple. Ignore these clowns spewing all their hate with ugly comments. I have a room you can rent in GH if you promise me you'll run for Council. Hell, I like you so much, the room and board is on me. And dear dog owners, I don't think it's cute when your dog sniffs my crotch, tries to lick me, dumps on the walkways, or leaves brown spots on my lawn.

Say No To Tourist's

Hey Harris, I just fed my dog, in fact I gave him a very special treat just for you. A whole can of ALPO plus his two cups of dry food and a big O bowl of water, now he's tellin' me its time to go do his morning duties. Yep were headed your way, when you see me and my 105lb lab in your front yard watering all 4 of your car tires or maybe your front step and relieving himself all over your yard. You'll know its me and my "lab", no MUTT . An AKC purebred with credentials so you'll feel even better when you find his duties that I'm not going to clean up. I hope that makes you feel better knowing it was no Mutt that used you place as an out house. Well I have to stop typing, he's telling me its time to go now.......see ya soon! :)


Oops! you waited too long Say No, your AKC mutt just went and pooped and peed right on your living room floor in front of you. Again!! Dogs are funny that way...

Say No To Tourist's

Um no he didnt, it might have been in your yard. I did clean up after him since I wasnt sure if we had the right place.



No One Special

I think I hear your mommy calling you...I think she said something about it being your nap time.

Say No To Tourist's

Becarefull what you type.........she's been dead for three years. Thanks so much for bringing up the fact that you could stoop to such a comment like the one you just posted. I'm sure your parents are real proud of you now.



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