Dog collides with another in Sequim's off-leash park, dies
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Russ and Merri Wilson hold their pet dog, Meeka, at the memorial they erected at the Sequim Dog Park at Carrie Blake Park on Thursday for Moon, pictured lower right, their greyhound which died after colliding with another dog at the park. -- Photo by Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News

By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM - A Port Angeles family placed a memorial at the Sequim Dog Park on Thursday after the couple's dog, Moon, collided with another dog at the park and died earlier this week.

Moon, a 3-year-old greyhound, was running in the 1.7-acre park when she and a golden retriever chasing a ball ran into each other.

Moon died later on Monday.

"It is just one of those freak accidents," said Merri Wilson who, with her husband Russ, owned Moon.

The incident is the first serious accident in the park, which opened in March, said Sequim Dog Park Pals board member Lynne Angeloro.

"I am absolutely horrified by this horrible event," she said.

The board raised about $21,000 to build the fenced, off-leash dog park on city land at Carrie Blake Park at 202 N. Blake Ave.

The city has rules posted, but the users are self-governing.

"The board wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the dog," Angeloro said.

No fight
Moon and the unidentified retriever were not in a fight, Merri said.

"Moon was running really fast - because that is what greyhounds do - and the other dog was chasing after a tennis ball, and they just collided," Merri said.

Moon was thrown into the air and then could not get up, Russ said.

"She had some kind of spinal injury, and her legs just weren't working.

"We rushed her right over to the vets, but later that afternoon, we got the word that she had just stopped breathing," he said.

Merri and Russ continue to bringing their whippet, Meeka, to the park.

"I am back here the very next day, bringing my whippet," Merri said.

"Am I scared that something like that could happen to her?

"Sure.

"But she loves it here, so I'll keep coming back."

Said Angeloro, "Thank God, we haven't had any other serious accidents with other dogs.

"Even the fights have been minor so far.

"I am just shocked because I love the dog park."

Dogs loved park
So did the Wilsons' dogs.

The two drove to Sequim from their Port Angeles home several times a week to allow their pets to play in the dog park.

"The dogs could even recognize when we were getting close," Merri said.

"Once we exited the highway, they couldn't contain themselves, they were so excited."

Merri and Russ adopted Moon about two years ago from Greyhound Pets of America.

"She had been rescued from a horrible situation," Merri said.

"She was so abused, and she was mostly terrified of being abandoned when we got her."

But for the past two years, the Wilsons have showered her with affection.

"All we gave her was love," Merri said.

"We never punished her, never trained her.

"She learned the training by osmosis from the other dog."

And in the kindly atmosphere, Moon had prospered.

During her first visits to the dog park, Moon wouldn't leave the Wilsons' sides, but as time went on, she learned to enjoy it.

"If anyone wants to do anything in honor of Moon, we would want them to make a donation to the Greyhound Pets of America, because we are so grateful for what they gave us," Merri said.

Right now, the couple isn't ready to replace Moon, but one day they plan to adopt another greyhound.

________
Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 27. 2007 9:00PM
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