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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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San Ramon is furkid friendly

Uploaded: May 19, 2011
San Ramon is known as a family-friendly city, with great parks, a wonderful medical center, and good schools. Express Reporter, Glenn Wohltmann, wrote a story last week on families whose children are dogs, or as he called them "furkids." San Ramon is furkid friendly too, including a great selection of veterinary hospitals, dog parks, dog trainers, doggie day care.

My furkids, as my readers know, are all cats. One of my cats was moping around on Wednesday, and I was worried he might have hurt himself or be sick. I phoned Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center and made an appointment in 40 minutes.

I thought about taking him to ABC Pet Clinic since I had just been at the Planning Commission's Public Hearing for Dr. Raj's new building, but I knew I could get an appointment at Bishop Ranch faster because they have more vets. Dr. Raj is ABC Pet Clinic's only vet. He often refers clients to Bishop Ranch for services his small hospital cannot provide.

Dr. Raj doesn't keep animals overnight. He told the Planning Commission he does not have anyone staying at his clinic overnight and would not add residential facilities to the new building. Since Dr. Raj won't leave animals overnight without someone staying at the Clinic to make sure they are OK, he doesn't off services like boarding or surgery that requires overnight recovery in the hospital.

The Planning Commissioners don't want residential units in the new building, so Dr. Raj's explanation was just what they wanted to hear. I told the Commissioners that the new ABC Pet Clinic is a win-win for everyone. It gets rid of the old Jeff's Kitchen building, which is an eyesore, and provides high quality, reasonably priced veterinary service to residents. The Commissioners unanimously approved Raj's plans as presented.

San Ramon is a pet-friendly city. It was the first city in the Tri-Valley to have a dog park. The Del Mar Dog Park is just down the street from me. It was built in the PG & E corridor, where not much else could go. The city took an unattractive property with electrical lines and towers and made it into a useful place for people to have fun with their dogs.

I attended the grand opening of the Del Mar Dog Park in 2001. That's where I met Melanie Plain, who was given credit for getting the park built. She was also involved in the design of the dog park at Memorial Park.

I saw Melanie a few weeks ago walking one of her rescued Greyhounds by my house. We chatted about the Del Mar Dog Park and the petition to ban Greyhound racing .

After the success of the Del Mar Dog Park Melanie's group worked with the city to build a larger one in Memorial Park on Bollinger Canyon Road. That's when the controversy over dividing the park for small dogs erupted. The big dog people insisted their dogs needed the room to run, while the small dog people worried about the safety of their little dogs.

Dividing the dog park brought residents out to city meetings in droves. I found a letter in my archives dated May 29, 2003 that Melanie read at the Parks Commission meeting opposing partitioning the Memorial Park dog park for small dogs. The Commissioners felt safety was more important than size, and voted to provide a fenced off space for small dogs.

Jim Gibbon says more people are involved in the city now because of Measure W, but dividing the dog park, rezoning Royal Vista Golf Course, and the plan to ban RV's from driveways brought much bigger turnouts as I recall.
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