EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of occasional (Just Kidding?) columns by comedic actor, host and writer Nick Cutelli that play off the craziness of life in WeHo and the rest of the world we live in. Remember that laughter has been proven (if you believe in science) to be good for your health.
West Hollywood continues to be a trendsetter — some experts have even referred to it as “cooler than ice,” which is really, really cool. There’s even been word of a small town in Canada rebranding itself as “Maple West Hollywood.”
Our city prides itself on creating arts programs and facilities that better enhance the lives of its residents. From an amazing library to water aerobics for senior citizens, there is something for everyone. A project now in progress is the new recreational center in West Hollywood Park, with a design that is years ahead of its time. I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the plans I thought I was looking at something from a Star Trek movie.
In addition to the new recreational center there will be something for our K-9 companions and their guardians. A new dog park is officially opening at West Hollywood Park with a ceremony tomorrow at 10 a.m., and puppies of all ages are excited. The park will feature fresh cut grass that some say was imported from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. There will separate areas for small-breed and large-breed dogs.
Also under consideration is a “designated human zone” (DHZ). This would be an area of the park that humans are required to stay in while their pups play. A study conducted at a university somewhere showed that dog owners tend to interfere with their dog’s park experience, which can cause K-9 anxiety and shoe chewing.
The DHZ is based on an Amish Missouri farmer’s cattle pen. It would feature a lightweight aluminum fence, an enclosed puppy pick up/drop off zone and one water fountain. The DHZ would be patrolled by two Sheriff’s deputies on horseback to make sure humans don’t stray and accidentally find themselves in the dog area.
For those hot sunny days there would be an area where humans could go to escape the sun. The design for the “cool off” area comes from the Kentucky Derby. It’s the same type of structure as the stables that horses use to cool down after a race. It would feature organic snacks that can be scooped out of eco-friendly troughs. If the idea goes forward it’s safe to say that no expense will be spared.
Those in the “designated human zone” also won’t be allowed to use their cellphones in an effort to encourage the human beings to interact with each other, much like their K-9 companions do. That feature has been tested in cities such as Portland and Brooklyn that suffer from “cell phone non-socialization syndrome.”
Those tests showed signs of improved brain function — people were able to actually memorize other people’s phone numbers. There also are indications that people were able to meet in person without cell phones and start dating without using an app. Some say this is the first “all natural” dating relationship since 2002.
So the DHZ not only is helping our puppies have a good time, but also helping humans reconnect again. One day the world may take notice of WeHo’s dog park and DMZ, which could be a big step towards world love and world peace. I can only hope that someone at the United Nations is reading this column.