Ella and Boomer: A True Story
by Paul Riggins, PhD
I would like to share a true story with you that has important implications for any resident of Quail Creek who owns pets. Please read.
One morning early in October of 2020 while making my daily supervision visit to the dog park, I noticed a vehicle parked inside the area normally reserved for golf carts. Although there are two large handicapped parking signs located on the park fences, large vehicles do not normally park in the area which is often busy with residents bringing their dogs to the park in their golf carts. I was curious as to who it was parked in this manner and wondered about the purpose of their visit.
There were no golf carts parked in the area at this particular time. So, I thought it might be a new resident or perhaps a prospective home buyer who was unfamiliar with the dog park and just looking at the space. However, I knew this was not a good time to visit the dog park because it was locked and not open for use due to anyone during the annual reseeding of the grass.
I pulled my golf cart into the small dirt parking area to check out the situation. Immediately, I noticed an elderly woman walking over to the bulletin board area from the locked entrance gate. She had a small dog on a leash with her. She looked lost and confused. She was happy to see me. She was additionally happy when I told her that I was in charge of the resident Critters Club. I asked if I could be of assistance.
She told me her name and a little about her long nineteen year history as a full-time resident, one of the original residents, of the Quail Creek community. As it turns out she was eighty-eight years old and alone; her husband had died a few years before. Her tiny dog was named Boomer. She asked if it were OK to park in this area and I said it is posted as handicapped parking so therefore it must be OK. She told me the Patrol had told it was not OK and another resident in a golf cart had told not to park in the area reserved for carts. In fact, another resident came in while I was talking to her and told her that she could not park in this area. The truth is there are no designated handicapped parking spaces in the paved parking lot that close to the dog park. This quiet, elderly woman with her little dog could hardly walk from her car let alone from the paved area. More truth… no one was working in the park and no work was in the process of being done inside the park. I wished I had a key to one of the locks. I really wanted to help her out. I felt really sorry for her and Boomer.
I asked her if she was a member of our Critters Club. She said no but had always been interested yet did not how to join. I told her it was easy. Just complete a Membership Application form mail it to the address on the form. In fact, I thought there was a form located in the protective box a few feet away from her. I walked over to get one for her and nope, they were all gone. They go fast. I asked her if it would be OK for me to bring one by her house later in the morning. She said, of course. She and Boomer got back into her car. After she got her car turned around, she waved to me and pulled safely and slowly out of the area.
This moment; this situation; the picture of this handicapped elderly women alone with little Boomer who was a legacy resident was etched in my mind and it will always be a reminder of why we, as members of the Quail Creek Critters Club, are passionate about preserving the well-being of our Quail Creek friends who are residents and their pets and for that matter all the pets and pet owners in the community. They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and provided with a large well-cared for area and facilities that are designed especially for the pets and their in our community.