Posted by: twodogtales | October 15, 2012

New dog park mural…improved??

A cute mural featuring cavorting dogs that was painted on the exterior wall of Arlington’s Wag More Dogs doggie day care is no more. It was the subject of an extended court battle between the business owner and Arlington County, who considered the artwork illegal advertising for the business.

Read the Two Dog Tales posts: County blocks doggie day care and Wag More Dogs loses mural court battle.

The mural has been covered by an ugly blue tarp since 2010 as the issue was addressed by various courts. Here’s what it looked like:

Last week, an “Art Cream Truck” was parked in the Shirlington Dog Park as an artist from Art Slab Movement painted a new mural.

Not a dog in sight. Nor any other real-life animal.

The new artwork looks like something out of Maurice Sendak’s children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.”

There’s a tree with windows, a creature that bears a slight resemblance to a bird in a tire swing, and two more brightly-colored creatures sitting in a nest that appears to be filled with water.

It’s better than the tattered blue tarp dog park visitors have had to suffer for more than two years. And it’s certainly better than anything I could paint.

But it’s a shame the cute dogs had to go.

They were much more appropriate for the space, and didn’t elicit the comments overheard the past few days at the park, which generally begin with, “What the heck ARE those things?”

It reminds me of the situation in Old Town Alexandria in 2009 when the city blocked the expansion of an existing hunting and fishing supply store and the owner leased the space to a sex shop. The city may have won, but the people who have to walk by every day definitely lost.

Read a blow-by-blow account of the whole Wag More Dogs saga in the Washington Post blog The State of NoVa here.

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