Oh the glorious days of summer are upon us. Everyone craving to get out and enjoy the beautiful summer foliage and fresh air. Dig in the dirt. Plant new things. We all love it and the Shunga trail is a favorite spot for many.
But, there is a problem, again! Dogs running off leash along our trails and byways with their supposed masters. Most dogs I come across that are off leash are really the masters as they run head first toward my dog ignoring the constant commands to return by their owners. Now I will give credit where credit is due as I have also run across some very well mannered owners and dogs who respect the space we all share.
I will admit though that I’m tired of the dimwits who have no control over their dog. These dogs charge forward sometimes in a friendly manner, and sometimes as a challenge to the passerby. They have no regard to the rules of the road. The rule of thumb is to move to the right when others are passing, not spreading out all over the sidewalks. The rule is to notify others if you are zooming by on a bike so the trekers can be aware. And the rule of thumb is to ALWAYS BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR DOG.
If your dog does not follow your commands and return to you immediately when you call them they should not be off leash. I have had other walkers with more then one dog have absolutely no control. They smile like a moron expecting that all dogs just want to “ play.“
My dog is always on a leash. She comes to a complete stop when a dog and it’s owner is headed our way and waits for me to tighten up our leash so that no contact will be made and we can walk by easily. There are times when that is a struggle with her as well as she feels a challenge but, she is always on leash, and I control her.
Alas the oncoming dog is off leash with a mind set to confront my perfect pet in a friendly, or not so friendly manner. Often these said masters will say to me “ oh he is okay” as “he” tumbles our way making my dog raise her hackles and her anxiety.
You see my dog, who is always on leash has a little bit of PTSD as she has been bitten twice by two different little monsters who were off leash and decided to challenge my dog. Little dogs who have a little me complex often are aggressive and frightened. Many growl and pull furiously on their leashes or in the case of Tessie’s attacks, run up and bite the oncoming dog then run with their tails between their legs yelping for their owners. Thanks to these runts Tessie now does not trust other dogs as they head our way, especially the little ones. If I was a cruel person I would just let her ravish these bad dogs. But, I don’t want anyone hurt.
It is a dangerous situation for everyone. No one knows how dogs will react to each other. It is even more volatile when they are hot and tired. Most of us just want to go out and have a nice walk with our pets. We don’t want to be bothered or attacked by dogs who have not been trained properly or turn aggressive.
Why am I venting? Because today a lady was walking her dog or should I say she was walking and her dog was running uncontrolled dragging his leash behind him. When he spotted us she said “ oh it’s okay.” And I said
“ no it’s not my dog doesn’t like other dogs.” She smiled and called her dog back, and this goofy thing just kept coming. Tessie of course did not take kindly to this charge, friendly or not, she was hot, and immediately snarled and made attacking noises at the dog as he ran into her chest.
When I grabbed to pull Tessie back I received a severe laceration to my finger from her leash causing me to bleed all over the place. Here I was dripping big drops of blood all over the ground and this lady did not get her dog under control. I was turning in circles trying to keep them apart while drawing a circle of blood around us. Finally the idiot owner said “ oh my gosh you’re bleeding, did my dog do that?” I admitted that her dog did not bite me but I asked her to get control of her dog and get away from us.
Finally she did and I was able to dig out some tissues from my pocket and cover my finger. It bled for awhile and is hurting terribly right now. I hope that I don’t get an infection since the leash is not the cleanest thing in town. I did clean it up when I got home but I am still mad.
I also had a friend who was riding his bike on the Shunga and was attacked by a dog, fell, got a concussion, and broke his hip. Not only did it cause multiple injuries to this fellow who was just out for a nice ride, but he had to have surgery, and miss work. All because some dumb owner didn’t have control over their pet. I only hope that he sued them for his medical cost. I am sure that he has PTSD now whenever he sees a dog coming his way.
Please!! Let all of us enjoy the great days of summer safely. Keep control of your pets when out walking. Keep them on leash or make sure that they are fully trained to obey you when you call them. Tessie is always on leash because I don’t trust her not to run off after some lovely creature who happens to pass across our trail. We see many deer and turkeys this time of year. And I definitely don’t want her assaulting another person or dog.
Remember, you are responsible for your dog if something should happen like a bite or a fall. You do not have free range to do as you please when sharing the trails with others. Follow the rule of thumb. And for today may you and your have a great day.