Leash up, Fernie dog owners
In response to the numerous letters of late regarding off leash dogs, I would like to add another perspective, one that is from dog lover to dog lover. One of my dogs lives with a brain injury resulting from an illness. This means that his behaviour can be unpredictable. I am extremely responsible, and manage this dog with everyone’s safety as my main concern. I medicate this dog, muzzle him when I need to, I use an E-collar as back up. He has an excellent recall and is obedient. I walk in isolated areas outside of city limits, I leash up when I see another dog coming. When another dog’s owner yells that everything is OK, and that their dog is friendly, they’re missing the point! I’m not judging their dog’s behaviour, I am trying to protect their dog from a potentially dangerous situation. The number of people I encounter that do not even carry a leash shocks and concerns me. Leash rules protect us all from all kinds of incidents. A leash doesn’t always mean that your dog is badly behaved. More often your leash protects your dog from other people’s dogs. It’s not about my perception of your dog’s behaviour, please don’t be offended, it is the responsible way for me (and the many others out there with difficult dogs) to control a situation. Every dog has the potential to react in a stressful situation, yes, even your sweet-natured Fido. I have seen both sides, when I only had my reliable old girl, I hated the leash laws, I felt people were saying she was bad, and I felt there should be exceptions to rules, now I understand. Please do the right thing, when you see someone leash up, do the same. A leash can cost as little as a few dollars, but it could save everyone a lot of trouble. When dogs meet at a less excited, more controlled energy level, it is much easier to have positive interactions with other dogs. Leashes don’t have to mean we’re all social outcasts, they may just be the responsible key for everyone to enjoy what we have outside our doors in Fernie.