Dogs and Leashes

Leashes are a wonderful invention. I am sure dogs have been tied up one way or another forever, but today with harnesses and collars, various lengths and types of leashes, the dog is much more comfortable.

My dog, Otis, is so happy when he sees his harness, he knows it means a walk. He happily ducks his head into the harness and dances all the way to the door.

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Otis is a rescue, he is a great dog, sweet, gentle and loving. He smiles and wags his Aussie stub at everyone he sees. He is, however, very territorial and can be cautious around other dogs.

When Otis and I go to the park to walk, I am very leery of off leash dogs. Most of these off leash dogs are perfectly friendly, but when they see a new dog, they come running over. When Otis sees a dog running toward him he immediately becomes very aggressive, tries to rip the leash from my hand and if the dog gets close enough, he will attack. I will shout to the owner to get their dog and they will happily call out that their dog is friendly. I shout back that my dog is NOT friendly, but by then it is often too late.

I have found myself in an odd situation with our neighborhood park. Most, (and I do mean most) of the people who use that park let their dogs run around off leash. I get it, they want the dog to romp about and have fun and the dog will return when called. But there are leash laws for a reason, they exist for everyone’s safety. And most cities have dog parks where dogs can play off leash in a specific area.

I am unable to take my dog to the neighborhood park, which is just a few blocks away. Instead I need to simply walk along sidewalks, dodge bicycles and pick up poop off the cement. Cars and trucks drive by noisy and creating dust. Trees and bushes hang over walls and rotten fruit is all over the sidewalk. I really do not enjoy my surroundings.

It is true that I can drive to another park or the beach and I often do, but why should I have to? Why can’t dog owners obey this one useful law so that everyone can safely take their dogs everywhere?

I often think of contacting animal control, but these people are my neighbors and I don’t want to get them in trouble. I guess I will continue to grumble about this and walk Otis where we are safest. And I will continue to hope people become better pet owners (but I won’t hold my breath).

 

 

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