Canines: On leash or in dog parks
My three-year-old daughter and I often visit Hillcrest Park’s kiddie park.
Regularly, this park is full of unleashed dogs, even though children are playing within the park as there is an elementary school and kiddie park within it.
Last September, my daughter and I were enjoying a picnic in the park.
While she was eating her fishy crackers, a man from my neighbourhood brought his Airedale terrier out for a game of catch and return.
Initially, the large dog was not near us, so I decided to continue the picnic.
Suddenly, I heard the dog’s panting was getting louder and uncomfortably close. Impulsively, I covered my daughter behind my back.
I turned around to notice that the dog was bolting towards us at full speed. The dog owner called his dog back, but it was only an arm’s length away before it retreated.
As we left the park, I heard the dog owner tell another off-leash dog owner that my daughter was afraid of dogs and to keep her dog away from my daughter.
I was offended and annoyed because I have taught my daughter to love dogs.
However, incidents such as this may indeed make her afraid of dogs.
I wrote a complaint to the city’s animal control bylaw officers but still see that the park is overrun by unleashed dogs.
Children under five years old account for a majority of all dog bites, which usually occur on the head or neck.
Please, keep your dog on a leash or use the dog parks. It’s the law for a reason.