On-leash means on-leash
Many thanks for Kelly Scarsbrook’s rational and dispassionate discussion of the hazards of off-leash dogs to children in parks (The Leader, Feb. 10).
How ironic that she has conscientiously taught her children to ask the owner’s permission before touching a dog in order not to frighten the dog, but some dog owners don’t reciprocate with equal respect for children.
The real issue, however, is more than the protection of wildlife, doggie doo, children being frightened, or other annoyances which Ms. Scarsbrook didn’t mention, such as coats requiring dry cleaning due to a “friendly” dog’s paws and slobber or their peculiarly annoying habit of sticking a snout that’s sniffed every other dirty doggie-marker in the vicinity squarely into one’s crotch.
The heart of the matter is compliance with the law which is, essentially, respect for others.
In a democracy, no one is above the law; in fact, for democracy to succeed, each individual must ensure that the rule of law is maintained.
Every sensible person knows that some social controls (whether they apply to animals, noise, speed, vehicles, or anything else) are necessary.
A dog off leash is a dog out of control.
Controls such as bylaws which apply to public places are there for the greater public good.
In a public place, rights of private citizens are subservient to the greater public good.
Just as all citizens should demand that people drive with due care and attention only when sober, we should demand that dogs be controlled by their handlers in public.
It’s simple: If you want your dog off leash, that’s what your private yard and off-leash designated parks are for. Use them.
Otherwise faithfully use a leash, no matter how “harmless” or “friendly” your dog.
Lynda Grace Philippsen