On leash trails can be awesome! Only if everyone respects the by-laws though.
We had a run-in with the same woman who I wrote about before. Click here for a recap.
Only this time really rubbed us the wrong way.
As we were visiting the creek bed I hear scampering just a few metres away from the bushes. I assumed correctly that it was going to be some off-leash dogs. This wouldn’t
really bug me except for the fact that the woman who owns these two German Shepherds has literally no voice control over them. The younger of the two shepherds approach my dog very assertively and went nose to nose with him. Joanne had Vegas on leash and I had my son Miles on my back in a baby backpack and I had one of our boarding guests “Charlie” on leash with me. I shouted up to the woman who was probably 20 metres away, “Please call your dogs off they are making my dogs uncomfortable”.
She tried…. but failed.She was still out of sight from the dogs and therefore had virtually no shot of being able to actually help.
The younger of the two dogs tried to mount Vegas, who as I mentioned earlier was on leash and unable to run from this situation, thus creating a very dangerous circumstance. A fight occurred and Joanne and I both had to break it up. Still, there was no physical sign of the owner as she was too far away to get there in time.
What occurred next surprised and upset me.
Joanne mentioned to the woman “Please keep your dogs on-leash, this is a leash only trail.”
The woman shouted back bitterly “I will NOT! ”
I assume that this upset Joanne, and I let her address the woman. I simply observed the interaction.
Joanne replied, “We take our dogs here with our son because it’s a leash only trail. That’s why we come here.”
The woman, again very angry and bitter yelled this time “EVERYBODY let’s their dog off-leash. EVERYBODY does! I have lived in this area for 20 years and you JUST moved in a year ago. You can’t change the rules! I will not stop taking my dogs here off-leash!”
Now, here are a few important facts:
#1 She owns two dogs, both of which are under the age of 7 years old.
#2 The park is less than 8 years old.
#3 We take the trail a few times a week and she is the only person who we’ve witnessed letting their dogs run-free.
#4 Although the woman lives a mere 10 minute walk from the trail she chooses to drive them to the park because she cannot handle being pulled or tugged on leash. She cannot walk them off-leash either in public because as I have mentioned, she has literally no control over the two dogs.
The back and forth did last for some time and I couldn’t quote it all because it was repetitive. Joanne soon realised that it was like speaking with a brick wall and not even worth her time.
The woman began to curse under her breath and tell us off as she left.
So here are my questions that I pose to you all out in Dharma Land:
Does it matter if she’s lived in the neighbourhood longer than us? Should that allow her to treat us and the rules differently?
Do you respect leash only signs? If not, do you understand why they’re important to follow?
How do we go about dealing with this situation? Do we call a by-law officer? After all my dog was bitten while he was on leash and her dogs were not.
I was going to use today’s blog as a resource for you all to really understand the importance of respecting on-leash or off-leash parks. However, I already wrote that blog over a year ago it seems. The fact this is the same woman and it’s been a year shows a complete lack of respect for others and a selfishness that I do not admire. Are we so entitled as dog owners that we don’t actually care anymore that our behaviour or our dog’s behaviour might be affecting others?
I was very proud of Joanne for letting the woman know that her behaviour was affecting us negatively and we would no longer take the harassment.
So please understand that a rule that may inconvenience you ever so slightly may be helping many others.
Thanks for reading,