Wednesday, September 10, 2008

maintaining access all over town

another gorgeous start to the day.....

fall is showing up in small ways- the nice crisp air and starting to bloom rabbit brush, the first touch of color in the trees. my absolute favorite time of year- nice and cool at night, pleasantly warm during the day- and the light is fabulous.

still a few flowers blooming here & there- sunflowers, some asters & these (evening?) primroses.

8 with, 3 without, all good.

the pug has a very cute new leash to match her collar..... success calling halle back in time for her not to charge a dog coming up chickadee. stopped & chatted with steve & teschka & all dogs sat nicely & behaved.

everything was great- working as it should- until we left the park. going out camel's back, saw 2 mt bike riders (women) with an out of control- maybe labradoodle- young dog. we crossed the street, being leashed & not wanting to be charged. there's only so much that it's fair to expect a dog to take.

the dog changed direction and came running across the street toward us. i called to the gal to please call her dog. and got a strange look b/c echo lunged when the dog got too close.

i don't understand the big aversion to leashing. never have. it's a tool to keep dogs safe (many is the time i have seen dogs rush across the street where it was really fortunate that there wasn't a car coming, because no way were they responding to the owner calling them).

it's also a way to show respect for others. for a variety of reasons not everyone wants to have strange dogs approach them. and that's their right. if we want the right to take our dogs with us more places, we need to respect that.

talking with a friend about the market's ban on dogs. she has dogs, but doesn't take them out & couldn't understand why people are so upset about the market's position. it's a 4 hour market- why can't you just leave your dog at home?

i will agree that there are times (in the heat of the summer) and places (the food stalls) where it isn't appropriate to have dogs. and to my friend's point, many of the dogs look less than thrilled to be in a big crowd in such a busy place.

my problem is that it seems easier to just blanket turn everyone out than to enforce the rules already in effect. we will never teach people how to have their dogs in public if the response is always to ban dogs. if we fine folks for not picking up, or having aggressive dogs, or letting them run out of control then we are addressing the problem. irresponsible people will tend to continue to disregard the rules, and responsible people lose rights.

we were having dinner at the sunray a few weeks ago, and a woman was there with her 2 labs- ziggy and marley. letting them have the run of the patio. they were under people's tables, even wandered inside. one other time we were there (with our dogs) a guy came in with a young lab & promptly turned him loose. echo took exception when the lab came up to our table & invaded his space (he was backed in a corner, but fine until then- just laying there minding his own business). so now we don't take our dogs to the dog friendly patio. and i am willing to bet that some people don't go back, because they don't want some stranger's dog under their table or sniffing their food.

i love dogs. i love my dogs, my friend's dogs and most strange dogs. i want to be able to take my dogs with me for a pizza or a cup of coffee or to browse the art at the market. i want to be able to continue to hike or run in the foothills with them off leash and watch them check things out and play tag with each other and have silly spurts of speed down the trail. and it really angers me when clueless dog owners jeopardize our ability to do those things.

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