Pet Peeve

Our county has a strict leash law, which states that all dogs must be on-leash and under control at all times (except in fenced dog parks or your own fenced yard). The owner is also required to clean up after their dog.

However, it SHOCKS and annoys me how many dog owners let their dogs run around off-leash. Sure, their dog may be well-behaved and voice-trained. But the leash law doesn't stipulate that well-behaved dogs are allowed off-leash and only ill-mannered ones have to be leashed.

On the walking path near my house, I see at least 2-3 dogs being "walked" off-leash every single day. How can the owner clean up after their dog if he's just defecated way over on the other side of the field? And what if I don't want their dog coming over and sniffing out my dog? By having their dog off-leash, I am subjected to their lack of control, and my rights are being encroached.

As a dog owner myself, I can understand the desire to let your dog run free. But I also understand that not everyone loves my dog, something that most dog owners don't seem to get. Just because YOU love your dog and don't mind it jumping on you or sniffing you or even coming up to you in a well-mannered fashion, doesn't mean that everyone else is okay with it.

My sister is deathly afraid of animals, and I always think about her when I see dogs off-leash. She would not be able to go for a leisurely walk through our neighborhood because she would be constantly accosted by dogs off-leash. Her fear is not a rational one, so it doesn't matter if the owner says, "My dog is friendly." She just doesn't want to be anywhere near a dog. Because these dog owners are not abiding the leash law, my sister and others like her can't even take a stroll through their neighborhoods. What a travesty.

But what a creep I would seem to be if I told all these dog owners that I pass, "Can you please leash your dog?" I can't even imagine it. So what is the answer? Should policemen patrol the neighborhood to hand out fines to all my neighbors? I don't have any good ideas, except to blog about it here.

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