BY ASHLEY NEQUEST
Dog owners know that dogs typically become part of the family. The four-legged pup will cuddle up and watch television with everyone, so naturally walking the dog can become a family activity.
However, when taking their dog out for a walk too many owners neglect to keep safety in mind. Regardless of how much a person feels as though their dog is practically human, the pet still has basic animal instincts that take over when they feel threatened.
When walking in a public area pets will encounter a variety of other animals as well as humans and typical traffic noise. There is no guarantee that a pet will react in a calm manner during all of this. The best way to keep your dog in control, for his own safety and the safety of others, is to keep him on a leash.
Over the summer the path behind my house was paved. While it was gravel there were quite a few locals who used the path, but that was about it. Now that it is a paved surface there is a great increase in the number of cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers and skateboarders streaming down the path. With the increase in traffic my family has taken to tying my dog to a rope in the backyard so he can no longer run out on the path to greet the new people approaching his property.
The increase in traffic has also resulted in an increase in the number of dogs walking off-leash. Owners cross over University Avenue, reach the path and let their dogs go free.
A few weeks ago one of these dogs decided to check out my backyard where my dog was tied to his rope. My dog was probably also barking at this new dog approaching him. This dog began to snarl and eventually locked his jaws around my dog’s neck and pinned him to the ground. My family stepped in to separate the two while the owner of the strange dog was slowly strolling near the yard calling for his dog.
The owner apologized and informed us that his dog never does this. The issue is his dog ventures into my yard almost daily. The lack of concern by this owner has made my home an unsafe place for my dog.
When taking your pet out into the world keep everyone safe, keep him on a leash. It is also common courtesy.