There seems to be a mixed reaction to the pilot project allowing leashed dogs to partake in a walk with their human on the White Rock promenade. The trial period started last Tuesday with much fanfare and local media to document the event – my 13-year-old Boston terrier even scored five seconds of fame on the Vancouver morning show. Dog walking on the promenade is apparently big news.
We are a week into this pilot project, my dogs and I have taken the stroll a dozen times. It’s a lovely walk. Other dog walkers, although not abundant, are equally enthused – we dish out “good mornings “ and smiles like we’re old friends, the air is static with subliminal high fives. But for every enthusiast there are half a dozen walkers who are obviously less than thrilled to see us. There are no greetings from this group, heck there is barely eye contact. We are not a welcomed addition to this class of White Rock promenade-ers, they’ve ruled the walk for years.
I know everyone is not a dog lover, some are not even dog likers, but I had no idea the promenade was rampant with dog haters. I suppose they’ve always been there, strolling the cobbled walk and looking down on the dog walkers in the parking lot, but I’ve never noticed.
I should point out these people are neither vocal nor nasty, their expressions say it all – it’s as if my dogs and I waft an offensive odour as we pass.
I’m not wasting my time worrying about these haters or even caring much about them – the dogs and I have moved up in the world and the view is divine. We are going to enjoy our higher status. We are going to be rain-or-shine, morning-and-evening, walkers. We are going to greet everyone with the equal courtesy. We will not be put off or put down. We are going to enjoy this pilot project to the max for the next six months. We are going to make, and leave, a good impression.
Elva Stoelers, White Rock