LETTERS: Dog owners have to be mindful

Let’s all keep our trails safe for us, our families and our four-legged friends.

An open letter to all dog owners.

I have a six-year-old lovely lab that has had no real formal training up until about two years ago.

While he has improved dramatically over the last two years, he is still very much a work in progress – which is why we always stick to leash-up areas.

I have noticed lately along the path that leads from 140 Street, between 20 and 24 avenues, all the way to 128 Street, there are a lot of people choosing to let their dogs off-leash. The majority of people are amazing and, when I stop with my dog and ask for them to leash-up, they understand and don’t even hesitate.

However, last week, when I was walking closer to the end of the trail, a woman was jogging by with her dog. When I asked her to leash up, it was already too late and her golden retriever was coming full speed at my dog. I understand that they are generally a very friendly breed but that’s not the point. She said to me: “Well, if your dog attacks mine, I guess it’s my dogs fault.”

I was shocked by a comment such as this, as it strikes me as irresponsible. I explained to her that it is difficult to train my dog when others are running at him off-leash, putting him at a disadvantage being leashed up. She didn’t even break stride and called back saying, “Running was the best exercise for her dog.”

I was dumbfounded and confused. Apparently she can’t run with her dog on a leash? Am I missing something?

Anyways, to all responsible dog owners out there I thank you. Let’s all keep our trails safe for us, our families and our four-legged friends. Respect each other and the world will be a better place for it.

Caroline Peters, White Rock

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