LETTER: Angry reaction to off-leash dog

Dog was off leash because owner was playing fetch as they walked.

We live in a rural area in Alberta and  have visited relatives in Abbotsford twice a year for well over twenty years, staying a week or two each time.  We shop in your stores and eat in your restaurants, and I walk my dog daily through your quiet neighbourhoods and trails. I have always been  impressed with the beauty and cleanliness of your city, as well as the friendliness of the people I encounter, often other dog owners.

However, last Monday evening, while walking my dog in a quiet residential neighbourhood, I had a most unpleasant experience.  Someone (unseen by me) screamed at me from a window or deck ” …dog supposed to be on a leash.”   So my letter is to the unknown lady who wasn’t so “friendly.”

What is your problem?  I carry bags and pick up after my dog. He was off leash because we were playing fetch as we walked.  Was it because your dog barked through the fence?   My dog is friendly and well behaved with both people and other pets, because I take the time each day to ensure he has both exercise and socialization opportunities.  I was rather amused that he returned the “verbal argument” with your dog through the fence for a few seconds until we passed by.  I never paid much attention at the time because I  understand that’s what confined dogs do when they do not get exercised or socialized.   I have no issue with your beautiful dog, although I  do feel a bit sorry for him.

But please Ms. unpleasant lady, don’t scream at strangers who are doing the right thing with their dog.   Having my dog on a leash won’t stop yours from barking when I go by.  Nor will it ensure that I pickup.

You may also consider the negative impact your behaviour has on visitors.

S. Maltais

Edson, Alberta