To the Editor:
This Thanksgiving while eating breakfast in my home next to a bike path, I witnessed two dog fights. The first involved 3 dogs all were off leash and with their owners. While the dogs snapped and snarled at each other, their owners lamely shouted at them to “stop it” until they were able to grab their pet and haul them away from the other loose dogs. The second happened in a similar manner and involved just two dogs.
Thenwhile walking near the CU East Campus ponds, my wife and I were startled to see a buck and doe running full speed towards Foothills Expressway while being chased by a large dog, also off leash. It is a wonder that none of them ran on to the expressway to be hit by traffic. A couple of minutes later we saw the dog with it’s owner. The owner was on her cell phone and her dog was next to her; there was no leash with the owner or on the dog. We told her that it was illegal for her to let her dog run after wildlife. She argued that it wasn’t a problem because they were not “baby deer.” We told her that her dog should not be off leash unless it was under voice and sight control. She yelled that the dog had the tags and resumed her phone call.
While we do not have a dog, my wife grew up with a father who trained dogs for other people as a hobby. We both believe that a well trained dog is a joy to behold and is happy when it knows it is being a “good dog” and getting positive feedback. We have known dogs who will bring a leash to its favorite companion when it wants to go out for a walk. And we especially enjoy watching the goatat work every spring.
It has occurred to me that poorly trained, off leash dogs are a hazard to other pets, people and wildlife. A well trained dog is happy to walk next to his favorite human on a leash and get those “atta boys” and affectionate pats on the head while walking. It is the off leash dogs who are dazed, confused, endangered and sometimes a danger to themselves and others.