Over the weekend, Toka & I set out to hike to Taughannock Falls. It’s a short, cool, pretty walk to a lovely 215 foot waterfall. Since I’m aiming to get Toka’s Trail and Pack Dog titles, I thought the 1.5 mile round trip hike would be a great way to start adding to our mileage.
As I pulled into the park, I saw a couple who had loosed a dalmatian & a labrador out of their SUV. Once I had parked, I politely asked them to leash their dogs. They glared at me, and walked off, dogs still off leash.
I unloaded Toka from the car. The dogs galloped toward him. I didn’t wait – pulled out my spare leash & started whipping them off. The owner turned when he heard me bellowing, saw what I was doing, and started yelling.
At me. Not at his dogs.
The dogs were smart enough to stay out of the range of the leash, and eventually lost interest & ran off. The owner stalked off up the trail.
I immediately walked over to the park office and lodged a complaint, pointing out their SUV. After, I opted to hike up the trail a bit, knowing that my puppy would not catch up with adult dogs. Toka had a blast playing in the stream and small waterfalls.
As we started back to the car, we connected with two other dog owners. One had a Cavalier spaniel who had been rolled by the unleashed dogs. Another woman overheard this, and asked in confusion ‘if there are leash laws in this park, why are those dogs off leash?’
Good question. There are excellent reasons for leash laws, and we all know what they are. I can’t count how many times so-called friendly dogs have charged my dogs. I’m especially sensitive because of my special needs dogs, who cannot hear animals approaching them. To ignore the leash requirement, to think that your dog — YOU — are special and exempt is all ego. Rude, obnoxious and selfish.
We went back to the park today, and completed the hike.
The man with the dal & lab was there, and yes, they were off leash. However, when he saw us approaching, he leashed his dogs! As we went by I thanked him for leashing them.
Update on Kiyo: She has a sprained foot. She’s bandaged, and has to have a waterproof boot put over her the splint every time she goes out. She’s on crate rest for a couple of weeks, then we re-evaluate. Here she is, sporting her Medi-paw.