I’ve probably given myself a bad reputation for being that crazy neighbourhood lady screaming at people to put their dogs on a leash. I’ve gotten into arguments with people about it. Of course, the kind of people who let their dogs run around leash free on city streets are usually not the kind of people (and yes, I mean “kind of people” in the MOST derogatory way) who you can talk logic with. They don’t believe their dog would ever hurt another creature and they think you’re whack when you point out that a leash would protect their dog from harm. “Oh, he always comes when he’s called,” they’ll reply. Then they’ll call the dog over to prove their point and the dog will give them a withering look and wander off in the opposite direction.

This morning we were out walking the dogs and walked past a nearby apartment. An older Asian woman was sitting on the curb of the driveway in front of the building, a yellow dog (some kind of lab/sheperd cross as best I can tell) sitting beside her. I’m watching the dog because I can tell it’s not on a leash, but it sits there until we’re almost past. And then it leaps up, runs across the driveway and through a flower bed and latches onto Petula’s head. I kick at it a few times, and scream at it, and it backs off.

Through it all the Asian woman sits there unblinking. She doesn’t get up, yell at the dog, or make any effort to hold it back. In fact, she says nothing at all, despite the fact that Greg and I are screaming bloody murder at her – until we threaten to sue her, at which point she just starts repeating “not my dog, not my dog!” Given her behaviour throughout, that might very well have been the case.

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Leash Laws Exist For a Reason

I was devastated when the news on television last night announced the death of a Toronto man and his two dogs when they were hit by a train. The man was walking along a train track in mid-town when one of his dogs ran onto the track. He jumped into the path of an oncoming train to try to grab the dog. His second dog followed behind him. The man and one of the dogs were killed instantly, the second dog was put down later on when it was determined its injuries were too serious.

The police that the various news reporters talked to cited trespassing as the main cause of the accident. The tracks are fenced off, but many people clip holes in the chain link fences to allow access to either cross the tracks or to walk alongside them. This isn’t unusual, it happens everywhere – we have a train track nearby and people constantly hop the fence to save themselves the extra two minutes it would take them to walk to the same spot via the streets. And until it was fenced off, many people in the neighbourhood with dogs, us included, would walk along the service road that ran alongside the tracks.

Continue reading “Leash Laws Exist For a Reason”