Friday, January 13, 2012

Dogs, booties, and leashes

Remember when Gozer got new booties and I said that watching her with them was hilarious? Ian recorded her walking in her booties for the second time that day. I think you'll agree that watching her is pretty funny:

She's super-cute, isn't she? I bet you all wish you could have a cutie like her.

Speaking of dogs, I read an article in the paper today about a woman whose dog was killed by a coyote in a nearby conservation area. The dog (along with the other two dogs with her and her friend) were off-leash even though the rules for the area are that dogs must be kept on-leash. This woman wants signs to be posted noting that coyotes are in the area. She says that if she had known that coyotes were there, she would have put her dogs on leashes.

I'm sad that the dog died because I hate to think of an animal dying and this was a senseless death. At the same time I'm angry at this dog's owner because the dog's death was totally preventable. Had the dog been leashed, it would not have died. There are even signs saying that dogs must be leashed in the park! Deciding whether or not to leash one's dog should not be dependent on whether or not coyotes are present in the park; the decision should be based on the law.

The article also mentions another dog that was killed by a coyote after the dog's owners let the dog out into their unfenced yard at night without a leash. I know that the leash laws might not apply to private properties, so let's look at this from a common-sense point of view. Let's see. You have an unfenced property and it's dark outside. Even if you know that your dog will stay on your property, you have no control over any other animals. Raccoons, skunks, other dogs, and maybe even coyotes are more than happy to wander on your property. Is there any way other than a leash that will protect your dog from these intruders? No.

Obviously I have some very passionate feelings on this subject. Aside from the fact that there are leash laws in place, leashing your dog just makes sense. To not do it could have disastrous consequences. We do keep Gozer on a leash during walks and at night although she can run free in our backyard during the day. I couldn't imagine risking her life by letting her run free. Of course I don't think she'd run free while wearing those booties because all the other dogs might laugh at her.


Robin said...

It sounds like some dog owners want the world to adjust to what they think it should be, instead of accepting what is and working around it.

There are more coyotes out there. They are coming more and more into cities (we have a problem with them in the town where I work. Many dog owners there have seen coyotes during walks) because their food source is staying more and more in the cities.

Why anyone would think that the coyotes will stay away from *their* dog is beyond me. The coyote is an animal. It is hungry. Protect your dog, to me it's as easy as that.

And Gozer was darn cute with the booties :)

Chantelle said...

People don't always think about the consequences of their actions, or think that the consequences are so unlikely that they don't exist. You're right: coyotes are moving to more urban areas as their habitats are developed and they're hungry. We can't expect these predators to ignore such tasty morsels as small dogs who are far away from their owners.

The dog's owner suggested that signs about coyotes were necessary because the coyotes might go after kids. Kids playing with their friends would make too much noise for the coyotes to go after. If the kids were young and on their own away from their parents they could be hunted by the coyotes. But what parent would let their kids roam free in these nature trails? Not many, I don't think.