No Shirt, No Leash, No Excuse

I fear large dogs and geese; it’s a toss-up to say which one causes me more angst when I come across them while biking or running on the towpath.  Not one to miss an opportunity to enjoy nice weather, especially in January, I took my bike for a spin along the canal.  Much to my chagrin, there were more than a few geese along the way and even worse, there were more dogs off than on a leash. 

I’m not sure which boggles my mind more, the fact that people believe that the rules don’t apply to them or that they think they can stop their dog from pursuing a canine love interest, charging a cyclist, nipping at the heels of a runner, or biting a small child.  In my opinion, pets are kind of like babies, no one thinks they are nearly as cute or lovable as you do your own and they are as unpredictable as toddlers.  

I think the next time someone says to me “Don’t be scared, I know he won’t bite you,” my response will be “I never thought my daughter would hurl a shoe and hit the JCPenny shoe guy in the head either, but she did.” (For the record she was two not twenty when the incident occurred). 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like animals or children; I’m the unsuspecting owner of two miniature dachshunds and the proud mother of three young adults who used to be toddlers.  I’m just a firm believer in leashes for dogs and time outs for kids. 

Unfortunately I think the only people that will agree with my sentiments are those of us who are scared of dogs because we’ve been bitten or know someone who’s been bitten and most likely by a dog who’s “never done that before.” 

Fellow dog owners for the safety of your pet and the people on the towpath, in the park, and in the neighborhood, please play by the rules.  They are in place for a good reason.