Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lock 'n' load

When will more dog owners wise up? John McCleary at Anchorage Parks and Rec has issued the following public notice in response to a bad incident this week in which two unleashed dogs caused a horse to throw it's rider, breaking the woman's leg:

"Last night two horse back riders came across a couple with a German Shepard-mix dog and a Labrador-mix dog on a Hilltop trail, off leash. (They were not in the off-leash area.) The dogs ran barking at the horses and did not respond to the owners voice commands at all. The horses were finally calmed down but the dogs persisted and finally one horse lost his nerve and dumped his rider, causing her to break her leg. The dog owners were not sympathetic to the situation and seemed unconcerned with the fact they were told there dogs should be leashed. In fact, they were somewhat indignant to the fact they were considered responsible for the situation, I was told. This happened on a trail near the Abbott Road/front Hilltop parking lot area and the horses had to be trailered home, while the rider was taken to the hospital.

"PLEASE urge trail users to remind people that they meet on the trail that their dogs should be on leash in most areas. The situation could have easily been turned around and one of the dogs kicked, causing a broken leg (which could happen quite easily with a loose dog nipping at a horse). Dogs on leash help promote safety for everyone using the trail system."

OK, I'm doin' my part. If you own a dog, please keep it on a leash. No, your beloved little pile of shit and fur is not an exception. Unless you're in an off-leash zone, keep your mutt on a leash.

At all times.


As someone who was attacked and bitten by an unleashed dog on the trails last fall, I'll go even further and encourage all dogless trail users to carry bear spray.

With all the brown bears in the area, and salmon preparing to swim up Campbell Creek, bear spray is a good idea on the Hillside anyway, and if an unleashed dog gives you attitude, you can defend yourself by nuking the bastard.


Jill said...

I was attacked by a pit bull on a trail in Arcadia, Maine (A national park where dogs aren't even allowed on trails.) It bit me twice in the thigh and took off. By the time I caught up to the owner, she was indignant as well, and went as far as scolding me for "scaring" her dog. If I ever again come across a vicious unleashed mutt on a trail, I will feel no remorse in emptying an entire can of bear spray right in its ugly face. I imagine it will be quite satisfying, actually.

bosskat said...

Perhaps this is a case when the dog should have been walking the owner, no?

daveIT said...

Carry two cans of bear to unload on the owner too.

Jim said...

Around here it's a status symbol, apparently, to have a dog well-trained enough that it doesn't need a leash. Interesting that so many of those well-trained dogs end up biting someone. Obviously a well-trained dog can't be blamed - blame the person who gets bit.

A few years ago, my dog was provoked by a small, yippy dog at a leashless dog park. After taking the smaller dog's shit for 5 minutes or so, my dog finally grabbed the little dog and kicked its ass pretty good. The dog's owner was in hysterics (seriously, if you have a sub-10 lb dog with attitude, you should really not take it to play with the 100-pounders), and when I finally managed to get my dog off the poor bastard he was trouncing, some prick walked by and informed me "it's not the dog's fault, man". Yeah, right, if only I had the Crocodile Dundee connection with my dog that he has with his, my dog wouldn't act like a dog. As a dog owner, I can state with confidence that a lot of dog owners are morons.

Chico Gino said...

This past weekend I was on a 70 mile solo ride between Chico and Red Bluff, California. I was chased at 25-30mph for a half mile by a duo that consisted of a Rottweiler and a Pit Bull - down a public road that splits walnut orchards. Luckily it was a flat stretch, and I was able to out-sprint them. Next time I do that ride I'm considering strapping a .22 caliber pistol loaded with birdshot onto my downtube.

Anonymous said...

If we're pepper-spraying creatures that are in places they aren't supposed to be, can I mace the mountain bikers who almost ran me down on the no-bikes section of the Glen Alps trailhead last week?

Fact: Every group in society -- including dog-owners and, yes, mountain bikers -- has its share of assholes. There might be a better approach to an issue than simply "nuking the bastard(s)."

Like that sage, Rodney King, asked, "Can't we all just get along???"

Tim said...

There's a key difference between a dog and a human. You can talk to, and try to reason with, a human.

Maybe it's a matter of perspective. Did the mountain biker who almost ran into you, realize he was close enough (and moving fast enough) to be intimidating? You can talk to him and have that discussion. Maybe he'll learn from it and slow down around hikers in the future. And you're both, presumably, tax-paying citizens with a right to use the trail.

I do not feel that unleashed animals have a right to public trails, and the law agrees with me. When a dog attacks a person on the trail, it's a primal behavior that's best met with swift, decisive action to stop the attack.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried to reason with a rabid bicyclist?

Tim said...

Hell yes. You should meet some of the people I ride with!

Seriously, if they're rabid, then yes to your original question. Mace 'em.