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Leash ’em up

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

Here’s a news flash for all those people jogging, biking or walking local paths holding leashes not attached to their dogs: If you need to use that leash, it’s going to be too late.

There are farms, ranches and other places dogs can run untethered, and our fair valley has a handful of parks where dogs can run unfettered. But our local walking-biking-jogging paths aren’t exempt from local leash laws, and we have those laws for some very good reasons.

Your dogs may be friendly. Maybe they wouldn’t hurt a flea, or knock over a child with a jubilant welcome, or engage in any other anti-social behavior. But your dog probably isn’t that good. Most dogs aren’t.

Those of us on the path with leashed dogs don’t know your dogs. We don’t know how they behave, or how friendly they are. We don’t want your dogs “playing” with ours if we’re trying to train our animals.

Here’s another news flash: Not everyone likes dogs. Some people are allergic. Others don’t have any experience with them. Still others have had bad experiences with dogs that aren’t as “harmless” as yours.

Finally, a path can be unsafe for any unleashed dog. Dogs are predators. It’s in their DNA to chase things that run away from them, whether those things are animals, scared kids, or someone riding a bike.

Once they’re in full-on pursuit mode, most dogs won’t respond to even the most forceful owners’ voice commands, even if there’s a gravel truck coming up the street.

Get a clue, folks.

Next time you take your dog for a run, jog or walk, hook that leash up before you leave the yard.

The life you save could be that of your four-legged friend.

” Scott N. Miller for the Editorial Board


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