Letter: Dogs, bikes, and hikes | VailDaily.com

Letter: Dogs, bikes, and hikes

I need to start this letter by saying that I love dogs. I have always had dogs and it would be hard to live without one. So this is not a complaint about dogs, but it is a concern about allowing dogs off-leash in crowded places.

In the past week, I have experienced two dangerous situations when a dog was off-leash. While on a hike at Grouse Creek loop, a woman was riding her bike with her two dogs that were both off-leash. A large moose was leisurely eating grass in the pond when one of the dogs jumped into the water. The owner yelled to the dog but that didn’t stop him. A group of us were hiking past the pond and although it was exciting to see the moose, we were all fearful of what the moose would do when the dog jumped in the pond.

Fortunately, the moose was not interested in the bait, but it could have resulted in a potentially dangerous situation for the dog and for all of us. The moose would likely have won the battle. The woman on the bike was unfazed, she knew the moose hangs out in the pond, but thought it would be gone since it was late morning.

The following week, a group of us were on a bike ride from EagleVail to Vail. While on the crowded Gore Valley bike path near Donovan Park, another woman had her dog off-leash. One of the women in the front of our biking group specifically told the dog owner that the dog should be on a leash. Just minutes later, the dog jumped across the bike path and one of my friends on her bike braked hard to avoid hitting the dog and she fell backward into the brush and almost fell into the river.

I know that every dog owner thinks they know their dog and is sure the dog will listen. That isn’t often the case. With the summer season here, the valley is getting more crowded and the hiking and biking paths are filled with people. I implore dog owners to please keep your dog on leash. This isn’t just about protecting people, but also the dogs. No one wants to get hurt while enjoying the beauty here and no one wants to be responsible for causing an accident because of their dog. Let’s be kind and considerate of others even if it means you have to hold a leash when taking your dog for a walk.

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Michelle Ribner

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