Be a responsible, respectful dog owner

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Dear fellow dog owners:

I’ve lived in Sandpoint for almost 18 years now, and have watched the city slowly become more dog friendly, but it’s up to us, the dog owners, to keep it that way.

Leash laws exist for a reason: to keep your dog, others’ dogs, and all people safe. I don’t care how friendly you “know” your dog to be, you simply cannot anticipate how the animal will react to all stimulus or how other animals will react to your dog. Although I love dogs with all my heart, I don’t like large dogs pushing into me or running at me, and neither do those with balance issues or frail bones. I have two little dogs, one who is almost 14 years old. She also doesn’t need a 140-pound “friendly” dog approaching her at full speed.

My dogs would certainly prefer to be off leash; who wouldn’t? However, they are kept on leash for their safety, for the safety of others on the trail, and because it’s the law. If you wouldn’t let your human child run up to a stranger because it’s unsafe and annoying, you shouldn’t let your dog do that, either.

We are stewards to our animals, and they deserve our use of common sense. Keep your dog on a leash in public parks and trails, clean up after them, and respect your fellow walkers/runners.

REBECCA PALMER

Sandpoint

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