Be a responsible, respectful dog owner

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Dear fellow dog owners:

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

Leash laws exist for a reason: to keep your dog, othersí dogs, and all people safe. I donít care how friendly you ďknowĒ 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 donít 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 doesnít need a 140-pound ďfriendlyĒ dog approaching her at full speed.

My dogs would certainly prefer to be off leash; who wouldnít? However, they are kept on leash for their safety, for the safety of others on the trail, and because itís the law. If you wouldnít let your human child run up to a stranger because itís unsafe and annoying, you shouldnít 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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