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Control your dogs on the trails

I have recently started using Red Deer city walkways, specifically in the Oriole Park area. They are great — lots of greenery, peace and quiet, the sweet smell of the caragana blossoms, the sounds of birds chirping — all great for physical and mental well-being. Great place to walk and take in the relaxing surroundings.

But wait! What’s this? Suddenly I hear dog barking and something nipping at my heels!

I turn around and see a little white mutt, off leash, barking at me and trying to bite me on the ankle. What about the leash, lady? No response.

I carry on and see a lady with a big speckled dog on-leash, muzzled, coming towards me. Just as we are passing, the dog lunges at me. She can’t hold it back and it strikes me on my arm!

The muzzle saved me from being bitten. I have a few words with her: “Lady, keep your !# dog under control!”

Reply:” Oh I’m sorry!”

Well, at least my heart rate is up. I soldier on thinking my excitement is done for today.

I’m wrong. I round a bend in the trail, going towards a bench overlooking the river — a great place to sit quietly and catch my breath and take in the view.

As I come up to the bench, two little black mutts jump out at me, barking loudly and trying to get at me. Luckily they are tied to the fence rail. Owners nowhere to be seen. So much for my rest stop.

Disgusted, I turn around and head back to my start point. Unbelievably, what do I see coming towards me? You guessed it — a big black dog, on leash being held by a lady, accompanied by a male companion.

I get as far over to my side of the path as possible just to be safe. When they are about five feet away, the dog jumps, the lady can’t hold it and the dog has both paws on my shoulders and we are eye ball to eye ball!

Fortunately, I wasn’t knocked over and didn’t get bitten! The man grabs the leash and pulls the dog off me. He has a few words with her, as do I, but she is ready to cry, so I carry on.

Well now my heart rate is through the roof!

The above took place between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. (24: Live Another Day?) Next time I go for a walk I will be prepared, like Jack. I will be breathing heavily (already do that), wearing knee-high hiking boots with steel toes and metal cleats and carrying a can of bear spray — not to use on the dogs but to use on the dog owners!

Oh, and by the way, I counted no less than seven steamy mounds of dog crap on my 30 minute adventure. Shame!

Frank Vas

Red Deer



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