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Do we ask too much of dogs and their owners?

Re: Edmonton dog on grass

No, this letter does not concern canines indulging in marijuana in our province’s capital city. Instead, it is merely a brief commentary regarding an Edmonton dog owner recently having to pay a $100 ticket she received for allowing her dog to tread in certain green spaces of Rundle Park.

The dog owner had been told by park officials that she was permitted to walk her dog only on the sidewalks in designated areas; the woman countered, in part, by saying that cyclists zipped along those same sidewalks while often crowding uncomfortably close to foot traffic.

Personal observations: During winter months, some dog owners outfit their pooches in mukluk-style boots; much of the summer thus far, however, has been stifling hot, and I assume that most, if not all, dogs walking in urban areas have never been given the option of wearing protective footwear. The pads of these dogs’ feet remain unprotected from the blistering heat the sidewalks exude. Also, the majority of dogs seem to have a penchant for rolling in grass (think: you’re treating yourself to a massage in a spa).

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but — to the best of my knowledge — people can be credited with discarding cigarette butts, paper wraps, used condoms, and other garbage on both grassy areas and sidewalks. Canines cannot, because they do not. Excretory matter? Dogs seem to prefer discretion when they feel the need to ‘relieve themselves’ (i.e., squat while off of the main thoroughfares), and most dog owners/caregivers conscientiously — and quickly — clean up after and dispose of their dogs’ excrements.

Yes, there are applicable signs posted throughout Rundle Park, and other green areas, too, I’m sure. Which causes me to wonder if birds, mice, squirrels, gophers, et al, must do their natural duties prior to entering these designated park areas.

Indeed, I really wasn’t aware that those critters could read.

Colleen McNaught


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