“Whoa!” Simon exclaimed, tightening his grip on the leash and pulling his border collie Spruce out of the path of a run-away German shepherd.
“Sorry!” the owner of the shepherd called out as he jogged on by, his dog running merrily ahead, dodging in and out of the bike lane, oblivious to the cars rushing past.
Simon shook his head and continued his walk. Around the next turn he ran into his friend Betty, who was walking her chihuahua LuLu.
“Thank you!” Simon immediately said, stopping next to her.
“Well, you’re certainly welcome! … But what for?” she asked with a laugh as their dogs greeted each other.
“For walking your dog on a leash! I can’t believe what a problem it has become in Our Town – it seems like nobody wants to walk their dog on a leash anymore,” he explained. Betty nodded.
“Oh, I’ve noticed that, too,” Betty agreed. “It’s kind of surprising, really. Not only is it inconsiderate of other people and their pets, it’s so dangerous for the dog! My LuLu is very well trained, but I would never take the risk of her running away from me, running into traffic, or running into another BIGGER dog! I care about her too much.”
“I feel the same way. Also, if your dog is running around loose it’s not always easy to tell where they’ve gone to the bathroom and now you’ve created TWO problems. There is nothing worse than setting out on a nice walk with Spruce only to end it by walking through someone else’s mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after my own dog, but I don’t like cleaning up after other people’s!” Simon pointed out.
Betty shook her head. “If a person can’t stand the idea of their dog being on a leash, then I would suggest they go to the dog park before walking them loose around Our Town. It’s a nice little area and a great way for dogs to socialize with each other – not to mention the owners. That’s where I’m headed right now to meet up with the Soupster and his new friend.”
“Hey, that sounds like a great idea!” Simon nodded. “How about I join the two of you and let LuLu and Spruce play a little more, and maybe seeing a group of dogs having fun SAFELY will inspire other people to stop by.”
“See? A perfect solution for people who don’t like to use a leash to walk their dogs – and ESPECIALLY for people whose dogs seem to like to walk them!” she laughed, pointing down the street. Simon turned around to see the Soupster heading in the direction of the dog park, waving happily at them while being all but dragged off his feet by one energetic Lab – on his leash and looking happy as could be.
– Submitted by Jennifer Truman