Jim Furlong: Who’s A Good Boy?

Tell me this isn’t so. Consideration is being given to have dogs run free off leash on a part of the Three Pond Barrens. There is a group called the Coalition for Off-Leash Animals and they met with Pippy Park officials to discuss that notion. 

Well colour me; OPPOSED. First of all, I don’t like dogs “off leash.” Why? Because they are animals. They don’t reason things out like we do. They just act like: animals. I say facetiously to dog people that their dog hasn’t bitten them; yet. 

We don’t talk; dog

I told you a few years ago about my friend Alan who was grabbed and bitten on the hand by a pit bull at a ferry terminal… When Allan reached to free his hand the dog latched on to the other one. Alan lost track of the number of stitches that day. 

That dog actually was “on-leash.” The proud owner had just announced to Allan the dog was friendly. As to what prompted that attack; the answer is, nobody knows. We don’t talk; dog. 

A few years ago I told you a story about how I was walking on a trail at the park near my home when a large dog, snarling and barking, came running at me down the path. I didn’t run. I just stood my ground and the dog’s two owners came running up and grabbed the off-leash animal. The dog was going nuts barking when the embarrassed woman announced that it was my beret that was upsetting him. Well there you go. To the dog’s owners it was ME that was the problem. I guess I should have checked with the dog about what I was going to wear that day. 

That’s owners for you. They have an absolute belief their dog is great. “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy!” To my friends who are dog owners I always joke that their dog hasn’t bitten them ….yet. I do notice with interest that the Coalition for Off-Leash Animals has a petition on the go with 12 hundred signatures supporting them. First of all, in a city and surrounding area of nearly a quarter of a million people, that isn’t a lot of support. 

The other point is that petitions have nothing to do with right and wrong. You could have a petition to bring back public hanging on the Three Pond Barrens but that will never make it right. 

Some questions

Now I don’t know all the details but I have a couple of questions. Will the dogs be free to kill all the rabbits and squirrels up on Three Pond Barrens? Can the dogs fight each other in the woods? Will little spaniels have to deal with giant Dalmatians? Who polices THEIR behaviour? Saying “Who’s a good boy?” won’t do it. 

If the off leash park becomes a reality and I go up to Three Pond Barrens with my son; to keep him close to me and safe… will I have to put him on a leash?

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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