LETTER: Dear dog owner

I know you love your pooch and you want me to too but there’s a problem. Not all dog owners are responsible and by letting their out-of-control dogs run or jump at my children they’ve made us fearful.

We’ve been working hard at overcoming our fears, practicing standing tall like a tree and getting close to well-trained dogs but just when we finally start to do better another uncontrolled dog sets us back again. Just last week alone we had three unpleasant encounters.

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First, an unaccompanied dog jumped on my child while playing in the neighbourhood playground. Then while on a bike ride an aggressive dog ran loose in front of us while chasing a bunch of motorbikers. And then while playing in our own yard we received a surprise visit from our neighbour’s dog.

If I don’t sound excited to see your dog it’s because I’m just trying to keep my family safe and you urging that “he likes children” or “she’s friendly” only tells me that you’re not interested in helping.

And I know I’m not alone in this because as I’ve shared my story I’ve heard from many others who share my fears for their children and their pets or worse, have been attacked. We’ve been limiting our travel radiuses to keep our families safe, but enough is enough. Our public spaces belong to all of us.

Please, be responsible for your dog and if you see someone not doing so, call him or her on it. And sure, having dedicated off-leash areas is great but the way it is right now it’s too scary for many of us to enjoy the beautiful trails and beaches. This town is for all of us and with a little teamwork, we can look forward to many pleasant encounters for our children and our pets.

Lauren Baldwin
Squamish

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