Saturday, 31 August 2013

Doggone right to have fun

Letter to the editor in The Daily Examiner 14 August 2013:

Doggone right to fun
JOHN Fraser in his letter to the editor appears to be totally intolerant of all dog behaviour and perhaps wants all dogs on lead, even in allocated lead-free areas.
Claiming a dog ran up to him and instantly started to bite him - perhaps the event is coloured by his apparent lack of understanding of dogs and their behaviour.
I do not wish to take away the fact that there are indeed some aggressive dogs out there and they should always be on a lead in a public place, but it is more rare than common that you will be attacked while walking along the beach.
Dogs will run and play and you will, as you will with children, get in the way of their play. It is not aggression and something that is innocent.
One can't complain that a dog is simply enjoying frolicking along the beach. I have seen people get dirty looks simply because a dog has trotted past them or trotted alongside them going along its merry way. With these types of people the dogs can do no right. It is often these people who get aggressive and the dog is scared off.
Dogs along the beach, for the majority of the time, get along with one another and greet people with a sniff or a wag of tail and sometimes an over enthusiastic jump, which generally has the owner apologising for and correcting the dog's behaviour.
I have rarely come across aggressive dogs in my many years of walking dogs along the beach and I have come across fewer lousy dog owners along the beach. I have not had any uncontrolled dog run up to me and 'attack' me as John has described of his 'many times uncontrolled dogs have run at me or my partner'. This just isn't normal. No one has that much bad luck so many times walking along the beach!
I believe John Fraser's letter comes from more overreaction and lack of understanding than it does of any real problem. I believe this as I see the reaction from the very few people who walk along the beach without animals and who do not like the idea it is also a leash-free area. They overreact to the slightest thing a dog does, from its walking past them, greeting them with a touch of a wet nose on their hand or as it bounds along well past them. There are many more non-leash-free areas you can visit without any terror of being brushed past by a dog.
He emotionally claims "something must be done to stop this.." claiming an elderly person unable to walk well would be hurt by such pooches. These elderly often have dogs with them (and don't think it is always the little fluffies they have) or if they are so poorly balanced they are not inclined to visit the beach.
By claiming something must be done the usual mentality comes into play by the 'few buggering it up for the majority'. Yes, the whingers who whinge over everything animal, those squeaky wheels and those troublemakers claiming 'something must be done' are the ones who bugger it up for the majority of sensible people who understand the behaviour, John.
Celeste Warren

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