Doggy étiquette on the Dunes

Dog walkers asks others to keep their dogs leashed when approaching other dogs.

Dear Editor

Ashcroft is very fortunate to have a large open area which we refer to as the Dunes where residents (and visitors) can allow their four legged friends to burn off of their energies as well as try to help papa stay a bit healthier as well.

I have been walking our two large dogs out in the dunes for over 15 years now. It has become very apparent over the last few months that the numbers of dog walkers has doubled.

Most are very considerate, pleasant, and a joy to meet with. However, there always are a number of people for whatever reason seem hell-bent on causing what could be a disaster with terrible results for all sides.

It is not my intention, nor my objective, to impose any rules of any type on any two- or four-legged critters that enjoy this area! I simply offer this perspective with the hope it will avert an accident  sometime down the road.

I cannot count the times that, as we walked our dogs unleashed, we have suddenly encountered another pet owner coming towards us, also with their pet unleashed. I make a mad dash to call my dogs and place them on leashes, while the other owner smiles sweetly and offers “Oh Fluffy’s friendly – he won’t harm anyone.”

Please don’t assume that the “other” dog is as friendly as yours. I have witnessed several altercations that have thankfully ended without major injuries to animals or to friendships. Please understand: Maybe Fluffy is friendly, but my dog could Eat Him!! My large white male is extremely strong, and on more than one occasion he has pulled me right off of my feet. I am very confident that he would never bite a person he encountered along the trail, but he could sure cause trouble with another dog. Of any size!

Everyone should have the pleasure of allowing their dog to run, but should you encounter another person or animal coming over the ridge toward you, or coming down the trail toward you, please, leash your dog.

Looking forward to seeing you “In the Dunes”.

Lee and Sandra Desmarais

Ashcroft