My wife and I are increasingly beset by the dogs of custodians who elect to walk their dogs off-leash in the Town of Comox, including the playground at Ecole Robb, and in Mack Laing Park.
Over the past five weeks, we have had dogs come up to us, interested in our small, leashed, female who is averse to interactions with aggressive dogs. The Regional District bylaw on Animal Control is very specific: an animal is deemed to be at large if it is not on a leash in public spaces unless the space is designated as an off-leash park for dogs. Ecole Robb is not an off-leash park; it’s a playground.
My main beef is that in most cases the offending animal is a pup of perhaps six to eight months. They are learning from their owners that they can approach anyone at will, anywhere and any time of their choosing, and that they can do so with impunity. Just today, in Mac Laing, a younger woman was ‘controlling’ her young dog with a stick, waving it in its face as I paused and waited for her to assert her authority over the animal. She indicated that I should pass them, whereupon the pup got alarmed and bit at my calf. She must know that dogs love sticks in their faces. It bespeaks an irresponsible, uneducated, and probably a disinterested owner from whom my only recourse will have to be a complaint to enforcement officers, if I can find one.
In these trying times, we all need to toe the line and be respectable citizens who can count on each other. Owners who walk their dogs off-leash in public spaces are showing that they are self-indulgent, negligent, and lack empathy for their pets.