Don’t ban the dogs
Every year, yet another fun social event has been designated off-limits to dogs.
In a county that seems to have more pets per capita than anywhere else in the country, this is truly a very sad thing to see happen. Banishment only serves to compound the problem of pets not being socialized properly.
The more events that dogs and their owners attend, the more socialized the pets become and thus less chance of a disturbance. Parents and their children share in this socialization training. Everyone should know not to approach a strange dog, even if it is on leash and with its owner.
Always ask first and then approach the dog with a closed, outstretched hand to say hello. Both children and pets alike are enriched by interaction with each other. Segregating pets from events only contributes to the increasing lack of socialization skills taught to pets and children alike – they learn to fear each other, not love each other.
This situation is only going to get worse with pets being banished from more and more public events.
This brings up the subject of dog parks in our area.
Denver, Boulder, Aspen, Estes Park and other world class resort areas have all cared enough about their animals and owners to ensure a safe place where dogs can be off leash without harm coming to anyone. Why, in a county like ours, where the dogs outnumber children, do we not provide these kind of places? Currently, L.A.P.S. and a number of other interested people are looking into the possibility of dog parks and have gotten some positive feedback from the county.
We ultimately need to designate areas in every town that meet the parameters of a good dog park: water access, shade, and grass cover.
How can a dog become a socialized, happy and non-aggressive animal if it is constantly at the end of a six foot leash?
Just like we have created children’s playgrounds, skate parks, ice rinks, softball fields and white water areas, we should be also be allowed to have designated areas in every town just for dogs and their owners. The cost would be minimal, with the benefits far outweighing the initial investment: happy, well adjusted and socialized pets and fewer dogs on the bike paths and other dangerous places that nonpet owners frequent.
Bruce and Sally Beerup
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