off leash dogs

"My dog is friendly" they shout out as their dog charges us.   How many times have I heard this?  If we have snuck up on someone off leash, which happens from time to time, I get it.  But typically even when people see us at the park, they unleash. 

The other day I pulled up to one of my favorite parks when I saw a woman entering the park with her two dogs.  Neither were on a leash; so I waited to see what she was doing.  "Great," she was walking around the park.  I called out to her to leash her dogs.  Like most every person I run into with dogs off leash, her dog would not come.  She called and called while Elsa and I waited to head out on our walk.  

I don't trust people.

My big issue with dogs off leash is it is typically people who have no control over their dog and don't understand their dog.  I had a guy say to me "he won't come," when I asked him to leash his dog.  Ummmmmm...what?  Yep, true.  Like the woman in the park; she could barely get her hands on her dog.  

She finally leashed her Golden Retriever up and had a straggling Doxie trotting behind; because she only had one leash.  Seemed like we could head out so I got Elsa out of the car and we started on our way.  Not minutes into our walk I turned around to see that the woman had unleashed her Golden and it was now romping in the park with an off leash pit bull.  I watched the interaction and it was too intense.  The two got into it, sounding like two Grizzly bears brawling.  The Golden was the instigator and after ending the first fight he immediately went after the other dog again.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  

The man with the pit bull leashed up his dog and head out.  Elsa and I were almost at the car at this point and got in.  I was furious.  

                         People like this ruin it for everyone.  

Should you unleash your dog?  Perhaps.  But ask yourself this.  

- Is there anyone else around?

This is the most important question.

Even if there are no other dogs around; there may be people who don't feel comfortable around unleashed dogs.  At one of the parks where I walk there are a couple of people who are very uncomfortable around dogs.  Unleashed dogs are downright scary to them.  Respect that.  

No matter how friendly your dog is; other people and/or dogs may not want an interaction.  If you would like your dog to have an interaction with another, ask first ON LEASH.  

- look around, is there anyone else in the area?
- is the area a safe place to unleash?

Just because others are out with their dog, like you; does not mean that they want anything to do with you.  This is something that always puzzles me.  If you are out for a nice dinner; do you want to interact with everyone else doing the same?  NO.  

Think about it.