Please, Leash Your Dog

Hello Friends. 

I will get straight to the point here. Please, keep your dog on a leash. He or she has instincts, teeth, and sharp nails.

Man’s Best Friend

Recently, I read two articles from Out There Colorado where a dog was shot by a hiker in the woods.

Person Shoots Off Leash Dog Colorado Trail

He Was Going For The Kill Shot

There were/are a range of emotions in the comments of these posts. My opinion is this; dogs must be on a leash where the law directs it. Dogs belong to the owner and the owner is responsible for the actions of their pet. 

Yes! Beautiful! Love It!

You can search online and find many of off leash dogs attacking folks and harassing wildlife on the trail. There are some dog owners who have complete disregard for the wellbeing of others.

In the instance below, the owner refused to take accountability or responsibility for her dog despite numerous attacks and was upset with the police about putting the dog down. Dog Killed In St Pete

My Dog Would NEVER do that!

Here are some of my experiences with dogs and the owners that may provide clarity on this firm stance.

That will be there for many years if not for a lifetime.

Shawano

My earliest recollection of dogs was Shawano, my first dog. When my dad enlisted in the army, he ran off, never to be seen again. (Not my dad, the dog) I wonder if a leash would have prevented this.  

The Bed Encounter

It is the younger years that are the most defining. Somewhere in this time period, I was brought to a babysitter for a couple of hours. The old man and his wife had a dog that he put in bed with me. Every time I even flinched, the dog growled. It was a terrifying moment that etched itself in my psyche. 

The Second Bed Encounter

Randomly, I feel compelled to say this. Many of my readers utilize additional vowels in their English. So, while I speak American and think I speak English, I use words like labor instead of labour.

That being said, when I moved with my family to Colourful Colourado at the age of 6,  we lived in an apartment and somehow acquired a grown cocker spaniel. I bonded pretty well with the little guy and I used to wrestle with him. One day he even ate a wretched tasting dinner for me. 

All was going well until one night I was in bed and the dog jumped on top of me, peeing all over. That was the last I saw of that spaniel.

This instance also contributed to my perception of dogs with unrestrained behavior.

The Bicycle

As I rolled up to second grade, I was the proud owner of a blue Huffy bicycle. I was riding it down a hill to my friend’s house along the sidewalk when a German Shepherd hopped the fence and knocked me off of the seat and onto the ground. I believe me calling for Jesus is the only thing that prevented further attack from the unsecured animal.

The Golden Retriever

Moving on to my preteen and teen years, we had a neighbor who let his 2 golden retrievers run everywhere, even after one of them bit me on the leg, leaving a scar. The focus of the owner was that I must not have been hurt too bad as I was playing football the same day after the attack. Apparently it was ok for the dog owner for her dogs to draw people blood. My neighbors threatened to call the police on me for swinging a stick at the dogs to create space when I encountered them near the creek behind my house. 

The German Shepherd

I grew up along a creek in Colorado Springs and have traveled many miles of it in search of the varmint. I still haven’t not found it, but that is another story. 

Attune to the changes in my environment, I have always kept my mind sharp for the telltale jingle of a dog collar. On this instance, I heard it coming a mile off and was in a tree as sure as my name is Benjamin. 

When the owner approached and leashed his dog, he was amused. I clearly was not. He explained I could have been a bad person and his dog justifiably found me because I was not on the trail. When I became argumentative, he threatened to unleash his dog. At that point, I was a captive audience and was compelled to listen to the man rant about his life. This instance concreted in my head that perhaps the owners of some dogs are the ones out of control.

The Dalmation

This one is not pretty. If you are squeamish, just scroll on down to the next one.

With the ever increasing desire to continue my forays in the forest, oftentimes alone, I learned the value of putting on a strong front when confronted by predators. I was riding my bike on a trail when a dalmation came tearing after me. I dismounted and put my bike between myself and the ferocious dog that was making headway on it’s attack. I literally could not hold it off. I pulled a hatchet from my waistband and lifted it. The dog seemed to understand the meaning and gave me a little space, but continued growling at me.

His owners approached about 100 yards away and began yelling at me to put the hatchet away and I refused yelling at them to restrain their dog. 

One pulled out a flip phone and said they were calling the police. I tried backing away with my bike and the dog followed. 

Suddenly, the dog lunged and I swung my weapon. My aim was true and the dog fell to the ground as if hit with an axe. The owners began screaming that they would kill me, and began running towards me. I fled and did not return to the area for many months. I was unsure if I had committed a crime and was afraid. I don’t think the dog made it. 

The Akita

I survived to be an adult, but was still in a stage where I played games in the park with my friends. The addiction was melee, a very physical live action role play with middle age weaponry that left real welts. 

I was observing this day, as I was watching my daughter. She had fallen asleep in her car seat under a shady tree where we had a vantage point to see the simulated mayhem.

They had just completed a round, which takes three or four minutes tops and asked me to join and I agreed. I thought it was a relatively cool day and my daughter was sleeping so why not. 

When I was playing, it wasn’t a fake weapon, but horror that hit me. An Akita was sniffing my daughter’s car seat. I ran towards the dog yelling and it did not budge. When I approached, it lunged at me, going for the neck. Now, this dog was powerful and it knocked me on the ground. I was fighting for my life. 

I heard someone screaming at me and I ignored it. This dog wanted my neck. I failed to reach the box cutter that was in my pocket because my hands were in use. 

My friends responded probably much quicker than I thought and ran the owner and the dog off. 

The fight was focused and I experienced tunnel vision or vasoconstriction. I did not know what was going on around me.

They told me that as soon as the dog lunged, the owner came up yelling at me and was trying to kick me in the ribs. 

Never, Ever, Leave your child unattended. I was wrong. 

The German Shepherd

So, years passed and I was trying to get enough dirt to fill a raised garden bed for my grandmother and I did not want to pay for it. I went down to the woods and began filling buckets with a mix of nutrient heavy silt from the creek when again, the telltale sound of a dog collar approached. I drew my knife with a high guard and a very fast german shepherd made a circle around me, nearly getting my hindquarters. If you have ever seen a police dog, good luck being faster. I slashed to create distance and the german shepherd and I played a game of reflexes that I was bound to lose.

Similar to the stories above, the owner screamed and began recording with her phone, demanding I put away my weapon. I refused and notified her and her camera that I would defend myself. She called her dog and put it on a leash. I placed my knife in my pocket. 

She continued yelling and stated her dog would !$&! me up. She said her dog was upset because I was stealing dirt. I told her that she was threatening me and asked her if she wanted that on her video as well. She left the area, and I completed my project. 

2020

Oh, you thought I was done. In my last hikes through a rural area, two dogs were sent to “sic” me. Fortunately, I was able to talk both down, but I should not have had to.

In addition, an 11 year veteran of life experienced a personal encounter with a canine this year as evidenced by the picture above.

There you have it. This is a small handful of dog encounters in my 37 years.

In many of these instances unrestrained dogs resulted in negative outcomes that did not have to happen. 

There is an incomprehensible disconnect with some folks as to the antisocial behavior they are exhibiting at home and on the trail.

In conclusion, when I see that a Person Shoots Off Leash Dog Colorado Trail and He Was Going For The Kill Shot accompanied by all the commentary, I raise a biased eyebrow..

Author: The Storyteller

Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down.

93 thoughts on “Please, Leash Your Dog”

  1. Man, that is a lot of dog attacks! When we lived in CO, whenever I went hiking in the mountains or took our kids to parks, I was armed with a .45 caliber Glock, just like a cop. If any of those dogs had tried to attack me or my family, I would have shot the dog and would have been well within my rights to do so. There is no duty to retreat regarding self defense in Colorado. If someone or some animal attacks you, then you have the right to defend yourself to the death if necessary. I hate it when people let their dog off the leash. Glad you are okay after all that! God bless!

    1. I used to make fun of trekking poles. They are excellent at creating distance. It is not my desire to harm someone’s pet, but I do not desire to be harmed either. Good to here from you Ryan!

  2. A sad, but real truth. Many people trust in their pet dog too much. Yes, you may have trained it well and you see it as a member of the family but you never know what will trigger a dog to attack. And many people are genuinely scared of dogs

    1. I agree, Hannah Gandhi. Folks can be afraid of dogs and even close family can be at risk. I was bitten by my karate teacher’s dog and they had to put him down. I felt as though me and the dog got along well and I was sorely mistaken. Thanks for stopping by Hannah! Don’t be a stranger!

      1. You’re most welcome 😊🌺 Dogs can act on instinct, they don’t always mean to harm people it’s just in their nature. But in some cases, some dogs can be too violent to keep as pets.

  3. I don’t know if I knew about a couple of those. It’s the owner’s responsibility to keep their beast on a leash at all times. I will see if I can find that article by a veterinarian whose highly trained dog is ALWAYS on a leash. People who don’t use a leash don’t love their animal. “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
    Proverbs 12:10 KJV
    https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.12.10.KJV

  4. My goodness, I’ve never heard of anyone having so many bad experiences with dogs! There are always lots of unleashed dogs on hiking trails in Northern Arizona, too, but I’ve never heard of an attack. I’m glad you’ve escaped all of this peril with your life! 🌞

    1. Ha ha! I imagine a lot go unreported. There is a stigma against talking negatively about dogs. I will studiously avoid the trails in Northern Arizona. Thanks for the info and thanks for dropping by today!

  5. Those are many dogs. I am glad you are fine.

    A dog once tried to attack my daughter when she was four. I lifted her up and was ready to use my bare hands if the dog went further.

    I pretended to pick a stone, it ran away. I was very angry. I do not like dogs that are not on a leash. There are very many here.

    1. You know, it seems that having a stone in your hand is a universal language for dogs. I have made a habit of having a few in my pocket. Way to go momma, you are a hero!🤠🔥🌾🌾🌾🌾

        1. It is a shame that folks cannot follow societal norms that are clearly written on park signs and agreed upon as law. You should be able to walk safely in all public places. I consider this expectation to be a basic right of citizenship. Stand tall, Berinaberrry!

  6. I agree that dogs should be leashed when they aren’t in an enclosed area. It sounds like you’ve been very unlucky in your encounters with dogs. I hope you’ve had some good experiences to balance the bad ones.

        1. Me too! I am not half bad connecting with dogs. I was prompted to write this piece after all the backlash folks get protecting themselves from unruly critters attacking. Being a small man and walking alone often, I have many years of fending off ruffians with four legs or two in the highways and hedges.

  7. Huh. That’s a lot of attacks. I’m gonna be honest, I have a pretty big issue with your attitude on this one. Dogs respond very negatively to fear and aggression, and your stories illustrate both. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that your traumatic experiences with dogs have influenced your behavior towards them in a way that makes more attacks inevitable. Don’t get me wrong, owners should be leashing their dogs, but you are behaving in a way that brings this on yourself. Also, if you had hatcheted my dog I would certainly have called law enforcement on you. That’s not cool. I don’t mean any disrespect by this, I just believe that there is a certain dimension missing in all of this.

        1. If a young lady dresses up to the 9s for a party, and has towalk home at 2 in the morning, she may feel vulnerable and insecure. Does this give someone the right to force her into a car and attack her? Is it her fault that she is attacked? If she resists an attacker, is she faulted for the self defense or applauded?

          1. I don’t think that’s a fair analogy. We’re talking about animals, not people. Sexual assault perpetrators are assholes, I don’t believe that they judge insecurity in the same way that dogs do. The dogs are acting out in self defense as well, and your stories illustrate the fact that they have some reason for doing so.

          2. So, it is ok for a dog to attack me as it is defending itself? Great, due to the inability of the property (the dog….They are still considered property) to make appropriate and legal decisions, the caretaker is responsible for the actions of the property. If your dog attacked me, I would be justified to defend myself. You may be on the hook to pay for my medical bills and incur other liabilities. If you notice my title, it is an appeal to the owner of the potentially dangerous animal to secure it with a leash. You as an owner are putting an instant deiven animal in danger.

            Did you stop and think that I was a 130 pound teenager in the middle of the woods being attacked by adults when I swung the fatal blow? At any time they could or should have stopped the mayhem by calling the dog back. No, they wanted a scared teen to lower his defenses. They were safe as I cant possibly throw an axe 100 yards. Who was the perpetrator?

          3. I agree. The owners have a responsibility here that they were not upholding. I’m not faulting your argument there. Does that mean that you acted exactly as you should have acted? I’m not convinced on that front. I very rarely post comments that disagree with other bloggers, and I don’t mean to start a fight or anything like that. I just want to bring up some issues that I feel may be valuable. Do with it as you will.

          4. To my readers,
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            Is an amazing blog with well thought out comical stories salted and peppered with opinion pieces. I recommend that you subscribe to him immediately. He is an amazing writer.

            The conversation continues…

            I presented my case. I am not sure how many day to day interactions you have with disagreeable individuals. I have them every day in my line if work. When you ask me to armchair quarterback myself, it is something I have to do consistently. On that note, I am not sure how many outdoor adventures you have had in the highways and hedges of the town you grew up in to assertain if you have comparable experiences to make a judgement call on my choices.

            As for convincing you, I have nothing to prove to you. I am entertaining your sentiment because I respect you as a person.

            As for disagreement of comment, you are stating that my actions resulted in an attack.

            In the state of Wisconsin, the people have decided the following:

            The state of Wisconsin holds dog owners and keepers liable for all damages caused by dogs that run at large.

            It does not hold me liable for someone elses dog in a public place. I can walk in fear with impunity if I wish.😏 Those are your states laws.

            I feel your rare disagreement could have been placed on other persuits.

            While we likely agree to disagree on this matter, I say again that I have the utmost respect for your writing style, intellegence, and wisdom. You are among my favorite bloggers and I look forward to reading more.

    1. If your dog is on a leash he is completely under your control. Leash laws get way too ignored way too frequently. If you care about your dog you’ll obey the law. Even in wilderness areas dogs are supposed to be on a leash. It goes beyond irresponsible of a dog owner to not use a leash.at all times.

  8. I ride a bicycle and a few houses down, the owners have two good-sized dogs. Due to cars illegally blocking the sidewalk, I chose to ride the street on my block. The dogs are rarely both out as the same time, but they are always unleashed. I doubt I can outrun them on my bike, but most of the time one of the people there call them off once the dog starts growling at me. It’s been going on long enough, the dogs should now me as non-threatening.

          1. It is ok to reach out to authorities for a concern like this. You may get a positive response as well. Standing up to bullies keeps our community safe. The dogs are not the bully. The owner who does not give you free passage through a public place is.

    1. Her fear was rational as the owner clearly did not care about social norms in society. People and animals get hurt by unleased dogs all the time. It is a safety concern. My back yard was a bloodbath of dead chickens due to neighbors letting thier dogs run amuck. Dogs belong on a leash.
      Have a beautiful day Shanessa.

    1. As a solo hiker of small stature, I am quite passionate about this. Folks do not seem to understand the tension they cause when an animal that weighs almost as much as you bounds over for what we hope to be just a sniff.

        1. He he!

          My Australian Shepherd is like that. One blue, one brown. I find myself startled at how many folks see her as a killing machine, then I remind myself that while we interact peacefully in the yard, she is a predator at heart.

          I think the positive interactions folks have with their pets is an assumption that the love will pass to a stranger. This is not my experience.

  9. I lived in the San Francisco area (Bay area) during the horrible, mauling death of Diane Whipple. She was just bringing groceries into her apartment!! I had nightmares after hearing the details over and over and I am scared of big dogs to this day, as a result. But it was the owners, the people in care of the dogs that were at fault. The jury felt so as well. I should not be afraid and she should not have died that way. Owning a pet is a responsibility not to be taken lightly! Thank you, nephew!!

    1. I agree. I have had some pushback for writing this. Somehow, me preventing myself from being a victim is wrong to some folks.

      I am sorry you had to experience this, even on the news. Have a blessed, beautiful day, Auntie!

      1. Nephew, you have every right to prevent yourself from being a victim. Ms. Whipple needed someone like you on that horrible day. We don’t go out of our way to hurt animals, but wow, you cannot sacrifice a person’s life….. That dog was put down immediately after that horrific attack. Responsibility on the owners’ part would have prevented both deaths.

        Thanks, it was hard to get away from the images and my fear. There was a huge dog running around one house away a few days ago with no one around. I did not get out of my car….just drove away.

        Thanks! You have a beautiful, blessed day as well, nephew!

  10. Even lovely pets had tried going for the jugular when purposely annoyed beyond their tolerance (based on my own experience, at least). I”m wondering what more could an unleashed and distressed (or aggressive) animal do to a stranger. I have a vet friend who is always stressed at work–not with the animals, but with the owners. On a different note, I laughed at the interjection of the random thought, ie, American vs British English, lololol. By the way, they say “lead” here, not “leash”. Cheers, my friend 🐕‍🦺🦮🐩🐶

    1. I do my very best to avoid dogs on the trail, and I am not particularly fond of those that push an animal beyond it’s patience. For the sake of brevity, I wrote about two thirds of my experiences with aggressive dogs. I declined to mention by experiences as a Cub Scout selling popcorn door to door. Unruly dogs were just part of the business transaction.

      On another note, do you know what” I’m chuffed” means?

      1. If it’s the British version, then I don’t think you’re “chuffed” with me for annoying my pets–but lest you think I’m mean, it’s really just non-stop kissing when they just want to be left alone 😉

        Two-thirds of your death-defying experience is already painful to read (nothing to do with the story-telling, just the scary experience itself). The other third could perhaps be saved for the future (of course I’ll read it as well!). Keep safe! 🛡️

        1. Thank you for the grammar lesson! 😏

          In my travels, I have explored the lesser known places in my city and as a result, I have met a higher proportion of unsavory characters than a well travelled route. I appreciate our discussion friend!🤠🔥

          1. I read Eph 4 for my morning devotion today. I know you’re a practicing Christian too–so these will keep us even more safe: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of truth, and the gospel of peace on our feet. Cheers and a blessed day to you! ☀🍀

          2. I have the ESV version on my Kindle. When online I use Bible Gateway’s ESVUK translation. But I still read the ‘physical book’–easier for me to highlight, understand the context and flip the pages.

            Best wishes on your second reading this year! Wow! 🙌

  11. I don’t think you should travel in south Asia. The street dogs can be very aggressive at night. We often had to arm ourselves with rocks or sticks in case of attack. Loved your spelling of Colourado!!

    1. Hey, it is the way of things there. I wonder if the locals become upset when you defend yourself like they do where I live. I think my concern is the two legged ruffian over the four.
      Cheers From Colourful Colourado!

    1. I am totally cool with a harness to ensure the safety of a dog. I do not believe a dog can have
      any quality of life alone and chained to a stake or pole. Thanks for the input, Kindness! Have a beautiful day!

  12. It comes down to responsible dog owners … both with knowing how to train and teach your dog as well as following laws set forth.

    Dogs are animals and we do love them as family sometimes – but they are animals and they can react unexpectedly at times which is why following laws is important! And also respectful.

    I’m sorry you had so many terrifying experiences!!

    I have know both 1 German Shepard who was well trained and amazing ❤️ very friendly

    I have have also known several Pit Bulls … some very ferocious and 1 who was afraid of his own farts lol (yes seriously!) lol

    I love dogs – but I am not a big dog owner. My dog of choice is the ferocious chihuahua lol… kidding

    I grew up with Beagles and Chihuahuas ❤️ Beagles are too energetic for me and I don’t have the energy now… but I always love chihuahuas …

    It is definitely a big portion with the owner. I’m sorry but yes. Some think they just get a dog and that’s it… but is not… it time, energy training, love – no matter the size… is like having another child.

    Not all owners are responsible… and yes I agree leash your dogs!!!

    I always keep them leashed!

    1. Thank you for sharing your dog experiences! I have a few dogs I am on a lick your face basis with myself!

      Being a responsibile owner helps with great dog experiences!

      Thanks for stopping by today, Omatra!

      1. I have been crazy busy lately and have really slacked on the feed completely!! 😮 and I’m usually so exhausted lately

        I will try to get better ✌️

          1. Thanks 😊…

            Hahaha usually I cringe… but this year yeah get those fires out and that smoke gone!! I’m kinda over that lol

            Hopefully good rain this winter (my area it only rains) so yeah this year I’m ready lol

            Maybe not for all the rush of holidays – I have one darling girl at work – love her … but her desk is already totally decked out for Halloween lol 🎃

          2. I like spring and summer (minus fires) … My fav holiday is July 4th. Also my bday is 7/7 lol

            Well guy is looking at my car – supposed to let me know tmrw the problems

            I have been checking out the 0% APR listings – but I don’t know if I want to take that on? Little nervous just yet… I wanna see if I can push my little car a little bit more but that is a good deal. I dunno we see ??

            I would say sleep… but I have internal alarm lol (dammit) and my daughter still has school.

            I will probably wash neighbors car? Already filled it up… they come home tmrw from Alaska

            I never know what to do on days off – still don’t really feel comfortable going places and I’m usually so tired from running everywhere when don’t have day off lol… just take it easy I suppose lol

          3. Independence Day is an amazing holiday! I went ahead and added your birthday to my calendar. I assume you will be 29 next year.

            Ooh, I hate car concerns. I hope it is inexpensive. As long as it is cost justified, I maintain my cars to the end. 😆

            So , for car purchases in Colorado, cars in dealerships are typically 10 years old or younger. Where I live, between now and December, looking for a 9 to 10 year old car is a cost saver. Your area may be different.

            Taking care of your daughter is paramount. I like to have dollar store adventures with mine.

            Washing the neighbors car is cool. Have you thought about a craft or something?

          4. Hahaha smart man lol… yes I’ve been 29 for many years now lol 😄✌️🥰

            It is an old car 1998… but it’s a tough little Toyota ❤️ I keep it up mostly – as able… I do love that car

            I know he is replacing thermostat … cause was overheating and when I broke down it decelerated?? Weird… so he gonna do thermostat for sure and then check again and see if anything else

            Hope it is not expensive also!!

            Yeah my landlord trying to talk me into brand new – which would be awesome… I just want to make sure I can pull everything off and not be freaking out all the time lol

            I do knitting 🧶 matchbook and cross-stitch 🧵… but lately have not had much time. And been working so much I am also not a spring chicken so been tired.

            Daughter and I take walks and calm things, which is good to connect with always – still do those Friday night family nights too ❤️

          5. I had a 1989 Camry for a while. A thermostat is there for a reason. Does the place have good Google Reviews?

            What incentive does the landlord have to sell you a new car? Sounds fishy, but I don’t know the man. New may be your thing.

            Family nights are important as is you time. Sounds like you are a wee bit shy of that at the moment!

          6. Oh yes!! His google reviews are phenomenal and my landlord knows him… worked on my car a couple times and didn’t charge me / he’s very kind and very honest – I trust him ❤️ which says a lot being he is a car guy lol ✌️

            I don’t think I am ready for new but landlord (who is woman) say then I won’t have any problems… my Toyota is about to hit 200k

            I am not sold on going new… I don’t know I can comfortably do it. Not yet.

            Oh totally – not really any me time currently … but I am working towards things so work now play later ✌️

          7. Well, I am glad things are looking good in relation to who you have working on your car.
            Toyotas can go a long way. I don’t know your car, but you may get a little more productivity out of it.

            Having a goal and working toward it is commendable. I have learned to play a little along the way while working hard.

            What are some of your long term goals to play later?

          8. Well my goals are to be strong, to be happy, to be able to survive without worry, to get away from ex completely and be protected and safe from him finally.

            Very simple goals ✌️ I don’t want to fear anymore.

          9. You know, this may not come out the way I want it to, but I will try.

            Fear will never go away. Your goal to be strong and face your fear and worry squarely in the eye is commendable.

            I am in your corner for you to not survive, but to overcome these challenges while thriving. 🤠🔥

          10. COVID currently. But I will probably keep her out until fixed… I’ve had breast cancer so I don’t want to risk anything more for myself or anyone else

            I see it a lot at work though

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