I love dogs. It’s just the people who hold their leashes who I often want to boil in a vat of porcupine urine. Or more accurately, it’s the people who should hold their leashes – but instead feel entitled to turn the whole world into an off-leash dog park.
If you leash your dog in public and (this is important) keep a hold of the leash throughout the duration of your time out and about, I salute you. You know how to be good to your dog. My fellow bicyclists also appreciate your consideration.
Now, the rest of you lot. The people who don’t think they need to leash their dogs. Or better yet, you put the leash on, drop it and let Fido run about. Yes, you.
You are a giant pain in the ass for bicyclists.
You see, I don’t know your dog. Your unleashed, 110-pound ball sniffer might be the sweetest dog on the planet. But … I just don’t know that. I am unfamiliar with your dog’s personality quirks – the little things that might startle it into an episode involving barking, chasing, biting, stitches and possibly a rabies shot. When I’m on my bike, your dog becomes an X factor, a potential threat. The best way to nullify that threat is to put a leash on your pooch, and keep a solid grip on the leash. Problem solved.
Now, let’s talk about you people with the little dogs. They don’t propose much of a threat to me, aside from making me crash while trying to avoid them.
But I do not want to hurt your dog – not even if it’s a Chihuahua. You are being a bad human to your dog by letting it dart around unleashed. Your job is to protect and care for your dog. A fast-moving 200-pound dude on the trail or in the bike lane is a threat to your dog. Thing is, I’m legally allowed to be there. But I don’t know of a single city where your dog is legally allowed to roam at large. So, you’re breaking the law with your dog as the unwitting accomplice.
So, be good to your dog. Put it on a leash. We’ll all be safer for it.