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New Leash On Life

By John Lamb
Unleashed! reporter@large

On behalf of the staff here at UNLEASHED!, I’d like to personally thank y’all for stopping in for a browse . While I have you here, let’s discuss the concept of UNLEASHED -- fine name for a web site, even a better way to live life. But HEY!. A lousy idea for dogs and their owners

You’ve seem ‘em........Little Eddie Bauer "adventure" outfits, maybe pushing one of those four-wheel-drive baby carriages built to handle twins, another child strapped to dad’s back. Everyone’s accounted for ...... except Fido, who’s roaming twenty paces ahead, nose scooting across the landscape and into your neighbor’s petunias where a cat left its scent TWO DAYS AGO! Meanwhile, Fido’s human counterparts -- seemingly oblivious to their pet’s shenanigans -- nod in agreement that it is INDEED a beautiful day for a walk.

Just one thought: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!!! All too often I’ve seen these emancipated canines lope across a busy thoroughfare to greet another dog, this one of course leashed to an owner that doesn’t know WHAT to make of the situation. Oblivious owners of unleashed dog -- snapping out of their euphoric haze when responsible owner yells, "CALL YOUR DOG!" -- typically respond with their own spin on their precious pooch: "Sorry! Belvedere doesn’t usually run off like that."

Yeah well, and salt water will supplant gasoline as fuel of choice in the 21st Century. Plain and simple, dogs left uncontrolled are at much greater risk to injury or death on our ever-quickening urban roads.

Now these folks aren’t as bad as the REALLLL rocket scientists who open their front doors to their dogs and proclaim, "Come back when you’re done exercising." (This is true. The wife and I have returned more than our share of stray animals to their homes only to be told that we had interrupted their dog’s daily R&R (recreation and relief) break!!! Ohhhh, what a world! More on that another day.)

So, if you’re like me, toss out some of these tidbits of tethered trivia to the next leashless dog walker you run across (and let’s hope not run OVER):

  • It is actually a MISDEMEANOR to walk your dog without a leash. These folks might like to know how much their leisurely, unencumbered stroll will set them back. Well, it ain’t cheap, particularly for repeat offenders -- the first ticket will cost you $40 (that’s the cost of a couple of swell leashes, by the way!), the second offense $80, and the third -- WATCH OUT! -- $200!!! Rats! There goes air conditioning for Gwendilyn’s doghouse!
  • Hey! Have fun and read these poor uneducated souls the San Diego County Code: "Dogs must be controlled by a leash whenever they are taken to public property or any private property open to the public." (The exception being, of course, any leash-optional area, such as the ever-popular Dog Beach at the north end of Ocean Beach.) Wanna cite the code, a la Barney Fife?? Go ahead! Section 62.669 Restraint of Dog Required -- Any person owning or having custody or control of a dog shall prevent the dog from being "at large," meaning "being on any private property without permission of the person who owns or has a right to possess or use the property; or unrestrained by a leash," which by law must be no longer than six feet.
  • Point out that hundreds of dogs are killed on San Diego County streets each year........Wish them well that theirs won’t wind up another roadkill.

So remember, a leash -- more than a fashion statement. A true link between a dog and a responsible pet owner. No one wants a beautiful day of walking cut short by an easily avoidable tragedy. Your dog will thank you -- however they do that. Ours just tend to plop their furry wigglin’ butts down in our freshly planted nasturtiums. A side note: probably best to "pass" on the fresh garden greens salad at the Lamb household..

Now, off ya go!!!

copyright 2006 Unleashed!