Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Use a leash in the city please!

This is unrelated to BART and only remotely related to the commute but I'm still upset over it so thought I should share it with you guys.

On my shuttle ride over from Civic Center to the office, I saw someone walking their dog, a cute little Jack Russell, in the busy streets. The dog was off-leash but seemed well-trained and well-behaved enough to follow the owner closely. But suddenly, the owner decides to J-walk across 8th Street (past Market), a busy street during commuting hours with buses, shuttles, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles moving about in the lanes! As the owner j-walks across 5 lanes, he seemed like he had forgotten about his dog. The poor dog was lagging behind, confused, scared, trying to follow his lead as a Muni bus was coming his way!!!

I was in shock! I was scared to death that this poor dog was going to be smashed by the bus while his owner seemed to have completely left him behind as he reached the other side of the street. I was afraid to keep my eyes open. The bus was less than 12 feet away. The light had just turned green in the previous block so vehicles are charging his way!

Amazingly, this dog dashed with all his might across the street, beating the bus and a few cars coming his way!

The owner had turned around at this point. He saw what happened and called out the dog's name as the dog dashes over to him safely. The dog looked relieved to see his owner.

I would never risk my dog's life like that. I would never j-walk when walking him, especially not in the city! I would never even consider walking my dog unleashed in the city streets because the traffic and movement is too unpredictable!

If you want to walk your dog in the city off-leash, fine, but don't j-walk, and don't put your dog in harm's way. Goodness!


SongMonk said...

I am so with you on that. Except even more so. I think even if your dog is very well trained and well-behaved, you should still have him on a leash when walking through a busy city. There are just too many things that can happen that are unpredictable.

What that dog owner did is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

How frightening! I would have had a heart attack. I like most dogs better than most people and would never allow my little friends to be in danger.

Anonymous said...

Use a leash EVERYWHERE, please. Even on hiking trails, urban or not. Your unleashed dog doesn't have the right to charge up and terrorize my leashed one. (Or my unleashed five-year-old, a considerably more frightening experience. I'm seriously considering carrying a can of bear spray.)

bartmusings said...

Agree on all accounts. We leash Benson (our pug) all the time but I know some dog parents believe it is their right to walk their dogs unleashed if they are well behaved and get offended when you point them to a sign that says "MUST KEEP LEASH ON". In Europe, I was amazed how few people actually leashed their dogs on walks. I mean, I mistakenly thought every unleashed dog was a stray or lost dog because there was no owner in sight. Then 20 seconds later, I see the dog with someone!

If you want your dog to run free, let him/her run in a fenced dog park (plenty around these days), or in your yard!!