Double Take

Taking a second look at life experiences

I Don’t Really Care That Your Dog Is Friendly

Man. dog. leash.

Man. Dog. Leash.

I know I risk alienation from dog lovers by writing this. Caution to the wind. Here goes.

Recently, while my husband and I were on an uphill hiking trail in Vermont, something happened that occurred several other times, while on other trails, in other states, so I know it’s not just a “Vermont thing”.

Dogs are required to be on leashes in most national and state parks. There are plenty of good reasons for that, so I won’t spend your precious reading time with explaining those rules.

So, for those people who decide to take their dogs (unleashed) on hikes this post is for you. There are a variety of places where you can watch your dog enjoy the great outdoors, unrestrained by a leash.  In fact, aren’t there places called ‘dog parks’ where dogs get to run around all they want?

I don’t want to navigate rocks, tree roots, streams, or slippery slopes while keeping an eye on your dog and preventing said dog from sniffing, touching, or tail-slapping any part of my body.

Most of all, I don’t want to make friends with your dog.

Your response of “Don’t worry, she’s friendly” doesn’t quite deal with my concerns.

What am I supposed to do? Hike down the entire mountain just to tell the park ranger that you’re not following proper park protocol by not keeping your dog on a leash?

So, the situation is not very hopeful. Also, it’s very unlikely (who am I kidding, it’s impossible) that you will read this.

Most likely then, you’ll continue to take your unleashed dog to accompany you on your hiking adventures, thinking that we would love a close encounter with your friendly dog. You will continue to believe that your dog is the cutest, most adorable creature that deserves to be above any silly leash laws.

Me? I’ll at least feel that in this tiny space, I’ve said my piece. So there.



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