Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Trustfunder, Feb 2, 2014.
This one stays on a leash except on Super Bowl Sunday
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In spite of his 90 pound size, Monty is absolutely terrified by children. They move erratically and are often extremely loud. He'll go to the opposite end of his leash (or lake) to avoid them.
Right after my wife and I got married, we lived in an apartment in Pullman while I finished school. Before all the construction, there was a paved road that turned to dirt just East and South of the apartments known as "bedrock." Down this road was a little park, and because of a hill, the scenery was nice. The road could be used to reach the park, airport, or loop back to campus and see the wolves and bears.
Anyway, we were returning from a walk to the airport and back and had reached the bottom of a hill that separated the out lands from the apartments. Just as we reached the bottom of the hill, a VERY large animal appeared at the crest, backlit by the setting sun. At first we thought it was a deer. Then we realized it was a huge dog. It was between us and home, so we decided to keep trucking and hope for the best.
As we reached the summit, he vanished. A moment later a small woman appeared, maybe 5' tall and thin as a rail appeared...with two huge dogs. At this point I kind of figured we were about to be eaten.
Funny thing is they were terrified of us. They hid behind this woman and even with her coaxing, would hardly let us touch them. Granted they are Great Danes, and I don't think know for their ferocity, but at a distance they certainly inspired an "oh shit" moment.
Does go to show, you just never know. That goes for people, dogs, cows, hogs...etc.
Without entering into any judgement of anyone's actions or sentiments expressed previously, I would assert that it is difficult to give any medium to large dog adequate physical exercise, if it is confined to a leash. Back in the '70s, when I lived in rural I-D-Ho, I did just what TF described, letting my dog run with my vehicle on back roads, where there was little or no traffic. He used to run with me while I bicycled, too, as many as 15 miles non-stop. I really gained an appreciation for just how much stamina dogs can have by living with that dog.
I also think it is as valuable for a dog's mental fitness as it is for its physical fitness, to let a dog have freedom to explore at its own pace and in its own way (within reasonable constraints). I live in typical Seattle suburbia and I walk my dog every weekday morning off leash in my neighborhood. Of course, it is at 5:30 a.m. and we don't encounter too many cars or other pedestrians. We walk a mile or mile and a half and we both get better exercise by not being tethered to each other. Dogs and humans have different paces. I get to walk at my own pace, which is steady and slow (compared to a canine), and she gets to stop and sniff, exploring a sensory world I can't imagine, and trot to catch up at a pace I couldn't maintain (at least at my age). I carry a leash and I leash her at the first sign of another pedestrian (she comes when I call), and I pick up after her.
I don't think there is only one way that dogs can/should be handled in all situations, and, in my opinion, those who say a dog should always be confined or on a leash don't adequately appreciate dogs' needs. One of my favorite expositions on this subject is a book by Ted Kerasote called "Merle's Door." It is a wonderful book with lessons for all dog owners (http://www.amazon.com/Merles-Door-Lessons-Freethinking-Dog/dp/0156034506).
When in town or a city park, we keep our dog on a leash. We will not keep her on a leash when we're in a forest. There's a memorial forest outside of town with a on leash requirement. Because it is a forest and the coyotes are not on leashes, we don't put our dog on a leash unless someone approaches on the trail.
She's so cute that most folks want to pet her -- plus, she's carrying a small Frisbee and they think that is funny.
The dog we lost last year, Sage, looked like a black wolf with a white chest. We could tell her looks scared the devil out of those we met on forest trails.... soooooo... we had her start carrying her Frisbee (that's where we got the idea for our current dog, Mia). The minute she started carrying her "bee" on the trails, other hikers figured she couldn't attack them if she had a Frisbee in her mouth and normally ended up smiling instead of freaking out.
Sage was a trail dog. Mia is a trail dog. Both was/is border collie mix and very intelligent. Both dogs would/will respond to verbal commands. Therefore, if we're walking through a forest where meeting another person is downright rare, we don't need no stink'n leash. If the sheriff wants to chase us down a forest trail to give us a ticket for letting our dog off leash in a damned forest, he's welcome to do so.
Like I said, in the city, we do obey the leash law -- but not in a forest where the coyotes are allowed to roam free.
Sage, RIP, with her Frisbee on a forest trail:
+1 On Merle's Door. One of the best books I've ever read.
Very well put Richard. I couldn't agree more.
He learned to fear kids from my 3 boys, right? Sorry about that. If it's any consolation, I fear them too. (WFF community, Kent and I live a block apart and we see him walking Monty often).
I completely agree that dogs are not meant to be leashed. I am an avid practitioner of civil disobedience in the city I live in, getting my herd off leash in parks. But I do it when I know no one else is around and I carry their leashes in case we encounter folks who are nervous...
I had my dogs off leash running with me a few months ago, a trail along a river in a town in NCW. Some guy, clearly sobering up from the night before beer festival, had a crutch. He wasn't using it. But as one of my dogs (labs) ran near him, the guy took a swing at my dog with the crutch. I went from zero to sixty. He gave me a few f#@* yous and tried to hit me with his crutch, which at that point I was so angry, I almost wanted to get hit, thinking I could get him arrested and then sue the crap out of him...finally, I slowed down, got my dog on leash, and kept running. He was a jerk, but he was right about my dog. While there isn't a leash law in this town, the park has signs posted that dogs should be on leash.
I just believe if you're a dog owner, being sensitive to other people's "issues" is important. Even if he is a drunk with a crutch!
one reason to leash your dogs is if other dogs happen to be around. you never know if someone else's leashed dog is friendly.... or these days if the humans are sane.
Mia suffers from what is called "Leash Reactive". This means she does not get along well with other dogs when she is on a leash... evidently, she needs to feel like she can fight or run if she needs to if another dogs is aggressive. So... she become aggressive to another dog when she IS ON A LEASH. No leash, no problem with other dogs.
So... a leash can actually cause a problem when meeting other dogs.
I agree 100%. But, there is a manner in which a dog should be handled when in public. My dogs get free run wherever I go unless others can be affected. I often let my dog run the roads in front of me but never when others are around.
I think this is common, too. One of my recently departed furry friends (well, 2008 isn't all that recent anymore), the black one in my avatar, was the sweetest dog you could imagine, friend to all, human or canine, except that when he was leashed he was unpredictable. I think it becomes a territoriality issue, when a dog doesn't feel like it has freedom to behave naturally.
Here is my GSP Maggie. She's real scary! As part of bird hunting and training we roam all over Yakima parks streets and woods off leash. I all ways have one with me though. I need her to heal up when I say so and she will. She will not go to outher dogs or people unless she gets the ok. She is a great dog! And hates a leash as much as I do. If I couldn't control my dog off leash I wouldn't have one.
Same here. Yet I do keep Mia on a leash in the city. I saw a dog hit by a car (and most likely had to be put down) because an idiot did not have her on a leash and she suddenly decided to cross the street and was hit. I, and some other, gave as much aid as we could but I doubt seriously if the dog made it.
When it comes to streets and cars, I don't take any chances. That one instance convinced me. In town, the dog is on a leash. Around any highways or vehicles, the dog is on a leash.
However it really pisses me off when the county puts up a dogs on leash sign at the trail head of a memorial FOREST. The folks who donated their land to the county owned dogs. I doubt if they would have been in favor of keeping dogs on a leash in their forest.
Here's Mia at Canyon Creek in The Cascades. We've had her a year this month.
Unlike Sage, who loved swimming, Mia really isn't into going in more than up to her belly. She does, however, love to roll:
Canyon Creek is where I learned to flyfish.