I’d like to comment on the recent letter from C. Franks of Saanich.
The letter includes some harsh comments on dogs and their owners in public spaces, primarily parks. The situation, described as a dog chasing wild birds with the knowledge of its owners, is certainly to be condemned. No doubt about it (though I have seen parents gleefully encouraging their children to do just that, by the way, I kid you not – in parks.)
But wait! Publication in the Oak Bay News, as our municipality moves into the discussion of where and when the 20 per cent or so of us who are dog owners can share our various public spaces, at least implies a situation locally which mirrors that described in Saanich. As a responsible Oak Bay dog owner, I resist being tarred with that brush.
We are two seniors with a dog, hence heavy users of our lovely public spaces, our regular beat ranging from our home near Gonzales Hill, to Anderson Hill via MacNeill Bay, up to the Ave, over to Windsor Park (heaven!) and all points in between. In the six years we have been back home, and out with the dog at least twice daily at all times of day and night, I have never, repeat never, witnessed an “incident” involving either wildlife or people, with dogs. (No, I am not visually challenged.)
Not claiming that such incidents never occur. They do, of course. And we pick up the odd deposit for which our dog was not responsible. There are “evil-doers” in every group of humans you can think of, engaged in any activity. But let’s be clear, they are not the norm, nor even frequent, around here.
The vast majority of your dog-owning fellow [Oak Bay] citizens are responsible sharers in the fun provided in our wealth of beautifully maintained local recreation spots (thank you, municipal crews).
Let’s bear that in mind, and keep the upcoming discussions accurate, fair, and civil.