Re: Barking back at Transit (News, Sept. 12)
As a dog owner, I would love to be able to travel the buses and I certainly agree with Daphne Taylor that it is a greener alternative than driving one’s dog to the off leash areas.
But who is going to set and more importantly enforce the standard of behaviour on those buses?
Already the city does not enforce its dog bylaws. I regularly see dogs running off leash in Beacon Hill park, jumping on elderly people along Dallas Road and chasing vulnerable and exhausted migratory shorebirds everywhere. I am constantly tripped, slobbered on and approached aggressively while owners yell from a distance that their dog is friendly.
In congested sidewalks like the Cook Street Village, extendable leashes are a curse. When I ask owners to reel in their dogs so I won’t tread on them, I am invariably dismissed.
When I ask others not to encourage bad manners in my own dog (she is extremely pretty and friendly), I am beligerantly ignored. When another dog passes me on the street it is allowed to detour over to my dog and mix it up. No one knows what heal means.
So how are we going to manage this dogs on the bus idea? Without basic dog obedience or basic owner manners in place it will be an annoying or even dangerous free for all. Standards will have to be clearly set out, taught and enforced.
I suggest a visible tag on the dog signifying it and its owner has taken a bus manners course and that the city work with existing dog obedience teachers to deliver this course. Without it, no dog should get on the bus.
Jenny Clark, Victoria