Mom and I walk, uh-lot, and I'm always surprised (and maybe a little scared) when I see a dog wandering around without a leash!
See, we live in a city that has a leash law. Which means, quite simply, if your dog is outside, not in a fenced area, the dog needs to be on a leash. Simple.
I don't care if "she never leaves the lawn!" or "he's so friendly, he wouldn't hurt a fly!" or one of my favorites, "she's too old to care"- uhm, if she's too old to "care" about me walking with my mom, do you think maybe she's old too care if she walks into the street and gets hit by a car?
On our walk yesterday we encountered TWO dogs outside without a leash. The first one, is a chocolate lab, and mom and I know (from previous experience) that she's not friendly (which, honestly I don't understand. What's there NOT to like? I gotta lot to offer!) As mom and I walked to the other side of the road, mom saw the owner standing at her front door. Just watching.
Here's what I'd like to know. Was she just watching to see if her unleashed dog was going to attack us? And, if the dog approached us, did she think her Spidey-senses would kick in and she'd magically appear next to us to control her dog?
We kept walking.
Then we walked down another street and a little yorkie walked right towards us. Her owner was standing at the bottom of the driveway. Mom and I stopped. I sat (and waited for further instructions from mom). Mom said to the lady, "Excuse me! Is this your dog?" The woman was startled and said, "OH. MY. GOSH! MAGGIEEEEEEEE! GET BACK HERE!" she started towards us, "She's just a chicken. She never leaves our yard!" The lady picked up Maggie, and smacked her! "Bad dog! BAD DOG MAGGIE!"
There were so many things wrong with this, most of which is if the owner were more responsible, she would have put Maggie on a leash and the whole situation would have been avoided.
Maggie wasn't a "bad dog" and didn't deserve a smack. Maggie is a dog. Dogs like to sniff and be adventurous. It is your responsibility as a dogs owner (or person) to protect your animals.
That is why a leash law is so important. But, as mom said, laws are only good if people follow them.
Here's another thing to think about: if you let your dog roam, and lets say they get hit by a car- how awful will you feel that it was totally preventable? And the poor driver of the car who hit your dog- if your dog was chasing after a rabbit (or ball, or child, or another dog, or the chicken who decided to cross the street) its not the drivers fault. It is your fault for not being a responsible pet-parent.
Mom knows that I love her and I'd never leave her side, no matter how many times I've told her this. Irregardless, she always puts me on a leash. Why? Because mom understands that if I see a squirrel, I'll run after it. If I see a dog walking on the sidewalk, I'll run over to it and say hi. I wouldn't ever intentionally run away from mom, but I'm a dog. I've got instincts and no matter what, I will follow them.
With all of this being said, please leash your dog. Get a tie-out if your going to leave your dog in the front yard or install an Invisible Fence. Don't be like Maggie's mom.
And, on a side note- don't smack your dog! Smack yourself for being stoopid.