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Barb Baker, Fargo, Published August 31 2013

Letter: Protect yourself and your dogs by holding them on leash in city

I’m walking my dogs one morning, which I like to do while everyone is working since so many people like to let their dogs roam free in their yards. I get two blocks from home and hear a dog bark from around the garage I was passing. I quickly pull both of my dogs’ leads close to me, just in case.

A few steps more and I see a guy in his yard with his dog running free. As soon as his dog sees my dogs, it bolts toward me. As his dog circles my dogs, my male dog starts to react. He doesn’t like anything coming near me as we walk, not big trucks, motorcycles, bikes and, most times, people, too. The dog’s owner walks leisurely toward me to retrieve his dog as I wrestle with my dogs to contain them. The owner is calling his dog while I do my best to keep it from getting near my male dog.

As the owner just stands there calling his dog, I tell him my dog will bite his dog. Only then does he make more of an effort to catch his dog. After he catches his dog and heads back home, I resume my walk. Before I get across the street, I hear his dog cry a bit at first, and then more cries followed as he put the dog in his house. He obviously hurt his dog for running out of his yard and causing chaos with my dogs.

So here’s my problem. Don’t hurt your dog because of your ignorance. These people believe their dogs will never run out of their yard and if they did, they wouldn’t hurt a thing because they’re so gentle. Well, guess what? It’s a dog’s nature to want to check out other dogs, and if they’re running loose, they (not all) may make a break to do just that. If you love your dogs, don’t risk their safety. Is it really worth that chance?

Trust me: My male dog will get into a fight with your dog if given the chance. Not to mention, your dog could’ve easily been hit by that car as it ran a block to get to my dogs.

Your dog can’t put its own leash on; it’s your responsibility. Keep dogs safe; put them on a tie out or a leash when letting them out in your yard. My dogs never run loose unless they’re in the backyard where it’s fenced. I do that for you and your dog’s safety. Please give me and my dogs that same protection. Keep your dogs on a leash.