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It Doesn’t Apply to Me

I like to go to the city parks to walk undisturbed to take photos, go birding or just have a relaxed walk. I am not feeling very relaxed these days because of a concern  about a flagrant disregard for the by-laws.There seems to be a trend of thinking, despite the signs, that “It doesn’t apply to me.” At the beginning of a few trails there are signs posted that say “no dogs off leash” or “no bicycles.” When I went to Hawrelak Park to take photos of birds, there were two dogs off-leash in the main park area, a sight that I have seen many times. It was hard to hear the quieter sounds of rustling in  the grass or wings of a bird because people were throwing a ball  for their dog to retrieve so I went further away because the tinkle of hardware on the dog’s neck was a distraction for both me and the  the birds, who took off. Close by, there was another really cute puppy wandering away from its owners in the picnic area. I grew concerned because it was following me while I was heading for the car and the road so I yelled out “Call your dog because it is following me.” No chance of picking up poop when you don’t even know where your dog is. Dogs are not supposed to be in the picnic area or off-leash.There are coyotes in the area. I am not responsible for your dog.

On the  Whitemud  trails there are signs at the trail heads that say “No dogs allowed off-leash” and “No bicycles allowed.” Parents were out with their children in two occasions on bicycles and about six dogs off leash some of  whom went off the trail to inspect me, not in any aggressive way but it sure didn’t help my birding. I felt a little perturbed but I don’t see this disregard for rules changing, especially when they are not enforced. It wasn’t such a big problem before the by-laws were changed but now there are more and more people disregarding the laws and more and more poop along the trails and in the picnic areas not to mention wildlife harassment by the pets that are out of control.Maybe just take the signs down.

Admittedly I have been guilty of this myself in the past and received a warning.Lesson learned. I have never done it again, partially because of obeying the rules and partially because it disturbs wildlife , especially ducks, etc. nesting in the bushes.

A few years ago people were given the privilege of walking their dogs in some parks with the stipulation that they keep them on the trails and on the  leash.There are trails all throughout the river valley designated for bicycles, just not all of them. And there are lots of off-leash areas.Why are a few ruining it for many?

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One small section of the bridge from Hawrelak to Laurier Park. Trails are covered as well.There are poop bag dispensers at both ends of the bridge.

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2 responses

  1. I love dogs, but have the same complaint about off leash pets in parks. It ruins my experience as well as disturbs the wildlife I am shooting.

    May 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    • Obviously it got on my nerves, I felt the need to vent.

      May 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm

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