As an owner of two dogs, one small and one medium-sized, I am constantly looking for new trails to explore. In fact, I know the trails so well, thanks to the dogs, that I now have a small hiking group which meets every Sunday to take in the scenery and enjoy a coffee together at the end of our exertions.
Imagine our dismay when we hiked the Lynn Loop recently to be told that we had to leash our dogs on the return portion alongside the creek because of a "complaint" and if we didn't we would be fined $120. This also happened in the summer when hiking up Black Mountain to Eagle Bluffs - a not unchallenging exertion. Two rangers warned us that we needed to leash our dogs under pain of a stiff fine. As I cannot possibly hike with two dogs on leashes and negotiate the difficult terrain, this means another trail crossed off my list.
On visiting England late last year, I was strolling through St. James's Park, up to Buckingham Palace, the home of large flocks of birds and waterfowl - ducks, geese, pigeons, pelicans, etc. Alongside me trotted an English collie off-leash, wandering amongst the wild fowl. I asked the owner if there was a requirement for his dog to be leashed. Apparently, there was no such stipulation and nor did I see any ominous signs, such as we have everywhere here, stating "No Dogs Allowed," or "Dogs Must be Leashed."
The English seem to have struck a good balance between themselves and their best friends. I believe you can even take them onto buses and into pubs - how civilized!
Anne Marsh North Vancouver