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LETTER: People being outsmarted by their pets

Many years ago, my grandfather said that if you were going to have a dog, you first had to demonstrate that you were smarter than the dog and train it, otherwise the dog will train you and it will become a total nuisance and in extreme cases, dangerous. Except for short periods, I have had a dog all my life and kept that advice in mind. I believe most dog owners do a commendable job of training and keeping their dogs under control.

Maybe it’s reflective of personal standards today but I recently encountered the exception to my grandfather’s advice and observation. We adopted a Labrador retriever cross last year, and chasing a ball is her activity of the day. Many times another dog has grabbed the ball and we have always managed to get it back each time as the other dog was called by the owner and came so no issues.

In a local North Saanich park recently, the same thing happened but in this case, the owner said there was nothing they could do; the dog wouldn’t come when called and he would make no effort to corral it. “There is nothing that I can do about it.” Can’t or won’t? No apologies, no offer to compensate me for the loss, and while I am out about $10 to replace this special, high-energy ball, it’s not a big issue. I am more appalled that anyone would bring an uncontrollable animal to a park in the first place. While that dog (Doodle) is not a dangerous cross-breed, what if it were one?

I simply have charged this off to yet another instance of irresponsible dog ownership and a lack of consideration for one’s neighbours which is all too common these days. As for intelligence – I think the dog wins.

James P. Crowley

North Saanich