Owners should take extra care with their off-leash animals

For weeks I have read numerous articles regarding “dogs in our parks” on and off leash.

Re: A dogged fight for freedom (News, July 18)

For weeks I have read numerous articles regarding “dogs in our parks” on and off leash. As a person who has always loved and respected dogs, this subject has given me reason to ponder.

Two years ago I was attacked for no apparent reason walking in the trails off of Interurban and Marigold.

The dog went for my throat, but I shielded my upper body with my arms and he tore my rain jacket and bruised my leg when he lunged at my husband and me.

Dog owners always think that their dog would never do this, and I know the owner of that dog said the same thing – but it does happen.

The after-effects are startling: my heart races, my anxiety is heightened while walking on the trails, and if I come upon a dog on a leash, I still have to think about my body awareness (the vibes I might be giving off, whether I should turn and go in another direction). All these  symptoms escalate if the dog is off its leash with its owner merrily walking about.

Why can’t we share the trails and why can’t owners keep their dogs on the leash? Please consider others when you’re using our parks.

Tana MacKay

Saanich