What happened to the leash law?

by on November 13, 2010 · 19 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

dog leash iconSo….Buddy and I are walking south on Sunset Cliffs on the east side of the road when we are met by three dogs and their owner, unleashed, that looked as close to being wolves as coyotes look like large dogs.

Wait a minute. That’s unfair. Only two of the dogs looked like wolves. The third dog, a teeny weenie one was on a leash. It was the other two that were not.

Now Buddy is not a small dog by any measure. He is a Golden Retriever that weighs in at 107 pounds. But if the truth be known, he is a “pussy cat” in disguise. (Although he doesn’t like cats, raccoons, skunks or squirrels, he does like other dogs – for a short time – and seldom, if ever, growls at them.) Except for today.

As we came up to Granger on Sunset Cliffs, this man and his three animals came around the corner, startling both Buddy and I. The man pulled his dogs over to the grass along the sidewalk, and kept saying, “Sit”! “Sit”! “Sit”! Well, you know who sat. Not the two wolf-looking dogs, but the teeny weenie one. I had pulled Buddy over as close to the wall of the house as he could get, but I watched his hackles rise. (To say nothing of my hackles!) I could feel the vibration in Buddy’s throat from the leash; I could hear the beginning of a growl. Fortunately, Buddy is well trained – thank you Lee Wells – and he knows that when I say “good dog” he usually gets a treat, and in this case, the treat was better than the threat.

But take the situation a bit further. IF either of those wolf-looking dogs got out of control, their “master” could not have controlled them. After all, he had three dogs and no real control over the bigger ones. There is no way I could control Buddy, as good as his training may be, because of his strength and his need to defend himself. It could have been a real fiasco.

Why do people think that laws are not made for them? What gives this man the right to walk three dogs in the first place with only one on a leash? What would have happened if Buddy were not as complacent as he is and he went after the unleashed dogs? That could happen if he felt threatened.

There are dog parks in the neighborhood where his wolf-like dogs can roam free without a leash. Two miles from where our incident took place is Dog Beach and the Dog Park. There is Fiesta Island where his dogs could enjoy the water as well as running around. For goodness sake, why put any of us in jeopardy of a dog fight? We all have seen dog fights where both dogs are on a leash. Why ask for more trouble?

This walk was a particularly interesting one anyway. Buddy and I passed – or they passed us – joggers, skate boarders, bike riders, dog walkers and just plain people out for a stroll. I have never seen so many people in such a short time. Everyone was friendly; Buddy always moves to the far side of the sidewalk so others can pass us. People thanked us for our courtesy. You know what? I want that same courtesy from those idiots that think that the law doesn’t pertain to them. I don’t want to be fearful that when I walk my dog he might be involved in a dog-fight. So Mister – whom ever you are – take those wolf-dogs to a trainer; buy yourself two more leashes; and train those animals. I think you need some training too!

Please see this comment, left yesterday, that details a sad incident at Dog Beach.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar OB Dude November 13, 2010 at 11:40 am

Judi….didn’t know you know that this man with the unleashed dogs is the most important person in the world?

Yup, he is sooooo special that he does not have to “follow the rule of leash your dog(s)” or be respectful to other walkers or people that live in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter to Mr. Important that he cannot control dogs if they are unleashed. It doesn’t matter if his unleashed dogs approach someone else walking their dog who may not take kindly to the loose canine. I bet Mr. Important let’s his dogs wander up on people’s property, probably let’s them poop and doesn’t pick it up, and he’s probably gabbing away on his cell phone while he’s out for a stroll….one big ignoramous on our streets!

To Mr. Important…..what makes you so special?

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avatar judicurry November 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Hi OB Dude,
I am so embarrassed. I should have recognized “Mr. Important” when he first turned the corner but I was so fearful of his wolf-dogs, I failed to notice any of his characteristics. But let me assure you – I could pick his wolf-dogs out of a line up without any problem.

I have been known to offer plastic poop bags to those that rival Mr. Important for the title. Do you know that most will not take them and look at me as if I am crazy!

At about the same time Mr. Important was terrorizing Buddy and me, a dog was killed at Dog Beach by another untrained dog. What a sad state of affairs this world has become. (See OB Rag letters).

Thanks for identifying Mr. Important. I will be on the lookout for other “want-to-be’s”.

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avatar Marilyn Steber November 13, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Judi, I’ve a friend who walks her dogs on UCSD campus. She has a camera with her at all times and when she sees a dog off leash, she snaps a picture of them. She says it is an effective way to get people to obey the leash laws. She has her camera and two dogs on leash. That is, her camera is chained to her handbag and “at the ready” when she walks her two Papillons. UCSD is very dog friendly, in case you don’t know. But an unleashed dog is still verboten.

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avatar Katzndogz November 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I feel your frustration. Mr. Important seems to be everywhere…he sure get’s around! As a pitbull owner I’m well aware of the fear that many people feel when they see my dog, even though she is always on leash and very well-behaved. I make it a point to have her sit off the main pathway as people pass, which they do appreciate, especially if they have children. I care about my dog and her safety, so I make sure she’s well-mannered, well-socialized and at all times tethered TO ME, so I can help with whatever comes our way.

I’m glad Mr. Important at least had the teeny dog leashed up as I find those little yippers are the equivalent of a lit fuse for many dogs. But gee whiz, why can’t people get a clue … leash up and pick up!!!!

I’m a professional dog walker and I can tell you that our biggest worry as a pro is Mr. Important. He’s a PUBLIC HAZARD and a NUISANCE!! Instead of legislation banning dog breeds we need to pass laws that throw the book at Mr/Ms. Important and Mr./Ms. Clueless!!!!!! Then we need to ENFORCE the laws.

This is good to see, unfortunately it’s in the UK. But as we know, Mr. Important really gets around!

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avatar judicurry November 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I agree with you up to a point. We need to have laws that are harsh enough to get the Mr. Important to take care of his dog. I have a friend that is in law enforcement. He WANTS his dog to scare the crap out of people, and she does. I will admit he has wonderful control over her, as you probably do with your pits – his is not a pit, by the way – but he is not always with her. God help the service personnel that come into the yard to read the meter; clean the pool; mow the lawn, etc. She is fine with the owner is there, but she has bitten just about everyone else. Of course her training is in a foreign language, as most dogs of this type are, so there is no way that you can give the dog a command and expect her to obey, because you are not speaking her language. Is it truly necessary to breed these dogs that are known for violence? (But as I said originally – Mr. Importantly Wonderful is the one that needs the training.)

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avatar Zach on the side November 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm

The wolf dogs are psychological expressions of Mr. Important. To leash them would be akin to having a leash placed upon himself. Mr. Important lives without constraints, including laws. Those are for other people!

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avatar annagrace November 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Hey Zach- I have had the same problem in my City Heights neighborhood encouraging people to neuter their cats. We romanticize the life of our animals running free through the streets. The results are heartbreaking for the animals.

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avatar Zach on the side November 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Agreed. Just as we romanticize our own lives, carrying on without self-discipline or purposeful goals, with equally heartbreaking results!

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avatar Dylan November 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

How about the “No Dogs Allowed” signs that are posted every week at the Farmer’s Market, where people continue to drag their dogs through the crowd?

I stopped bringing my dog down to Newport on Wednesday afternoons a long time ago. SDPD needs to either enforce the signs or get rid of them. I’m sick of being the only person that reads.

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avatar Sarah November 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Thanks, Dylan. I appreciate it when folks leave their dog at home on market day. It’s almost blasphemy to say that aloud in OB, I know. I’m thinking about the llamas, too. Farm animals, dogs and freshly prepared food? I appreciate it for another reason, though.

I’m “ackwardly mobile”, which is my term for the fact that I do pretty well walking around town, but I don’t have a lot of lateral movement due to the model of artificial knee I have installed. Leashes, skateboarders, strollers and bicycles make me nervous on good days in OB, but on Farmers Market day it’s often too much to deal with.

I may look perfectly capable, but deftly scampering out of the way of a skater while stepping over a leash and trying not to spill coffee on twins in a double-wide stroller and avoiding the pile of dog poop and not falling over the “give me a dollar and I’ll let you abuse me” guy is a little beyond my capabilities.

So… thanks for playing by the posted rules

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avatar judicurry November 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Hi Sarah and Dylan, I too, stopped bring Buddy down to Newport at any time, not just on Wednesdays. There is too much “garbage” going on down there. Everyone wants to pet him; dirty hands, smelly, etc. It is not that I am a snob; I think he can catch things just like people can. And if not him – if a person pet him and then someone else does too, what’s to say that the first person didn’t transmit something to him. As far as Farmer’s Market – for the life of me I cannot see why we need to have live animals in such close proximity to the food. I’m with you Sarah; it’s bad enough navigating the streets without having to dodge all the other “implements.”

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avatar surn September 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I am sorry but wasn’t it your dog that was becoming argessive? All I read were “what ifs” and “could haves” ending in the claim that the other guys dog need trained.

People need to take responsibility. You wouldn’t walk into traffic and then blame the cars.

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avatar judi curry September 2, 2011 at 10:47 am

Are you kidding? You obviously haven’t read about my dog that thinks he is a pussy cat. (Or a human.) He doesn’t know what “aggressive” means. He is one of the best trained, easily handled dog in Ocean Beach. My dog has NEVER been aggressive. I take full responsibility for him and his actions.

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avatar Leah July 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Several residents in my neighborhood let their dogs off leash in their front yards frequently. I walk my three dogs on leash daily and am often approached by one or more off leash dogs. The HOA board will not enforce the leash laws even though I have begged them too on numerous occasions. Fortunately, nothing seriously bad has happened yet but all of these unleashed dogs have raised their hackles at us, growled, barked, and approached us in an agressive manor. Who can blaim them, they are defending their territory after all. It is their owner’s who are at fault. Anyway, I always back away slowly or yell until the owner comes out of their house to get their dog. What happens when one of these dogs attacks me or my dogs? Even though my dogs are well trained and leashed, they are all between 75-90 lbs and I will not be able to control them plus another off leash stranger dog when all these dogs are in attack / survival mode! I will end up in the middle of the frey chewed up and my dogs or all of the dogs will be severely injured. I am afraid to walk my dogs in my own neighborhood and I don’t know what to do about it.

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avatar judi Curry July 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

I know what you are talking about Leah. I now carry a lot of doggie treats in a pack in my pocket. I think when the dogs in the neighborhood see me they think, ” . . .here comes our walking buffet.” When they get close to me I usually command them to sit – fortunately they do – and give them a few treats. They then leave us alone. It is interesting to note that when we take our walk, Buddy looks up the street to see if the dogs are out. If they are, he steers me in the direction away from them. I don’t know if he doesn’t like to share – he obviously gets more treats this way – or he just doesn’t like the other dogs. BTW – Buddy is 115#; all the other dogs are in the 70-80# range. And…like you, if Buddy were attacked there is no way I could keep him controlled, as well as he is trained. I am no longer fearful of the dogs here – everyone has at least one – and I know from experience that unless you are attacked the Animal Control will not come out. Making friends was the only solution for me. Good luck. Judi

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avatar OB Dude July 19, 2012 at 8:09 am

Your HOA has CC&R’s, rules and regulations not to mention there is a leash law in effect in San Diego. The board has a duty to enforce these documents. The BOD has an obligation to enforce and if they do not do their due diligence maybe there are some legal issues they or the HOA can face.(not a lawyer so not 100% sure but they aren’t appointed or elected for no reason!) In any event, pictures, a certified letter, a petition from other owners/residents in the neighborhood to the BOD should get some action. The insurance company for the HOD would not be happy to know about unleashed dogs or unacceptable breeds. You could always let the insurance company of the HOA know what is happening and they will require the board to enforce the rules. Also, get on the board and get involved. Good luck

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avatar Jasmine Tan September 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Is it illegal and is considered animal mistreatment or abuse when a small dog is leashed most of the time in the house by the owner? We can hear whinning and moaning other than barking coming from the dog most of the time. They also don’t walk their dog!

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avatar judi curry September 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

Call Animal Control to report it. They will let you know if an investigation is warranted.
619-236-4250

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avatar Jasmine Tan September 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

Thanks so much for your reply!

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