With much inner laughing, I recently observed a woman out for her morning walk with her two beautiful frisky big dogs. She was probably following to the letter the ordinance regarding the mandatory leash on dogs when out in public, as both her dogs were on leashes. Perhaps we need to add a few words to the ordinance to make the spirit of it very obvious: A human person must be at the other end of the leash. Yes, so many times I have witnessed dogs running loose way ahead of their owner dragging their leash behind them and their persons fruitlessly calling them back.
While we love our own pets and children dearly, just as a person would not want a strange person to invade our personal space, to jump on them, sniff them, lick them, bite them, I prefer not to have these things done to me by a stranger's family member, be they pet or child.
Frankly, I am less afraid of terrorists than of a big unattended unknown dog charging down the street or alley towards me. In some instances, dogs see small children as prey. I know two separate instances of children who were bitten by a neighbor's dog running loose on their own block: one a nip in the butt, the other a traumatizing ravaging of a rib area.
I have helped reunite with their persons some lost "escaped" beloved family members who have wandered from their yards.
Because I only rarely walk a neighbor's dog, I do not know the concerns about dogs meeting strangers' dogs while on their daily venture around town, but I have noticed people walking their dogs on leashes generally avoid other dog walkers.
A knowledgable employee of the village estimated the number of dog rabies innoculation tags runs 3-5,000 dogs in Oak Park annually. For dog population estimates, I will assume all Oak Park dogs get their shots. Oak Park Community Relations staff estimates our human population at roughly 53,000. Therefore, of the dogs the village is aware, at most there is roughly one canine for every 10 humans of all ages. On my block, of the dogs I am aware, we are down from five to three dogs, because two elderly canine pals have passed. One of those three is a mixed pit bull.
So with humor and goodwill, for the woman calling her dog dragging his leash, let's add to the ordinance: the dog's human person's hand must be at the other end of the leash. Perhaps the ordinance should be scrapped and rewritten as the dog's responsibility to have their person on a leash at all times when out walking together, and let the dog suffer the punitive consequences instead of the innocent human person.
Anonymous scaredy cat