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Thursday, February 10,2011

Letters | Dogs and open space



Correction: The Feb. 3 story “Seeing Stan with one’s own eyes” should have credited Jerry Aronson for the photo of Stan Brakhage.

Dogs and open space

I want to voice my support for Pamela White’s “Uncensored” piece in response to the complaints about restricting dog access in the open space (“Why people growl about dogs on open space,” Feb 3). I think her points are spot on and wanted to add my own personal experiences.

My girlfriend and I are both runners, her being much more serious and running five to 20 miles most days. She enjoys running the hilly trails around Boulder and often encounters dogs. Leashed dogs rarely cause a problem, but dogs off leash will sometimes run at her and trip her up. She has been injured quite a few times with twisted ankles, bruises and scratches from getting knocked over by dogs.

If she asks the owner to please be mindful of their dog, they will often say the dog is just being playful. They don’t seem to consider the intrusiveness of the behavior. Some owners are so hostile that she has been yelled at and called a bitch for voicing her complaint.

The fact is that there are a lot of responsible dog owners in the Boulder area. I know several personally. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to run around without consideration for the impact on wildlife and other trail users. I encourage the responsible owners who feel the new restrictions are unfair to more actively police the irresponsible owners who led to the change.

Tim Roth/via Internet

Poorly trained dogs and their rude irresponsible owners are undoubtedly a problem in Boulder. Pamela White’s recent Uncensored article enumerated the compelling reasons why many Boulderites want and deserve to have dogs banned from more Open Space and Mountain Park (OSMP) trails. However, Boulder’s OSMP trails are hardly the only zones where dog/ human conflicts abound.

This past summer my girlfriend and I were out enjoying an evening bike ride near Centennial Middle School. A group of three people, a man and two women (college students by the looks of them), were out walking a rambunctious golden retriever on a leash. We gave them a wide berth and continued on our way. A moment later I heard my girlfriend shout as her bike hit the ground. The dog had yanked the leash out of its owner’s hand and lunged up, slamming my girlfriend sideways into the asphalt. I quickly circled back to find her sitting down crying as she picked gravel out of bloody gashes in her elbow and knee.

The trio continued walking onwards with nothing more than a nonchalant “sorry” tossed over their shoulders. After helping my girlfriend up and checking her and her bike, I helped her to a grassy area so she could collect herself and see if she was able to finish ridseeing home. I then gave the unperturbed dog walkers a loud piece of my mind. This was met with a collective “What’s your problem, dude?” sort of look. Our interaction ended there.

No concern was voiced, no further apology, nothing.

So here’s my vote. After decades of hiking and having my crotch snoutjammed, having my pants muddied by wet paws and noting the ubiquitous trail-side plastic bags full of feces, I say let’s keep dogs where they belong: in designated dog parks, in their owners’ back yards and on tightly held leashes. And while I’m on the subject, let me add one more sentiment to the many dog-friendly sayings, such as “Love me, love my dog!” Sometimes I loathe with equal contempt dogs and their owners, too. That’s just how it is.

Tim Gale/Boulder

I have just read the news in Boulder Weekly, and I must say I am disappointed. I have read both sides, and my opinion is that we cannot keep trying to change things by implementing more and more restrictions. It is like trying to cut something that somebody doesn’t want to see or experience and it has never proved to do any good, like taking the medicine just to try to get rid of the symptoms without knowing the reason of the sickness. Only by wanting to see where the problem is stemming from one can do appropriate changes, cures. Otherwise there is always going to be somebody who doesn’t like something.

I can say that I do not like annoying people with their annoying attitudes on the trail, and then what? Who is going to put restraint on that? Who is going to stop them from entering some of the trails? I like to have at least one trail where I would not meet these kinds of people. And believe me, these types of people are quite often out there.

So how are we going to change this? Are we going to seclude at least one trail where I would not meet loudly speaking people (that disturbs nature) on the cell phones that I am forced to listen to and their annoying conversation, people who are trying to catch your attention for no matter what and only just because they are people and nobody can stop them from going out to nature?

Well, if my voice would count, I am suggesting that society should not be so corrupt by having you pay for a green tag, and then letting you have it only by watching the video online. I would suggest they use that money properly and have some kind of evaluation of the dogs’ behavior before they give the tag away. This way people with little puppies and dogs that do not listen well would not have access to the green tag until they actually teach their dogs how to listen. Unfortunately, I am afraid that nobody would want to do this, because it actually makes people learn and do something, and nowadays people are lazy. Whatever organization is giving out those green tags is lazy, too, because it would take some higher management to apply this rule. So they just take the money and let the people do what they want to do with their dogs, and then other people are angry and want to close the trails.

So, how about put the restriction on the proper place by not giving out green tags so easily before we will go ahead and restrict the hell out of everything else? It is very easy to close the trails without wanting to learn the proper way. Here in America everything is ruled by what is the easiest way.

All one has to do is to pay, and they are allowed to have whatever they want — degree, position, green tag, on and on.

Again, how about to pay for a green tag, prove that your dog listens, and then let dogs loose, as any being “should” be. If people would not agree with this and there are trails going to be closed for dog owners anyway, I want to have some trails to be closed for annoying people, too! Just to be fair. After all, aren’t we humans further away from nature than dogs are?

Autumn Leigh Rae/via Internet

Pamela White is the voice of what?

The typical white, upper middle-class American woman who pushes so many of us to become ex-pats, running as far away from her kind as possible. Her whining is the norm nowadays when you go for coffee, enter the pharmacy, walk down the street or even while driving in your car. One has to deal with these women who think their “children and elders” are some sort of excuse for them to be annoying and give them a right to voice brainwashed opinions and demand that the rest of us listen.

Anytime I go for a hike with my dog, who follows all the rules of the ‘Green Tag’ and who doesn’t have any interest in these types of people, their children, elders or even their dogs, I find myself being annoyed by many people overreacting and playing volunteer ranger. They are trying to fulfill a need to prove to the world that they are somehow important and needed.

And I must say I am very bothered when I go for a hike and have to overhear their loud voices, penetrating my privacy more than a dog jumping in my crotch. This I consider a bigger poo than the one on the ground. It is a mental pollution. The fact that Pamela was allowed to be published doesn’t leave me with much hope.

Overall, I would like to say that a dog owner pays quite a bit of money in this county for owning just one dog. If we are to pay these annual fees and for green tags then I would like to know where that money is going. Does it make any sense to own a dog, to pay so much for it to exist with you and then to be restricted from so many angles — mostly just to take them into the nature when they are animals!

This is becoming so ridiculous. I wonder how so many states in the EU can live without these absurd rules and complaints and still be able to enjoy the mountains and nature. Somehow they know how to coexist, and here it is all about castration, fees, control and whining. I would advise Pamela to look into her own life and change her own behavior rather than preaching and trying to restrict others.

Darsej K. Rae/via Internet

Whining about poor kids (Re: “Let them eat nothing,” In Case You Missed It,” Feb. 3.) You complain that the state government is failing in their responsibility to feed poor children: “… poor families will have to pay 30 cents per meal for food they have been getting for free.”

Here’s a news flash: Nothing is free! It is the taxpayers paying for that “free” food. You think that government is the answer to everything and they should be able to take as much as they want from those who provide and give it away to those who do not.

How about you stand on your hind legs for once in your life and do something besides whining and sniveling?

Why don’t you go to your local school and donate a few bucks to the “free” breakfast program? Do you smoke? If you stopped a pack-a-day habit you would have about $40 a week you could donate to your local school. That would feed 133 kids every week. There are other ways you could lead by example also — too many to list. I’m sure they escape you.

Government and taxes are not the solution. They are the problem. You exacerbate the problem because you sit back, watch, snivel and whine and do nothing, while espousing the everexpanding reach of government.

Pounding a keyboard writing diatribes on the failings of everyone but yourself will not feed anyone. It is time to grow up, take the bull by the horns, and finally actually do something yourself instead of directing everyone else to do it for you. What a concept, huh?

Jim Peel/Longmont

A Jew aids Egyptian uprising I really hope those of us paying attention to the crisis in Egypt did not miss a delicious moment of at least one absolutely incredible irony. This was demonstrated quite profoundly in my book when two Egyptian Arabs appeared on camera with a sign of thank-you in Arabic and the word ‘Facebook’ in English, thanking Facebook for being so essential to their revolution. And of course Facebook’s founder is the young Jewish man, Mark Zuckerberg.

An American Jew (not to be confused with an Israeli or Israeli soldier) is not only apparently helping to liberate the masses in modern-day Egypt, but perhaps shaking up all of the other military regimes and dictatorships in all of the Arab world, as well. Absolutely incredible.

I think it also probably speaks to a definite American greatness in that we continue to construct, secure and support a unique creative and intellectual atmosphere that fosters, nurtures, motivates and I’d say even protects those like Zuckerberg, Jobs, whomever. Yeah, any old way you look at it this is one helluva country, mon, and I think I’m pretty glad Dad immigrated here from Barbados. Amen.

Grant D. Cyrus/Boulder

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