A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Jeffrey Huntington
Sep 24, 2020
Agree
40
Unleashed dogs on public trails not OK
Sep 24, 2020
Following a not so nice encounter I had this morning with a local dog owner on the Pt. Colville/Watmough trail system I figured I should post a reminder to all you hikers with dogs. When using public BLM trails which are part of the National Monument, leashes are required while hiking with your dog. Sufficient signage has been posted at all access points stating this requirement. Spare leashes have even been provided in the case that you arrive at a trail having forgotten to bring a leash of your own. These trails are not places to train your dog to be off-leash.

If you think this rule doesn't apply to you, then you should be prepared to accept some direct feedback from me should we meet while hiking. You should also be aware that I will defend myself from any unleashed dog that approaches me with whatever I have available to me at the time. Any injury to your dog resulting from this will be on you, the owner.

Please respect other user's rights to enjoy public land by leashing and controlling your dog(s).
Comment by Eden Rose
Jan 30, 2021
Agree
2
Haven’t y’all ever been chased by a pack of coyotes? It’s a soft place here, but I heard there used to be wolves once upon a time...
Comment by Steve Snowden
Oct 9, 2020
Agree
3
In one of the postings below the possibility of an off-leash dog park was mentioned. I'm not a dog owner but this seems a good idea. I was wondering about the school property just south of the tennis courts for this purpose. It is bit less than three acres and is currently cut for hay every year. It is open, flat, and would be easy to fence, and at ... Read All
Comment by LopezRocks
Oct 9, 2020
Agree
15
As some will have noticed this thread was removed from LopezRocks for 24 hours while I could ponder what to do about this discussion that unfortunately got derailed from what I see as the original intent of the first posting: A discussion about unleashed dogs that are roaming in the public space, specifically in public spaces that prohibit such roaming.
... Read All
Comment by Jeffrey Huntington
Oct 8, 2020
Agree
17
Yes…I did send a private e-mail to Sorrel regarding her inaccurate characterization of me on a public forum. I sent it because I believe in addressing interpersonal conflicts by engaging with the people involved in those conflicts and not duking it out on a public forum attempting to garner support for my cause.
My initial post regarding unleashed dog ... Read All
Comment by Sorrel North
Oct 7, 2020
Agree
5
It’s really unfortunate that the Town Hall format is designed to polarize and divide. This thread has accomplished nothing, except to make people feel bad. Two community members had an unpleasant encounter and publicly expressed different versions of the events that transpired. Both were upset, for different reasons. Instead of trying to help them come to ... Read All
Comment by Jeffrey Huntington
Oct 5, 2020
Agree
21
Wow! I had no idea my posting had sparked such a conversation until a neighbor notified me of the following on this thread. I'm writing now only to defend myself against some pretty outrageous claims regarding the way the events played out. I think it is important to realize that only myself, the dog owner and the dog were present during this exchange a ... Read All
Comment by Tim Clark
Oct 4, 2020
Agree
19
As noted. leash rules have been put in place for several reasons, such as habitat degradation and personal protection. Another big problem with loose dogs is dogfights, where dogs and often owners are harmed. Unfortunately, a friendly dog is not good insurance, because not all dogs are friendly.

My wife is deathly afraid when strange dogs run up to ... Read All
Comment by James Rapson
Oct 4, 2020
Agree
12
Seeing a "Thumbs Down" vote on Mary Masland's comment speaks volumes about the times in which we live.
Comment by Tim Nurczyk
Oct 1, 2020
Agree
9
I want to express my support for what Sorrel had to say, but also add that if you go to a European city you will see countless dogs walking with their owners with no leash, and it’s fine. I also think it would be nice to cultivate a culture where we don’t police other people following “the rules” when they aren’t actually causing problems. What ... Read All
Comment by Mary Masland
Oct 1, 2020
Agree
21
Hi. Just want to add another perspective. My 18 yo son is severely autistic and very afraid of dogs (sad for me cuz I LOVE them). We hike a lot and I've trained him to stand quietly to the side of the trail and let the people + dogs walk by. He knows if the dog's on a leash it's OK and he stays calm. Dogs off leash often run to him wanting to ... Read All
Comment by Steve Snowden
Sep 30, 2020
Agree
21
The point that Mr. Huntington was making is not that he would attack a dog solely for being off a leash but that he would defend himself if an unleashed dog came at him. This I can understand as I've been bitten several times by dogs, most recently on Chadwick Hill but I was fortunate that time as the dog got an empty water bottle in my pants pocket a ... Read All
Comment by Sorrel North
Sep 30, 2020
Agree
14
It is sad and disturbing for me to have to point out that not one comment (aside from those agreeing with my previous post) has directly acknowledged the fact that in an isolated area on Lopez, a man in an uncontrolled rage verbally assaulted an elder woman and threatened to bash her puppy over the head with his metal water bottle. I appreciate references to ... Read All
Comment by Bill Evans (Bill Evans Photography)
Sep 30, 2020
Agree
12
Sadly, I feel that Lopez is more and more becoming a place where people are more concerned with their own individual “rights” and “freedoms” and less mindful of others in their community. I’m a life long dog lover and have spent a large part of my adult life training and trialing Border Collies. So I totally understand the desires to be out and abo ... Read All
Comment by Ann Palmer (Technosense Consulting)
Sep 29, 2020
Agree
7
Sorrel, thank you for your very eloquent comment. I wanted to reply, but didn't know how to say it. You've said it for me, and many other dog owners I suspect.
Comment by Leslie Quenell
Sep 29, 2020
Agree
7
Thank you Sorrel for saying exactly how I feel (and my dogs Lala & Tenzing also). Deep breath everyone.
Comment by Julia Gilbreath
Sep 29, 2020
Agree
1
Thank you. My feelings exactly.
Comment by Aurore Maren
Sep 28, 2020
Agree
5
Thank you so very much Sorrel for this intelligent, kind response.

Upon seeing that this post has a readership of upwards of 2600 views,
suggesting that it is of some importance, I hope indeed this posting has helped engender thoughtful discussions around the several meaningful multi-layered issues brought up in this thread.

I conc ... Read All
Comment by Sorrel North
Sep 27, 2020
Agree
32
I have lived on Lopez Island for 40 years. Back in the good old days, it was unheard of to take your dog for a walk on a leash. No one was bothered by dogs off leash because it was assumed that if you live in the country, you like and/or are tolerant of animals. Yes, the population was smaller. The community was also more laid back, more open, and WAY more f ... Read All
Comment by Jackie Wolf
Sep 26, 2020
Agree
14
Introducing yet another reason for keeping dogs on leashes when anywhere except one's own property: dog fights.
I adopted my dog Rio when she was approx. 2 years old. She is part golden retriever and part Great Pyrenees. Anyone familiar with the latter breed will know they are extremely territorial, as they are bred to be guard dogs.
I have ... Read All
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Comment by Aurore Maren
Sep 26, 2020
Agree
6
Thank you Dean for your thoughtful, intelligent, realistic and so importantly, kind and inclusive, response. I find your response relates to a broader, more generous way of being in the world to which I feel we all must aspire. Thank you.

I very much appreciate your, referring to, and simply clarifying, the distinction between civil and criminal ... Read All
Comment by Ruth Fothergill
Sep 26, 2020
Agree
16
I appreciate the conversation. I agree deescalating conflict is always preferable to force.

However, I too am sad and often angry when I encounter a dog off leash in our BLM and other public “wilderness” areas and I can’t let this conversation go without trying to bring our focus to why leashed dog regulations exist in these areas.

Ye ... Read All
Comment by Dean Hoshizaki
Sep 26, 2020
Agree
18
HI Justin!

I can offer this to your query. There is one reason why people disagree, in general. It is the degree of response that is not correct. It is an unnecessary escalation. The owner took responsibility and did not escalate by blowing off the concern.

For example, when I go out to public land and find locals or tourist clamming an ... Read All
Comment by Aurore Maren
Sep 25, 2020
Agree
9
I so appreciate your considered statement here. As I am the "local dog owner" referred to, I wanted, one to honor your concern as I did by immediately putting my 5 month old puppy on his leash and two, as I did with our discussion as you waited for me to return to my car:

True, I had my puppy off leash a I went up the trail from Watmough. ... Read All
Comment by Justin Hagge
Sep 25, 2020
Agree
6
I would love to hear from any of the majority of people that disagree with this statement. People should be allowed to walk their pets without worry of being approached by other dogs without warning.

I would love to see an off leash dog park somewhere on the island but for now we are stuck with leashes, where is the issue in that?