Not a good day on the trail

I spent the morning at the gym working hard on my goals and with the gorgeous weather, I wanted to keep the physical activity momentum going. I headed to Birds Hill Park to hike Cedar Bog with Calista and the dogs.

We were about 15 minutes into our hike when a small off-leash dog ran up to us out of nowhere. Asha was on leash and while trying to gain control of the scuffle that ensued, I was pulled onto my ass by her solid 100 pound frame and the slippery snow.

The small dog is OK and harsh words were exchanged.

I spent the next ten minutes bawling my eyes out on the side of the trail, unable to move and feeling shaken to my core. Calista tried to console me while she too witnessed something she shouldn’t have and was confused.

My dogs are always on leash, well-socialized, and I believe Asha acted on pure instinct when approached unexpectedly. Our dogs have been in busy tourist destinations like farmers markets and Banff, all without any issues. I pride myself on training my dogs well and being a good pet owner. I’ve had a few friends tell me today that I am an amazing pet owner.

I encounter many off-leash dogs where there are rules that state dogs must be on leash. I seriously don’t understand why people allow their dogs to be off-leash. Can someone please enlighten me?

I use an eight-foot lead connected to my waist so that my dogs have freedom and I have control. A longer leash and being hands free is a common sense solution.

I can’t help but think what would happen to Asha if the other dog had been injured. I feel like my dogs lose out because people feel they are entitled and don’t need to follow the rules of keeping their dog on a leash.

We returned to the trail head and car as soon as I gained my composure. Today was not a good day on the trail.

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