Dogs on the Loose

42-15120545I was recently walking around Greenlake with a friend on a sunny, therefore packed, day. Twice I encountered dogs that were running loose, their owners unconcerned.

In the first situation we were rounding a corner and I saw a dog running towards the water across the concrete path in a very congested area. A rollerbladder was flying around the lake when the dog ran right in front of him. One second earlier and the man would have careened into the dog and done serious damage to both. Thankfully, he was able to just miss the dog by rolling up onto the grass. The owner said nothing and looked as if she could care less.

The second incident happened further up the path where I noticed a dog zigzagging across the path with no apparent owner. Being a dog owner myself I am always concerned when I see a loose dog. So, I scanned the path and the grass and I finally spotted a couple up the hill from the path walking towards the dog, no leash in hand.

Despite the rollerbladers, bikers and people walking with dogs, they were not worried about their dog getting hurt or injuring others. The dog continued to weave in and out of the path narrowly avoiding harm to himself or others while the couple showed no concern. Finally, I caught up to the couple and nicely said they needed to put their dog on a leash. They said he’d been cooped up all day in the car and they forgot his leash but they felt it better that he get a walk in. I was shocked! Better he get a walk and risk serious injury to himself and others? I couldn’t believe it!

I understand wanting to let your dog off leash, but a busy, congested place is not the place to do it no matter how well trained your dog is. Please, leash your dog unless you’re in an off-leash area.

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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>


  1. Carole on March 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks Arden. I appreciate your voicing concern about dogs on leashes. We have a leash law in this city, for good reason. As a dog owner (and dog lover!), I too am appalled at the lack of care and concern by some dog owners.

    I’m also concerned about what seems to be an increase of “dogs in stores”. As someone who is allergic to dogs, the increasing presence of dogs in public spaces is frustrating. Once a dog brushese up against you, your day can be ruined with allergic reactions and you can track it into your car and your home, making the problem worse.

  2. Arden Clise on March 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for your comment Carole. I hadn’t thought about allergies, that’s a good point. I have brought my dog into “dog friendly” stores and thought how nice it was to be able to take her in with me. I never thought about allergies. Then again, even without Sam with me, I’m sure I’m a walking allergy generater given how much dog and cat hair I usually have on my clothes. Sigh, what can you do?

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