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Story has good ending, but there's a moral

Posted: Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Your story about the return of Tsuga to the Mertls (Jan. 29) was touching, but missed a key point: Why were their dogs being allowed to run at-large in the first place? Loose dogs, especially in tandem, pose a significant threat to wildlife. The dog was found high on Sheep Mountain. We can assume it hadn't ranged that far just to find a spot to relieve itself. Tsuga was reportedly trapped between some rocks. Just what critter had Tsuga cornered when he became caught?

I can't claim purity on this issue. In the early 1980s we had two mutts that we let out from time to time from our home on North Douglas. A couple of dog-at-large citations persuaded me to reform. More importantly, as I have listened to discussions about roaming dogs over the years, I have become convinced that it is irresponsible for any dog owner to let their pet run wild in an area where wildlife abounds. It's one thing to let a dog off its leash on a walk while keeping it under reasonable voice command. I favor such practice and also know that this issue is currently under debate in the CBJ dog committee. But I think we can all agree that allowing dogs to run on their own in the woods is simply unacceptable.

So while I'm happy that the Mertls got their dog back, I do have one request for them: Please keep your dogs at home.

Mike Stanley

Juneau



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