Dogs need some freedom |

Dogs need some freedom

Dear Editor:This letter is in response to Patty Zanin’s editorial (Letters, July 18) regarding unleashed dogs and irresponsible dog owners.Aspen has always been a dog-friendly town. I recall the years when both dogs and their owners cherished their romping. Sadly, over the years, the leash law has become more and more restrictive. I realize there are many situations where leashes are a necessity; however, these days, if a person wants to give his dog a moment of freedom, there is guilt, worry about getting a ticket and concern over whether the person they meet on the trail is scowling or smiling at them.I respect the leash law, but must admit that I am one of the guilty pet owners that let their dogs run free from time to time. I believe that most dog owners using our trail system are both respectful and responsible. Unfortunately, there are a few aggressive dogs, people that don’t pick up after their pets and an occasional hiker who is not a dog lover. Let’s find a solution that works for everyone! Why not designate a few trails at certain specified hours of each day that allow unleashed dogs. Pet owners would be thrilled to have “guilt-free” freedom for their dogs to “sniff” and anyone not eager to have contact with these happy dogs can hike or run or walk elsewhere during these hours.In my opinion, there would be no harm in trying this approach. It could be a win-win for all concerned. How about it? I think cell-phone use on the trails is way more invasive than unleashed, well-behaved dogs.Susie PattersonAspen

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