Love it? Leash it
Dear Editor:I have just returned from a morning walk up Smuggler. Shame on all of you who were walking up and down with dogs not on leashes! As I began my walk, one of the first things I noticed (besides the lack of parking) was the sign posted, “Dogs to be on a leash.” Finally, I thought. Well, just like the no-parking signs posted at the bottom, the dog sign was ignored.Why is it that there is such a population of individuals that think the rules just don’t apply to them? Everywhere you look there are signs: STOP, CAUTION, PEDESTRIAN, SPEED LIMIT. Are these all discretionary too? I think not. In fact, I know for a fact they are not. They are the law.What incredible arrogance of those who expect others to want to be charged, sniffed, licked and growled at by their best friend. I am mortified by the sense of entitlement that floods this place I call home. It is simply good manners to keep your dog on a leash and under control while in public.What really got my attention this morning (besides all the dog poop everywhere) were the two aggressive and unfriendly dogs that charged me and my dog. All the time the owner saying, “Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you.” I’m sorry, but that just isn’t good enough. The whole morning experience was anything but relaxing.So, instead of just complaining to myself and my family I am making the effort to bring this concern to the community and the powers that govern these matters.Having just hung up the phone with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, I have been informed that Smuggler Road is under their jurisdiction and yes, there is a leash law and yes, the sheriff’s department will patrol, advise and ticket those who feel the law doesn’t apply to them.It is not my intention to piss off all the dog owners in Aspen. It is my intention to request compliance with an ordinance that is in place for the benefit of all. I like dogs. I own two and do my best to be responsible and respectful of others while in public with them.I would also like to add that if you are going to take the trouble to put your dog’s poop in a plastic bag, might I request that you also deposit it in the trash, instead of just leaving it on the side of the road. I picked up 11 bags of poop and two baby diapers on my way up and down.I am not trying to be a goody-goody, I just thought I would make an effort to make Smuggler Road a little nicer to be on. I know all the poop on the road wasn’t from my dog (I picked it up), was it yours?In closing, I simply would like the appropriate authorities to enforce the leash law in Aspen and on the Pitkin County trail system. I believe the laws exist for a reason and are not discretionary. I would ask that all dog owners who do not use a leash be issued the appropriate ticket and be held accountable. It is with strict enforcement and tangible consequences ($$) that I believe the message of the “leash law” will be heard loud and clear.Patti ZaninSnowmass
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