Letter: Story a good reminder about leash law
Story a good reminder about leash law
I agree with you that the loss of the Cook family dog, Jessie, is a worthy local news story (“A dog, a Porsche and an Aspen news story,” commentary, Sept. 9, The Aspen Times), but I also agree with Bill Bernstein (“Dog story was much ado about nothing,” letters, Sept. 9, The Aspen Times) that Mr. Cook’s anger, while understandably issuing forth from his grief, was misdirected, as was the thrust of your coverage last Saturday.
Pitkin County law is unambiguous: A dog off its property must be on a leash not more than 10 feet in length. The law exists to protect the dog, other dogs and pets, other people and their property, and drivers such as the one who hit the dog. Jessica was not on a leash, and Mr. Cook should have written a mea culpa rather than an angry “j’accuse” aimed at a woman about whom he knows little.
You claim that it’s “all speculation” that the dog would be alive had it been on a leash, but it’s a pretty good bet. The greater speculation involves the presumed fault of the driver.
Much emphasis is made of the car being a Porsche, as if to imply that drivers of such a vehicle are all “Dale Earnhardt wanna-bes,” especially if they’re only 29 years old, a detail that’s just as irrelevant as the make of the car. Saturday’s coverage cried out that “speed kills” and that we need to “slow down,” but according to the Times’ account, speed was not a factor, since the driver had come to full stop to allow the Cook family to cross the street. Obviously she saw them, but not the second dog lagging behind and probably hidden from her sight by the front of her car. She may or may not have been “in such a damned hurry.”
In short, it is a worthy story, but only because it’s worth reminding my fellow dog-owners to put their friends on a leash. It’s the law, and it’s a good one.