Last week my family and I went for the first time to Martis Creek Trail. Signs at each end of the trail let pedestrians know that the area is a nesting ground for many birds and to “please consider” taking your dog to any of the other many trails.
Before we even took three steps onto the trail, wet dogs brushed past us. Throughout the whole trail there was only one person without a dog; all the rest had dogs, all without leash. There were many unpleasant moments of having to endure the stench of dog poop baking in the sun along the trail, and the sad sight of a crayfish and a snake wounded by what seemed to be dog bites.
Throughout the 15 years I’ve lived in Tahoe, I’ve read numerous articles about the need for places to bring dogs. There are more dog-friendly trails than no-dogs-allowed trails. What goes through an owner’s mind when they decide to completely ignore not only our country’s laws (leashes), but also their dogs’ impact on other people and animals? Do they feel they are above the law and any responsibility?
Kiva Beach (a sanctuary for birds) and North Tahoe Beach, though many signs say no-dogs-allowed, are filled with dogs! Dogs who knock children down, hurt them, eat/step on our food — and owners who do not even apologize, who feel their dog can do anything they want because they’re a free/wild animal.
A free/wild dog would be living in the forest, eating mice and avoiding humans. When you decide to have an animal, there are responsibilities, just like I wouldn’t let my child poop on your lawn or grab food from your hands. Ironically, I bet the very dog owners I’m talking about probably won’t think this is them.
Lorelei van Peborgh