Good dog! Bob Howe at home with Coco
A relaxing walk in the park with his dog turned into a doggone drama for Nelson Street resident Bob Howe on Friday, July 3 in a situation, he said, that should never have happened.
Mr Howe was taking his dog Coco for her regular afternoon walk through nearby Pioneer Park when he saw three young people with their dogs heading towards the park.
Things were fine until they reached the park, whereupon the dogs, who were already off their leads, headed towards Coco and confronted her.
Mr Howe said they were fierce dogs but Coco initially stood her ground. But she also slipped her collar, high-tailed it and disappeared.
“I told them ‘hey, you know you have to have a lead on them,’ but they told me ‘we’re allowed to take them off’,” Mr Howe said.
What followed was a stressful hour-long search for Coco for Mr Howe and his wife, Jackie.
Coco is a rescue dog and they had only had her for a few weeks.
Happily for them it ended well when they returned home to find Coco waiting for them.
Mr Howe said there’s no sign at the park telling people that they must keep their dogs on their leads and it’s causing a lot of problems.
If the response to Jackie Howe’s Facebook post on it is any guide the Howes have got a point.
Her post on the Bridgetown Community Noticeboard site has drawn over 40 comments, with many saying they’ve experienced similar things, and that people exercising their dogs off their leads is a big problem all over Bridgetown.
Mrs Howe is also annoyed that the dogs’ owners didn’t check that Bob, who’s nearly 80, was OK after the traumatic event.
The Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes’ laws are clear that dogs must be on a lead or under their owner’s control at all times when they’re out and about.
The only exceptions to the rules are when they’re in the Shire’s designated dog exercise areas.
“People just think their dogs can do whatever they like, and it just doesn’t work that way,” said Shire president John Nicholas.
“Maybe we need more signs,” he said.