We’ve just spent the past 20 minutes or so talking with a uniformed, armed, law enforcement officer. We now know a lot more about official policies and practices regarding dogs in one of our favorite Nevada State Parks.
As I write this, Toby—our 85-pound adventure dog—is lying at my feet outdoors in our campsite. He is wearing a robust harness that surrounds his chest, circles his neck, and has a sturdy steel ring between his shoulders. There is a ten-foot steel cable clipped into that ring and then attached to a steel post that supports the shade structure I am sitting under. We are about 40 feet away from the loop road that circles through the campground.
These are the steps we take to ensure Toby is under our control.
This is how Toby was under control when the park ranger arrived at our campsite. He came here to report on his conversation with another couple in a campsite on the opposite side of the campground.
They now also know a lot more about laws, regulations, policies, and practices in this park. And that if the officer needs to remind them he will issue a citation that comes with a $110 fine, and evict them from the park.
Because they do not control their dogs.
We learned this earlier this morning while walking Toby—in his harness and on a six-foot leash—around the campground loop, on the opposite side of the road past their campsite.
As we passed their trailer we heard barking and then saw a small dog running toward Toby, aggressively. I grabbed Toby’s harness and lifted his front feet off the ground as Val moved between us and the still lunging, barking dog. We had seen a man in the campsite but he made no effort to address his dog’s behavior. We continued walking away from the area, the other dog continued barking, returned to the trailer, and then ran at us a second time. As Val and I continued to try to protect Toby, I yelled at the dog’s owner, “Control your dog!”
We continued moving out of the area and the aggressive dog retreated out of sight.
When we were about 100 feet away, we heard more angry barking and turned to see a different dog running from the same trailer, toward us, barking and baring its teeth. This dog also came at us twice, all while we were attempting to leave the area of the campsite with the people who do not control their dogs.
When you check into this campground and pay your fees, you see a sign that says all dogs must be on a leash at all times. You must control your dog. It’s in plain language, it’s direct, and it’s not difficult to understand.
And yet, on our walk this morning, we had two different dogs attempt to attack us a total of four times, from the same campsite. Because the couple who own them do not control their dogs.
This shit happens a lot.
I can control my dog. Why can’t you control yours?