Keep the leash on

Dawn Ogilvie, Claremont

My letter is to bring attention to the numerous dog owners who neglect to place their dogs on leashes in Keurboom Park.

For many years I have enjoyed walking in this park and recently have appreciated the new, wide brick-paved paths in the area.

On Tuesday March 8, walking in the late afternoon, I was forcefully struck from behind by a bolting dog, my legs suddenly knocked from under me, and after a moment suspended horizontally in mid-air, I crashed to the ground, taking the full force on my head and lower back. The young dog-owner was extremely apologetic and explained that her dog took fright, presumably caused by another unleashed dog.

However, her apologies did not lessen my pain and injury. I am still taking painkillers, unable to walk, sit or lie comfortably, and don’t envisage myself walking in the park for many weeks.

A loose, bolting dog is, in fact, a dangerous missile, particularly where the aged and small children are involved.

My friends in the northern suburbs tell me that dogs there are always walked on leashes because it is a by-law in municipal areas.

Animals are unpredictable no matter how well their owners believe they know them, and I wish to make a plea to dog owners to obey the by-law and keep their dogs on a leash in the park so that all may enjoy the park area.