For much of last year, Winchester social media was plagued with frequent reports of dogs on the loose. For reasons that will remain a mystery, it seems that just as instances of stray and missing dogs appear to be happening less often in Winchester, it’s now Chesterville’s turn to have a so-called “dog problem”. Social media posts on the popular “What’s up, Chesterville?” page have been frequently identifying dogs by size, breed, and location which are spotted roaming free in town. Are these dogs missing from their homes, or are they strays? Likely a mix of both.
I am one to see the positive side of most issues, and this one is no exception. Are there stray dogs in North Dundas? Of course. Is this sad? Yes, very! Do some pet owners have trouble keeping their dogs in the yard or keeping them leashed? Absolutely! But the fact that we as a community work so hard to make sure that lost dogs (and even cats in some cases) make it home shows what a great place North Dundas is to live.
I have no trouble admitting that I have been part of the “dog problem” in another neck of the North Dundas woods – South Mountain. Our two black labs have the privilege of a sizable fenced-in backyard from which they have not (yet!) figured out how to escape. The front door is another story, particularly when they think we are going to leave them home alone.
When our dogs were young and a bit more cautious of new things, they would gladly return to the front door when called if they happened to get out. To our surprise one day, they took off down the street and calling them back was about as effective as a plastic fireplace poker. They ended up meeting a couple of new dogs in a yard down the street, and my oldest son was reminded by the homeowner to control his dogs when he went to retrieve them. It’s understandable to be upset when your own dog is accosted in their yard. We all have to remember, however, that dogs are born explorers, and are often smarter than we give them credit for. Dogs are going to get loose no matter how careful we are. Posts on social media providing a description and location of unaccompanied dogs are a great way for members of the community to look out for one another.
Aren’t small towns great? Cheers to wet noses and wagging tails!