Monday, May 9, 2011

Pet Peeve: Cyclists, Joggers, and Canines

It's been pretty quiet since the primary election was held (and even THAT was pretty quiet), so I'd thought I'd take time to rant and rave about a pet peeve of mine.

I try to get out and ride my bike a few times a week, and lately I've fallen back into love with the Monon Trail. It's a short distance from where I start my bike ride downtown, and the distance between Broad Ripple and downtown is almost the perfect distance for me to stop and rest for a bit. And on top of that, the southern portion of the Monon is really not used all that often, so I get to set my own pace until I get into the Broad Ripple area.

But once I get into the Broad Ripple area, I see groups of other Trail users as well. And one group that sticks out is the joggers and bikers who are with their dogs.

This irritates me because, I believe, it isn't responsible pet ownership.

Don't get me wrong, our canine friends need exercise. They love going for walks and playing fetch and chasing squirrels and all that jazz. But their bodies aren't built like ours. Most dogs can't go for several miles at the same pace of a person on a bicycle or a jogger. They'll wear out quickly.

With cycling, I think it's also a bit dangerous for the owner of the dog as well. The dog won't be able to make room for other people who might want to pass the dog and the owner. This could be a recipe for disaster, or at least irritation from fellow users of the Monon. And heaven forbid if the dog sees a squirrel or rabbit or cat, and the owner loses control.

So fellow canine owners, exercise some responsibility when you're out with your dogs. You've got to set the pace of the walk, but it has to be a pace that the dog can handle, and it really should be a walk unless you're only jogging a short distance.

What say you all?

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