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A few days ago I took a photo walk to the park to shoot the sunset. Most of the walk was very pleasant, but I had a few very anxious and uncomfortable minutes as aggressive unleashed dogs approached me. The owners of the two dogs were standing to the side, just talking, and not paying too much attention to what their dogs were doing. They had leashes in their hands. The dogs had collars. So why weren’t the leashes on the dogs? Here’s what faced me at one point.

Dog running loose illegally in Public Park in Paso Robles

I will admit I’m a bit afraid of large dogs running loose. At my age, being knocked down is dangerous and can cause major injuries. But large dogs have also attacked smaller dogs who are on leashes. A dog on a leash is more easily controlled by his owner than a dog running loose who may or may not obey commands. This dog also harassed this little boy.

Unleashed Dog Harassing Boy as Owner Socializes at a Distance

If you are a dog owner, please be responsible and follow local laws in public areas. Other people also want to safely enjoy the parks their tax dollars support. Thank you to all the responsible dog owners who keep their dogs on leashes while walking them in public parks and on the streets.

Finally: The Sunset Photos I Managed to Capture

Here are some of the sunset pictures I took in spite of the dogs’ harassment. I’m glad I didn’t let the dogs scare me away.

Sunset in Paso Robles at Larry Moore Park

Sunset in Paso Robles at Larry Moore Park

Sunset in Paso Robles at Larry Moore Park

How do you feel about leash laws? Do you think people should be allowed to let their dogs run loose in public places? What would you do if a large strange dog started to run toward you unleashed?

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  1. A lot of people will run or panic when a dog comes at them. Some breeds are predisposed to being calm and friendly, but you never can tell and if the person has a bad experience with a dog, chances are they will at least be hesitant. For that reason, we don’t even let ours out into the yard when we are expecting a delivery or such.




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  2. I agree with you and I’m scared of larger dogs too. However, I’ve also seen smaller dogs who have been aggressive.
    I think this is irresponsible not only towards other people, but toward the dogs too. They could run away, get kidnapped or even poisoned.
    The sunset pictures are gorgeous though!




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    • Most pet dogs are pretty peaceable unless they think they need to defend a person or a territory, like an owner or a home being attacked. Most owners follow the rules. It’s the ones who don’t that give the dogs they own a bad reputation. Of course, there are some dogs that are vicious and should not be kept as pets.




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      • Yeah, but what about the moment when they, the dogs, think they need to defend a territory ? That’s dangerous. And you never know when it happens.I like dogs but I’m afraid of them. Maybe because I had a bad experience with them.




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    • Thank you. I’m hoping I’ll have time to share some of the sunset photos I took today. I shot 390 photos of the sky and nature, but most were during the day. We had gorgeous clouds.

      One of the wineries where I was shooting sky photos tonight has two German shepherds. They are usually both loose but they still scare me. I notice one was tied up tonight, but the other came over to sniff me. When I was ready to go to my car, it got more aggressive and I got a bit frightened, but the dogs have never hurt me — not yet. I kept my distance from the one who was tied and barking at me.




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  3. Even little dogs can create problems. My tenant across our driveway has a big dog they keep tied up and a little dog they let loose when they think I’m not around, since we do spend 95% of our time at the house where we now live and only occasionally come by the house where we used to live across from them. The little dog is cute and friendly, but out of control. She likes to come up to me and circle around me when I’m walking, even if I’m carrying something. She has almost tripped me on numerous occasions and I’m almost afraid to go over there unless my husband is along. If the tenants know (usually by my exclamations) that I’m on the property, they will call her in until I’m gone.




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  4. I think little dogs for the most part should be able to run free if their owners are with them, but large dogs, like the ones you were faced with should be kept on a lease. i am like you. I am scared of big growling dogs. My sister had a neighbor that had a dog that most people thought should be put to sleep. This dog had an evil growl, and he looked like he would hurt anyone that come near him. This dog was not a large dog, but he was as scary as one.I guess it should be law then that all dogs should be kept on a lease when outside.




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