Yesterday there was a break in the almost constant rain this spring and so we had Archer come to visit for a walk. He is looking very trim and fit and was, as usual, as cheerful as the day is long. He was roared at by Leeloo for a minute or so until he got it through his brain that she was still the boss - as if he could forget. He didn't let it affect his mood.
Shortly thereafter we were yelled at on the walk by a woman with a small dog who's only phrase appeared to be "Leash your dogs!" while stringing up her own dog from its collar in an apparent attempt to protect it. She was on the other side of the schoolyard fence behind which she apparently ran when she realized that my dogs were loose. Her cries alerted the Ridgebacks to something exciting which meant they bolted toward her, increasing her insistence we leash our dogs and the level of panic in her voice. I'm sure her little Shih Tzu cross didn't appreciate being almost choked by her fear but no harm no foul. The Ridgebacks came back quickly and we put them on their leads until the woman was out of sight.
Technically she is right though. In the county where I live the by-law states that all dogs must be on lead unless they are on their owner's property. Walking my dogs on lead is difficult simply because they wouldn't get the kind of exercise they get racing around the woods - although right now, with Leeloo preferring to stroll (and sleep most of the time) being on lead would not be such a hardship. I usually walk them at about 7am so I never run into other people, but noon on a Saturday is a different story. This is why my all-consuming dream is of owning a couple acres in the countryside where I can fence to my heart's content and the dogs can explore without restrictions.
The county does not have the money to re-surface roads, much less employ a by-law officer to troll the woods looking for people who are walking their dogs off lead. I've also met other people out on those same paths who's dogs were also loose so I am not alone in my wicked ways. For now though, until I can get my acreage, you bet your britches I will bend the law a little for my dogs, that's just how I roll.