This year our aim is to do more promotional work on being a responsible dog owner and using common sense when walking your dog in public places.  Hopefully some of you may be able to help out by setting a good example and assisting us when we have a stall out in the park or just giving out leaflets.  We are currently working with MairtinCoss, the Park Manager, on producing leaflets to give out to all park users on a code of conduct for dog walkers and the consideration we would like to see from other users in return.  There have been a couple of complaints recently.  One was from a person concerned that people walking with more than one dog off the lead may not be vigilant enough to see when their pets have fouled.  This is understandable as it would be difficult for one person to watch more than one dog at a time as they often go off in different directions.  The other complaint concerned a dog being allowed to approach a pram and get close to a child’s face without being checked by it’s owner.

Obviously this is a serious issue and dogs should always be under close control near children and not allowed to get near a child’s face.  Your dog may be friendly but this was a health issue and the parent did not know the dog was not aiming to hurt the child.  Such incidents only serve to be detrimental to responsible dog owners and encourage other users to call for dog bans, etc.

Another major hazard seen over the winter was dogs being allowed to wander onto the frozen lake.  There were several incidents of dogs falling through the ice and being trapped resulting in assistance from the emergency services.  This practice endangers the dog and also the lives of those owners and rescue people who go in after them.  When questioned most of the owners involved said “my dog doesn’t go in the lake” not realising that the dog does not see  that it is a dangerous, frozen lake, and not snow covered ground!