Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Lack of a signature, and a business could close; Dogs’ — and their owners’ — behaviour

Lack of a signature, and a business could close

I’m the owner of Healing Hollow in Cranbrook. I am trying to move my current store to a new location. The new location needs a permit for a quick ceiling job. We are waiting and waiting as have many businesses in cranbrook. The salon was delayed 6 months for permits.

There is no storage and being a small business owner post Covid it’s a daunting thought to put my entire store in a storage unit, be closed and then open when allows. I’m going to miss the whole summer season over a permit signature for a simple fix.

How are small business owners supposed to get ahead and not lose money?

I’m at the point where if this permit doesn’t come by end of week that I will just close my Cranbrook location as I have to be out June 30th. What a sad realization that a signature closed down a biz.

I think many businesses would agree with me that something needs to change. Fast.

Michelle Cubin/Cranbrook

Dog owners’ behaviour

Recently I was out for a stroll in the RV park. I have severe PTSD, and so this is an essential part of treatment: relaxation. Suddenly out of nowhere two large black dogs accosted me, jumping up and clawing at me. Both me and their owner told them loudly and repeatedly “No!”, but it had no effect, they continued to jump up and snap at me.

In my left brain, I understood these dogs were just being dogs, curious and friendly. However, my nervous system did not understand and I was triggered into a full-blown PTSD attack. I screamed at the dogs, swearing loudly, then told the women harshly that she needs to keep them on a leash, because some people have had trauma with dogs.

It’s now an hour later, and despite doing what I can to calm my system, I still have unwavering effects and can’t breathe properly. It ruined my evening. Meanwhile, the owner is most likely telling her partner about this crazy lady that lost it on their sweet, innocent dogs, just for being friendly!

It’s important to note, however, that in the park it clearly states that dogs are to be kept on leash at all times.

This is not my first experience with this type of behaviour: disobedient owners. A couple of summers ago I worked as a host at a provincial campground, and was shocked at the number of people letting their dogs loose. One afternoon I was doing a walk-around and encountered over five dogs off-leash on the beach, where it states ‘Dogs on Leash’. Worse was that there was an official off-leash beach just a couple dozen metres away. The owners just felt entitled to use this one instead.

At another provincial campground where I was camping, I was confronted by the same thing. My stepsister was camping with me, and her dog also has PTSD from very poor treatment by previous owners, so she always keeps her on leash. The problem was with the other campers, who allowed their dogs to wander freely through our campsite, triggering my stepsister’s dog into a frenzy. We explained to the loose dog’s owners that they needed to keep their dog out of our campsite because her dog is triggered easily.

Quite frankly, we shouldn’t have even had to ask, for it’s stated park rules. Their reaction was to treat us like the criminals, and gossip about us to other campers. Despite the fact that they were breaking the rules, not us.

I know another woman who had a more extreme experience, but one that I’ve heard from others, also. She was forced to break up a fight between a loose dog and the dog she was walking. She ended up getting bitten in the process, going to the hospital, getting stitches and a rabies shot, and then she had to go to court. The dog that had attacked her dog had previous encounters and was going to have to get put down by court order. All because it’s owner didn’t take responsibility for discipline, and allowed it off-leash. Who ends up paying? The innocent dog and innocent woman.

A friend of mine has a large scar on his face from a dog attack when he was a child, and he was forever internally scarred by that event, and could never be around dogs comfortably again.

This is actually an article about entitlement, not dog discipline, for all you dog owners out there.

Further to the risk of physically hurting, or triggering, other people and dogs by allowing dogs off-leash, there are additional considerations to dog ownership: noise and feces.

There also seems to be this assumption among dog owners that if they are in nature, it’s okay to allow their dog to defecate and not pick it up. I am appalled by the number of times I see (and smell) dog feces; and not just little ones, but giant, steaming piles of it.

It is illegal to allow your dog to defecate on public property, regardless whether it is a natural setting or not. The ONLY place your dog is allowed to defecate freely is in your own backyard.

And if you are out walking and see someone conducting this pathetic behaviour, call them out on it. Don’t be afraid to stand up for society; we need people called out on egregious behaviour more often.

This overall trend speaks to our issue as a society with enablement of inconsiderate, narcissistic, and often dangerous behaviours.

Janet Barrow/Cranbrook