More dogs, ducks and dubious decisons

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A couple of follow ups to the previous post on Dogs, ducks and dubious decisions

The Dickson Wetlands issue is more about not detracting from a very valuable amenity. It is not about no dogs (on-leash). It is about enhancing this space to be a true wetland – wild life and plants being left alone to do their thing – and we humans enjoying that without interfering.

Unfortunate the facts of life are that not all dogs-owners will do the right thing. In other public parks this is a nuisance and part of every day life (sadly). But in a space such as these wetlands – there are more layers of consequences from this bad behaviour.

About the suggestion for a dog park close by – there is a space just next door that could be fenced off and made to be off-leash. I know someone who uses this space now to walk their dog (on-leash) away from all the dogs on the loose in the wetlands – and I am sure they would give it up if the main wetlands were restored to on-leash.

There is evidence to be collected on the negative impacts such an off-leash decision can have. This one has some distance to travel.

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And another story – you have to laugh when stuff happens.

The Dickson Wetlands should be a place for taking a break, relaxing and walking or sitting about.

The other evening, we were walking and it seemed to be very busy – and we found ourselves weaving, stepping aside and having to adjust because of the others groups, dogs and children. All normal so far…

Then we realised there was the occasional bicycle and skate-boarder coming at you and you had to judge whether you moved or would they adjust for you.

And then there was the family who use the pathways around the wetlands for a bicycle exercise track and go around and around which means you encounter them ever few minutes as you try to relax and walk – and then……

We were suddenly confronted from behind by a guy in motorized wheel chair travelling very fast (for a wheel chair) as he took his dog for run (off-leash).

At that point we laughed and headed for the streets nearby where you can walk on the roads and be lucky to encounter a car let alone anyone else.

We had a good chuckle about it – such is life!! These wetlands have been a success.

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My last word on this topic for now – a story that is hard to believe took place this evening.

We were walking back along the bike path (alongside the Dickson Drain) from Hackett and came alongside the Dickson Wetlands.

A couple were approaching us with too super big dogs that they were having trouble controlling.

We were talking so were not paying too much attention to them but moved slightly to our left to avoid them as they occupied a lot of space – including the whole bike path.

Then I noticed that one of the dogs was off leash – on the bike path.

Just as I noticed this and looked to see where it was going – the other dog (on leash) suddenly leapt away from the owner and jumped towards us. It snapped at me but missed as the owner just managed to pull it back in time. I felt it hit my elbow that I had raised in defence.

The owners walked on – with absolutely no word of apology or recognition of what had just happened.

As you can imagine – we were a little stunned.

And to the person who thinks this is all about anti-dogs – it is not. It is about criticism of the owners and where they take their dogs and whether they know how to control them.

And it is about whoever made the decision to allow the circumstances for this incident to happen.

That’s all for me on this topic for now.

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Paul Costigan

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