Everyone can get along, even dog owners

I believe that serious dog owners will, in fact, police those who refuse to pick up their dog’s feces.

I am writing in response to the recent comments concerning the dog bylaw. As an owner of three Labs who travelled from Ontario last summer for vacation for the month of July, we faced a predicament in that we either walk with our three dogs through Nelson or we leave them in the shade of the trees at the top of Baker Street, with a car idling for two hours and the air conditioner on full and with the hopes that if someone noticed the frost on the inside of the windows, they wouldn’t kick the windows out of the car, believing that our dogs were trapped inside. We disobeyed the idle bylaw on several occasions during our visit.

We are owners of a property in Pass Creek and could not leave them locked inside a trailer for three-plus hours while we went to lunch in Nelson. We had driven six days to get to BC and now, we are building in Pass Creek and renting a pet friendly house in Rosemont.

I have never witnessed a dog fight in Nelson (the dogs seem as friendly as the people) and I am not quite sure how this bylaw came into effect. What I do know is that I support the downtown businesses more than I do the ones in Castlegar. We have brought a Canada-wide business to the Kootenays, will spend over $400,000 just on building supplies and we are responsible dog owners, like most others.

I believe that serious dog owners will, in fact, police those who refuse to pick up their dog’s feces. We all carry bags with us that should we see a person not abiding by the bylaw of “scoop the poop,” we can offer an immediate solution. If there is a bylaw officer, then he can ticket those not abiding.

I also oppose the dangerous dog bylaw in that the only dogs I have ever tangled with have been little “cute” ones. I think this is an ancient, prejudiced bylaw that should be looked at individually, by the dog — not the breed.

I think that many people travel with their pets and if Nelson wants to remain a friendly environment in which to spend vacation and thus increase spending in the Kootenays, they need to look at this bylaw seriously. If it is a temporary ordinance, then see how the trial period goes. People who stay in pet friendly facilities do not leave their pets in their rooms so there has to be somewhere they can go with their pets to enjoy what Nelson has to offer.

I believe that some people think there isn’t much tourism in Nelson and it is the residents who support their businesses. I would beg to differ that particular point. Oso Negro is a very successful business in Nelson and there are dogs at Oso every day. People keep coming back — someone must be doing something right.

The dog poop issue will always rear its head. I am quite sure that my husband and I are the only ones picking up poop in Rosemont. We will be moving out of Nelson in May and will have a place for our dogs to stay while we come back to shop. But I think if Nelson is trying to portray a friendly environment, it has to include dogs and kids — they seem to go together.

Linda Cooper