May 28, 2022

I took Zena on her first official walk today.  I had tried to take her for a walk when we first got her, but we did not get more than the end of the cul-de-sac before I gave up.  Over the last month we have gotten her used to being in her harness and have taken her outside on her leash to the vet, trainer, and when she gets the “running urge” during potty breaks.  Zena received her third series of shots yesterday which means she has been immunized and able to be around other dogs and people.  I looped her 20’ (6 m) leash in one hand and grabbed the bag of treats with the other.  Zena took off like a shot when I opened the front door (normal) and then came to an abrupt halt when she hit the end of the leash.  I let her snuffle the yard a bit, gave her a treat, and then we were off.

When I looked online, I found while several states do have state-wide dog leash requirements and laws, Arkansas does not.  These laws are usually referred to as “Running at Large Statutes.”  In states without these statutes, local governments and municipalities often enact their own leash laws, and four of the larger cities in our state require a dog to “be under physical control of a person” (i.e., on a leash).  Many other towns in Arkansas do not allow dogs to be “running at large” outside the presence of their owner, even though you often see dogs without a leash.  Many states require dangerous dogs to be on leashes and muzzled to protect public safety.  A “dangerous dog” usually refers to the act or actions of a dog that puts the public or other animals at risk for injury or death.  Again, Arkansas does not have this law.

We have had several confrontations with the pit bull that lives on the corner.  The dog is fenced, but when he barks Zena will take off to pay a visit if she is outside and not on a leash.  Today we walked by the house with no problem and continued our walk.  I was surprised how well Zena took to being on the leash.  I kept her close and she only occasionally strayed.  A few clicks and she would come back to walk the curb beside me.  On the way home we passed the corner house again, and this time the other dog was ready.  When he saw Zena he slammed into the fence gate, and in two seconds had squirmed his way under the fence and ran at us.  I stood my ground, held out my hand, and said “Stop!”  He did stop but continued to bark.  Zena sat down beside me as the owner franticly called for the dog to come back.  Not getting a reaction, the pit bull lost interest in us and started snuffling in the yard across the street.  Sensing this might be a good time, we went on toward the house.  Apparently, the “mean dog” just wanted to play.

𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀:  We have another law that female dogs are required to be under physical control when they are in heat.  Rather than limiting the males with a leash it must be easier to require me to restrict access.  During her campaign ads our attorney general bragged about having the toughest restrictions on women in the nation, as she refused any funding to Planned Parenthood.  In other states, this group provides much of the health and reproductive care for the poor and low-income residents (male and female).  I guess it is easier to restrict access to health care than address the issue of unwanted children.  Act for all.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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