Letters to the editor for the week of September 6th, 2012 

Chivalry is not dead

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The sport of trail running is growing so get out there and explore, enter races, volunteer at events, or start running with a group like ours here at Helly Hansen or Salomon or the Whistler Running Club. It is truly amazing where you'll end up!

Jeff Grant

Store Manager, Helly Hansen Westin

Leash your pets!

Early last Sunday evening, I was cycling the Valley Trail near the Whistler Golf Course with my 15-month-old daughter on the baby seat in front of me, when I saw two women out power walking with their dog — off the leash. Being a cautious cyclist, I slowed down, and it was a good thing too because the glossy, black dog swerved out into the trail in front of me causing me to pull hard on the brakes and stop suddenly (dangerously) to avoid crashing into him.

I got off my bike, and waited for the women to catch up to their dog and me. I politely asked them if they would mind putting their dog back on the leash, to avoid accidents to the dog, or me and my child, or other Valley Trail users. I have never been so surprised as when these two nicely dressed, older women told me, in front of my baby girl, to "F*** off," move on, and that their dog doesn't need to be on a leash on the valley trail.

Whistler dog owners, and visitors, for your dog's sake, please leash them! Dogs aren't robots and they don't walk in straight lines; they are naturally attracted to sights, smells, sounds, and they run and veer and leap and bound all over just like dogs are meant to. But in Whistler parks and on the valley trail, where they share the lane with cyclists and pedestrians, it's a good idea, as well as a Whistler bylaw, to have your dog leashed to avoid them getting run over, run into, or causing accidents. I don't want to hurt your dog, and I don't want your dog to be the cause of hurt to my family or me.

I'm trying really hard to teach my daughter to love dogs as I do — she delights in seeing them and shows a lot of affection towards them. We always approach dogs respectfully, asking their owners if they are OK with children, and letting the dogs know who we are, talking to them before even trying to pet them gently. If only dog owners would show the same respect towards children!

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