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A New Dogmatism on Leash Laws

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IT does seem that dogs are much more in the news of late than they were back before somebody thought up the leash law. Dogs, before it, were ``licensed to run at large,'' a seafaring term brought ashore. A vessel that sailed well ``at large'' was properly designed. But now, I see that a man sued because his neighbor's dog barked day and night and caused him anguish, and that a dog started a fuss by jumping a fence to bite a woman hanging out her wash, and that a Chihuahua keptcoming over to beat up some cats. It makes us wonder what has happened to the dogs, and I surmise it's the leash law. The leash has taught unfettered dogs some bad manners.

I said, long ago when city dogs began to proliferate and I read that one apartment house in New York City, alone, had 27 dogs, that nobody should be allowed to keep a dog unless he has 10 open acres. This is sufficient land, I think, to keep a dog busy and give him a sense of responsibility, but is also nothing a capable dog can't manage. If a dog can't handle 10 acres, he's not worth keeping. Hounds can take care of more, but not all dogs are hounds and we have to be fair about this.

Except for a bull robin extricating an angleworm from the sod, there is nothing in the sub-human species with more zeal, energy, and purpose than a dog sitting in supreme command on a porch, haunch on the deck and forefeet one step down, managing a piece of property that has been placed in his care.

A man who has an able dog can stop worrying about everything else except the taxes and cleaning the chimney, and he can go away secure in his mind that all will be in apple-pie order when he comes back.

It is reassuring to see a dog who has had an early and ample breakfast trot off down the road of a morning to look everything over and see that the community business is in fruitful activity, returning content after his inspection to sleep on the rug on the sun porch and enjoy the luxury he has duly earned. Dogs are not only man's best friend, but they are custodians who can be trusted when all else fails. We had a dog one time that used to get up on the roost and sleep with the hens, and not once in his time did a thief come in the night.


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