Ah, spring! All the good smells are coming back from the melting snow. Skunks, unearthed trash, year-old cat poop. The days are long, so there’s plenty of time for walks after the pack leaders get home from whatever it is they do outside all day!

I love to hike and trail run with my pack leader. I love sniffing the trails, and leaving behind pee-mail for other dogs to sniff. The exercise is great for my anxiety and allows me to rest easy when we get home.

Unfortunately, it’s getting harder for us to do what we love here in Portland. It seems some dogs don’t have to wear a leash. I was running with my pack leader, and I heard your pack leader mention something about how friendly you are. Then you just snuck right up on me and started sniffing me! Yikes. That’s a bit much!

It terrifies me when another dog invades my space without much warning. I understand your recall might not be perfect – mine sure isn’t. That’s why my pack leader has me on a leash. It’s just not fair when one of us is on leash, and the other isn’t.

Now, I’ve heard there are some really great places that dogs can run free, like the beaches at certain hours and the dog parks, and maybe one day I’ll be able to check those places out when I’m a little less nervous. But until then, can I ask you to wear your finest leash while you walk around our fine city? It would help me so much and keep us all safe.

Thanks so much!

Stan

a very fearful and very anxious 2-year-old rescue dog

Nikki Anderson

owner

Portland