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Letter to the editor

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Going to the dogs?

Enough is enough — we must take our neighbourhoods back from the dogs.

Our family is heart-broken. Our little dog has died from injuries suffered from an attack by an unattended and vicious dog.

It happened in our neighbourhood on the Pemberton Plateau, but it could just as easily have been in Tapley’s Farm, Vinyl Village, Alpine Meadows, or any other of our neighbourhoods.

During her morning walk, she was jumped on by an aggressive dog and knocked to the ground, unconscious.

She suffered a concussion and, under the care of doctors Lane and Wilkies, she was on Prednizone for swelling on her brain and valium for her seizures.

For 10 days, she needed 24-hour care at home which we managed in shifts. She fought with every ounce of her little being to get better, but lost.

Tootles died a heart-wrenching death with uncontrollable seizures. Her only relief came when her vet put her to sleep.

I would like you to picture little Tootles so that you will have more of a felling for how special she was to us, and for the extreme sadness we feel over her loss. She was ("was" is such a sad word for me these days) a little 10-pound ball of white fluff with a wonderful little personality and a huge heart.

"What a sweetie" is how most described her. She had been my mother’s (a widow) sole companion for several years in Surrey, before they moved in with us this spring, here in Pemberton.

I don’t need to tell you how devastating this was for my mother. Did I naively expect the owner of this vicious dog to apologize to my 84-year-old mother and to us for his dog’s attack. Did I naively expect him to drop by during that 10-day ordeal to check on Tootles’ progress and to promise that something would be done about his vicious dog? Yes, I did expect that. Did he? No he didn’t.

We must remember that those of us who are caring, conscientious, considerate and responsible individuals (pet owners or not) are the majority. We must take our neighbourhoods back from the inconsiderate, irresponsible dog-owners, who represent the minority but whose dogs are getting away with "blue murder". Please, let’s not ignore these offending dogs and their owners in our neighbourhoods. If they are loose, aggressive, uncared for, barking continually, or pooping on our properties, we must tell their masters that it’s completely unacceptable.

We must remind them of the animal control by-law and we must drop by the village office in Pemberton or the Municipal Office in Whistler to file a report or phone animal control in Pemberton at 894-6135 or in Whistler at 935-8280 or after hours at 905-7489.

If they’re told often enough, by enough people, or if they receive a fine or two, it’ll sink in.

Kim Lord, our new part-time dog-catcher from Whistler is doing her very best but just as the RCMP receive a lot of help from neighbourhood watch type programs, she needs our support as neighbourhood dog watch citizens.

Just as conscientious parents do not ignore the bad behavior of their children, we must not ignore that of irresponsible pet owners. If we persevere it will pay off and we will get our safe neighbourhoods back for ourselves, our kids, and our well-behaved pets

Wendy Peddie,

Pemberton

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