Dogs a threat

Linda Savage, Tokai

I refer to the recent notification from Groot Constantia Estate, from Jean Naude:

“Numerous joggers and walkers have been bitten by dogs and, although we have not had an incident yet, our farm workers are under constant threat of being attacked by dogs. Our vineyard team are stepping in dog faeces on a daily basis, while tending to the vineyards. The restaurants have reported incidents where kids were frightened by dogs not being on a leash and complaints of dogs ‘begging’ at the tables have also been received.

“The ducks in the historical core are being killed regularly and those that remain are under the constant threat of attack by dogs not on a leash.”

I consider myself and my two small dogs privileged to be able to enjoy this beautiful farm, from my horse, or walking. I am always greeted very politely upon entering Groot Constantia, as I have done for many years. I can quite understand why the estate has had enough. Why, on the whole are many dog owners so inconsiderate when out walking their dogs? From day one I have picked up after my two. I feed them, so I take care of the business end, at home and on an outing.but, why do so many people have no regard for other farm/park/green belt users? It’s disgusting, and I totally understand why Groot Constantia Estate has had to put strict rules in place. Some dog owners turn a very obvious “blind eye” to what their dogs have left on the ground for someone else to step in. So many ruin it for so few.

My father was knocked over by a very large uncontrolled dog at the Groot Constantia dam, resulting in surgery. A bad end to what was 40 years of walking up to the highest row of vines above Lady Anne Barnard’s Bath, something he loved and made time to do every day.

When are dog owners going to own up, and take responsibility? A couple of thin “butcher” bags (or biodegradable ones, to dispose of correctly, take very little effort to tie onto a leash.

I spoke to a Groot Constantia estate manager about the death of one of the tame white ducks, who wore a pink ribbon around her ankle. She was killed by a dog, her carers devastated.