Treat fellow dog walkers with respect

Deena Naidoo, Plumstead

On Sunday July 24, my 10-year-old son and I walked our dog along the Alphen trail in Constantia.

We entered the trail from the Alphen Road side. It was the first time we brought our new pet for a walk along this trail.

Shortly after arriving we noticed that all the other dogs were not on leashes so we took the leash off our dog. She happily bounced around, greeted other dogs, played in the water, and walked along the path with us.

Once we reached the end of the trail, we turned around to head back in the direction that we came from. Not long afterwards our dog ran off to chase an Egyptian goose.

We saw a man further up the path who started hurling abuse at us. He demanded that we put our dog on a leash. He called us “f*cken idiots” repeatedly for not controlling our dog. In a loud, angry and grossly abusive manner he made us aware of a family of Egyptian geese that were living in that area.

My son responded by running after the dog to catch her in order to put the leash on. It was obviously not fast enough for this man. He continued to vomit abuse at me and my son.

He swore at me as if I was the owner of the other two dogs that were also chasing the geese. Even though I asked him to refrain from swearing at us, he did not listen. When I pointed out that they were not all my dogs, he responded with “I don’t f*cken care”. The ranting continued until he walked away and left the trail with his partner and their dogs.

If we knew that the geese were there, we would have put our dog on a leash to prevent the chase.

When we walked past the same spot only minutes earlier, we did not see any geese. There were no signs saying “’keep your dog on a leash” or that we should be “aware of the family of geese.” Next time we will be much more aware and on the lookout for other creatures around when taking our dog for a walk.

This experience left us both shaken. My son was extremely upset by this incident.

The man’s behaviour was completely undignified. I feel that people sharing public spaces should treat each other with consideration and respect.