To the editor:

One of Brookhaven’s most appealing assets is its beautiful parks system, especially Murphey Candler Park and Blackburn Park. Like many other residents, I enjoy taking my two dogs for daily walks.

While I’m pleased to see that most pet owners obey leash laws, I increasingly come across people with dogs off leash, often running ahead of them. Inevitably, the owner yells out something like “Don’t worry, he’s OK,” or “She’s good.” I then reply “Well, he’s not,” which results in a look of panic on the dog owner’s face. This is followed by shouts of “Buddy! Here Buddy,” the scrambling to grab a collar or attach a leash, and then mumblings of “Sorry” as we pass.

Did you ever stop to think that it’s not always about you and your dog? My dogs are usually friendly, but not always, especially if an excitable animal comes bounding toward them.

While dogs are members of our families, they are not human, and have no idea whether another dog is “good” or is going to attack. If a fight were to ensue, or even if my dog were to react as the aggressor, the fault squarely lies with the owner of the dog off the leash. And that could be made even worse if a person gets in the middle to try and break things up and gets bit.

There is a very simple solution: Leash your dog.

A disciplined walk is a good thing. Save off-leash play time for sanctioned dog parks, doggie day care centers, your backyard, and your house. Not to mention: It’s the law.

Oh, and while you’re at it, please pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of the bag in the proper bins… but that’s a rant for another day.

Michelle Wagner