Regarding dogs on the Boone Greenway, it has been brought to my attention that one of our members, while waiting for hikers to assemble and the hike to begin, encountered two young people who stopped to chat with a pair of interesting unleashed dogs. Both dogs began to romp; they were largish dogs, pit bull mixes, and though my friend and her husband, dog lovers and owners themselves, knew to stay extremely still and not move, our friend and member was knocked over by one of the friskies. Result? Broken arm in a sling for at least a month.
There are, in addition to the Walka Doggie type Greenway user, many small children, elderly or handicapped walkers, all especially vulnerable to both the anxiety and possible injury occasioned by aggressive dogs off the leash. I have observed over the years that many dog owners have no clue what their dogs will get up to, the moment their backs are turned. “Oh, no my (animal) would never do that.”
We looked at and saw no signage to indicate that a leash law was in effect. This is rather strange, as first, most all dogs are on leashes and their owners are careful to keep them under control. Second, there is no shortage of signage in and around the Greenway, in fact, the place is cluttered (polluted) with signs nearly everywhere admonishing the walkers not to do any of 12 or more horrible things. I do not really pretend to know what should or can be done.
There are many folks who walk their dogs on the Boone Greenway, lovely people with lovely dogs. If you want a bit of conversation with a stranger on The Greenway, pick someone with a dog, and do reference their dog. You will not be disappointed. There are poop bag dispenser stations strategically located, and I would guess, based on observation of both behavior and remaining deposits, that about half of the excrement is bagged, and half of that deposited in the designated containers, the rest left about in the small black plastic bags. These dispenser stations might be a likely place to emphasize the use of leashes and responsible control?
Especially if you like to walk your dog(s) on The Boone Greenway, please make an effort to communicate the need for effective leash law to your elected officials.
David M. Johnson, president of the Blue Ridge Hiking Club