Letter to the editor, July 19, 2018

Dear Editor,

My wife Marilyn and her many friends have been involved in dog rescue for as long as I can remember and, taking my age into consideration, that is still fairly impressive. Over the years I have seen and witnessed more horrific stories of dog abuse than dog attacks. Dogs have been kicked, tortured, beaten with heavy objects, left unattended and without shelter while chained up in fields and backyards, thrown out of fast moving cars, thrown from high places, or left to suffer and die because their owner was unable or unwilling to pay the vet bills required to relieve their pain.

Ironically many of these seriously abused dogs, once shown a little affection, make the most loving and compassionate of companions. It seems they have a greater capacity for forgiveness than we do.

Dogs have saved many more lives than they have ever endangered. There are service dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and just plain everyday companion dogs.

They brighten the lives of children, fill family homes with laughter, or just laze around the house drinking and eating your food like your annoying brother-in-law. When they feel most of humanity has turned their backs to them, the lonely are appreciated, protected and loved by their dogs.

Dogs can be jealous, difficult, angry, and dangerous at times but so can we. The pain, death and destruction caused by the bad behavior of dogs pales in comparison to the pain, death and destruction caused by man.

Some irresponsible dog owners leave their dog feces wherever they fall but I’ll tolerate the biodegradable menace of dog droppings any day over the plastic and toxic waste dropping we humans continue to pollute our waters, parklands, and planet with.

I understand some people, because of an unpleasant past experience or association, have developed a fear of dogs and those people have the right to enjoy Sandy Beach and its marvellous walking trails without fear of confrontation and injury.

Compromise is one of the most beautiful words in the English language and exclusion is one of the ugliest. A compromise would be to exclude dogs from the beach from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily on weekdays and close the beach to dogs on weekends. Because of the ever growing number of tourists that populate the beach on weekends, we wouldn’t want to see a dog hurt or badly injured by one of these large, at times, undisciplined and unruly beach lovers.

Winter months should be open because, in my experience, the only ones crazy enough to walk Sandy Beach on cold winter days and nights are dog walkers.

Let us be vigilant not vindictive.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Let us show the world how loving, compassionate, open and great Hudson is by building bridges on our Sandy Beach trails and leave the building of walls to Donald Trump.

Frank Hicks


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