To the Editor:

I am an avid dog walker who has spent time, energy and money to train my dog.  We enjoy evening walks and love looking at the different houses and subdivisions of Keizer.  In the year and a half since I got my dog, I have been charged at by more than 10 different dogs of various breed in different locations in northeast Keizer. Some of these instances have been more than one dog at a time.  The most recent incident was at the Keizer Terrace Apartments on Sunday,  Aug. 5.

 We are charged at by dogs whose owners cannot hold their dog and the dog is dragging a leash as it runs at me, or the owner did not have their dog on a leash nor did they have vocal control of the dog, and it charges us from their private property.

 Most times, I pick up my 45 pound dog and hold her in the air, leaving myself exposed to the dog jumping on me. I yell loudly at the charging animal—No! Back! Down!—and usually that scares them a little so the owner can run up and grab their dog.  Some owners apologize, some grab their dog and walk away without speaking, one actually told both his dogs that were jumping on me that, “Not everyone wants to be their friends.”  He didn’t apologize.

The fear my dog and I experience at these occurrences is something I don’t wish on anyone else.  It is terrifying and has made it difficult for my dog to discern a good dog from a bad dog.  It actually changed the way she greets other animals.  She is very hesitant in meeting other dogs and she used to be happy and excited.

To this end, I am begging the citizens of Keizer: train your dog, leash your dog, control your dog!

If they are attacking me, they will attack others. I never want to harm an animal but in order to protect myself and my dog, I will begin defending us using a stick or pepper spray.   We have been lucky that neither of us have been bitten during these attacks.  I feel that luck running out.

Lillian Weaver
Keizer