Dog rules, or dogs rule? 

Street Smarts

A dog can be the best animal in the world. But does the dog's owner have the right to decide whether it should be on or off the leash?

click to enlarge Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell of the west side is an artist

Are you a dog owner? No, but only because my landlord doesn't allow me to have one. Otherwise, I would.

How do you feel about leash laws? I think they should be strictly enforced, and people should do everything they can to contain their dogs.

Have you had a bad experience with someone's unleashed dog? Yes, my daughter's been bitten and I've been bitten. We also had our cat killed right in front of us by a dog off the leash.

Do you know someone who's really, really close to their dog? Oh, yeah. My cousin has a pit bull, and it's the nicest dog I've ever met. That dog goes with her everywhere.

click to enlarge Kelsea Fontes

Kelsea Fontes of Austin, Texas, is a small-business owner

How do you feel about leash laws? If it's at a dog park, and it's OK to be off the leash, that's one thing. But you should still know your own dog's temperament, and decide if it's OK or not.

Have you had a bad experience with someone's unleashed dog? I know people who've been attacked while running outside. And one time I hugged a dog and got snapped at; I didn't know she didn't like being hugged.

Do you know anyone who's really close to their dog? Yes, me! He's a "Shorkie" puppy, a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkie. He is so cute. When it's time for me to get up, he crawls up and falls asleep on my neck so I won't go to work.

From what you've seen, do you think this is a dog-friendly city? Absolutely. I've seen lots of people out with their dogs. But they're being responsible and have them on leashes.

click to enlarge Bob Bernard

Bob Bernard of the northeast side is a pilot

Are you a dog owner? Yes, I have two, and I always had a dog growing up. I can't imagine not having a dog.

How do you feel about leash laws? They're good, and they should be enforced. You could have the best-trained dog in the world, but dogs are still animals.

Tell me about someone you know who's really, really close to their dog. My mom had a West Highland terrier for 17 years. When she lost that dog she was devastated.

Do you feel like this is a dog-friendly city? Yes, especially the west side. We were just in the Garden of the Gods; it seemed like there were hundreds of dogs, and they were all on leashes.

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