I have lived in Columbia for close to 25 years. I have been a dog owner all of those same years, and have treasured my walks around our lakes and neighborhood trails.
I have always owned large dogs, and have been sensitive to the fact not everyone walking, biking or running is comfortable around dogs. To that end, all of my dogs have always been leashed ( per county and park laws ) and have been obedience trained. All of my dogs have been people friendly, but most not "other dog" friendly. As a precaution , I have always taught my dogs to do a "sit/wait" quietly, off path, and let other dogs pass by.
If I see the another owner is not paying attention to a straining dog, or an owner on a phone, I have called out to warn we are not dog friendly, please take care while passing. Owners have overwhelmingly been great about this, and appreciative.
In the last two months a Dumb Bomb must have been dropped over our area. I have encountered four dogs off leash on the public trails in our neighborhood, at Wilde and Centennial lakes. I have never encountered this before.
I don't care how friendly your dog may be. While your dog wanders loose, he or she may encounter a dog who is not. It will be too late to control the ensuing fight. It puts your friendly dog in harms way. There is a leash law for a reason. It saves lives.
I don't care how old your dog is. Please don't tell me he's old and deaf and sweet and never any trouble. This may be the day he wanders over to a dog who is not dog friendly. The dog on leash is going to feel threatened by the loose dog. There is a leash law for a reason. It saves lives.
Please, leash your dogs when on a trail or at a park. Don't rob others of this joy with your carelessness.