This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest or posting of any content by secondary parties to Facebook or MySpace. Any infringement of copyrighted property will be met with a) a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice, b) a bill for usage of any images and c) a potential lawsuit for copyright infringement. Spam comments will be deleted (links to other services not related to photography are not welcome in this blog; please e-mail me prior to posting a comment containing such links. I do not support any links to secondary photography services that do not offer customer service guarantees). Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rant: Rein Your Dogs In!!!!

There is one thing that frankly irritates me to this very day. It is the lack of respect that some park users have for the wildlife that reside there. I hate to pin this on dog owners, but as of recently, it has been shown that some dog owners are very irresponsible. My friend, Christian Sasse, (who photographs bald eagles and great blue herons ) illustrates that fact with a pointed letter that he had to write to the White Rock newspaper: Pets, wildlife a sad combination. It is idiots like these people in the photograph that enrage those who have the common sense to respect wildlife and the fact that they have a right to be there - it is people and their pets that intrude upon the wildlife domain. It is sheer arrogance on our part that certain people think that "wildlife is there to amuse them" and let their pets chase them at will.

I am not relating this as secondary information. I have also seen this with my own two eyes and as a matter of fact, I will be photographing any incident that I see from now on and putting it up on what I will call in this blog - "The Wall of Shame". Maybe that is what we nature lovers will have to do to keep these louts and ignoramuses in line. Maybe,the fact that if you allow your pets free will to chase wildlife, that you may be on the receiving end of a lens, may provide enough deterrence to keep your dog from chasing the wildlife.

This particular dog owner had this dog on a long-leash...and as a result, the dog chased several ducks into the water.

When a duck starts doing this...this is an alarm call. This means that there is something in the area that the duck considers as a threat. The ducks behind this male mallard (with a yellow beak) darted into the water and sure enough right after them was a little chihuahua. The people responsible didn't care.

As wildlife photographers, both Christian and I are always cognizant of the signs that animals are getting agitated. If we sense that a bird is getting to that point we will cease what we are doing and retreat. This is what is called "responsible interaction with your environment". Enough agitation and disturbance to an animal can cause the animal to change its eating habits, it's location, cause it to abandon its nesting area and resulting in changes in behavior that could affect further generations of its species. That is why we are so adamant that wildlife not be disturbed. It may seem cute that your dog likes to chase birds, but when you see the result, it's not so pretty of a picture any more, is it?

Both Christian Sasse and I are pretty much in agreement that it is sad to see that people have such little respect for their natural surroundings that they will allow their pets to trod on the grounds that the wildlife have chosen to mate, to bear their young, to be able to have an existence. We share that natural surrounding and at the back of our mind, we need to understand that there has to be respect for those surroundings. If you are going to use our Province's parks, please do the right thing. Leave your dog at home or if you have to bring your dog with you, use proper etiquette and short-leash your dog, lock the leash in and rein in your dog when you see wildlife. We have to share our wildlife areas, but that means that we have to understand that this is the wildlife's area first and foremost. Leave only no harm. A little bit of fun for the dog is not worth the life and well-being of the wildlife that we enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree and walk Burnaby's Central park daily where there are signs saying dogs must be on a leash.
    We see first hand the terror these disrespectful owners allow thier dogs to inflict on ducks and squirells,and then have the nerve to throw some peanuts at them as payment.