Hawaii Monitor: Leash Your Dogs, Please.

Ian Lind

For well over 17 years, my wife and I have started the day by walking down to the beach in our small community of Kaaawa at dawn. We watch the sunrise, then walk to the far end of the beach before turning around and heading home, often taking to the back roads for a portion of the return.

It has evolved into almost a morning meditation as we take in the endless variations in the look and feel as the emerging day is defined by slight variations in weather, clouds, tides, wind, and timing.

Over the years, we’ve met people and their pets across Kaaawa. “Animal mediated relationships” is the term my sociologist spouse uses.

In many cases, we first get to know the dogs, since they are most likely to be awake, outside, and interested when we walk past. Most dogs perk up when offered a bit of dog biscuit, so making their acquaintance is simple. Eventually we also meet the people, who are almost universally appreciative when you say something nice about their animals. To tell the truth, we often learn the dogs’s names long before their people’s names.

So despite being confirmed cat people, we’ve gotten on a first-name basis with dozens of dogs, in some cases spanning two or more canine generations.

Then, just short of two weeks ago, I found myself in the middle of a dog attack involving two of those dogs that I know by name and have interacted with over time.

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