As a neighbour of Ms. Francis’ mother, I for one cannot imagine why anyone would have complained to bylaw about Mrs. Francis and her dog walking on the beach.
The entire neighbourhood has seen this wonderful woman and her well behaved dog walking the same route for years and have defended her when stopped by bylaw officers in the past.
How sad that in this small community, a 90-year-old woman would become a target for a bylaw officer enforcing a rule that, in truth, is meant to keep the dogs off the beach in the overpopulated summer months.
I have also witnessed her trying to avoid the beach and take her dog up the pathway that is connected to the Kal Beach parking lot.
This pathway is extremely icy in the winter yet I have seen her try to negotiate it.
That to me is crazy when she has a perfectly flat, safe area with which to let her dog off to run.
She is diligent in picking up after her dog and I see no reason why she cannot be allowed to have access to an area where she can safely walk and has been for years.
While I don’t agree that it should be made an off-leash area, I believe there should be an exception made for Mrs. Francis.
Although most dog owners are as diligent as Mrs. Francis, there are those who are completely disrespectful by not picking up after their dogs.
They are the ones who create the fire storm of controversy regarding on and off-leash areas and quite literally ruin it for responsible dog owners.
I would love to see bylaw target and ticket those dog owners. Just think of the money to be made there.
I find it difficult to believe this has even become an issue for this woman.
Could there not be some discretion used by the bylaw officers?
And if they are responding to a complaint, could they not use some diplomacy on the part of Mrs. Francis to mitigate the situation? Others have and do use the beach in the winter months for walking their dogs and it has never become a community hot topic.
With a bit of discretion used by bylaw officers and common sense use of the beach by the community, it shouldn’t become a bone of contention for anyone.
As for Mrs. Francis and her dog, can we not make an exception?