Talk in Tuscany – Off Leash in Tuscany 4

I’ve lived in Tuscany for nearly 3 years now, and have always felt safe and welcome in this community.  However, I would like to share a story some very UN-neighbourly behaviour I recently encountered.

I was walking my dog on Wednesday September 15; we came to the field we always walk to, where I can let him off leash to throw a ball.  Often we encounter other people walking their dogs and doing the exact same thing. This day was no exception.  In the field there was a man and his two little girls (who couldn’t have been more than 4 and 7 years old) and they were walking what appeared to be a young black lab puppy.  My dog playfully ran up and around the group and I called to them that he is friendly with puppies and children and not to worry.  The man pulled his puppy up by her harness in to his arms; Even though my dog was no longer at their feet, I instinctively apologized for him running up to them, assuring him that my dog is up to date with all shots, if that was his concern with the new puppy. I understand that some people are just not comfortable with their dogs being around other dogs off leash.  So, I called to my dog, throwing the ball in the opposite direction as we passed the man and his children and we were on our way.

While returning with the ball, my dog saw the group walking away behind me.  He ran past me and towards them again. I called him a few times and he stopped short of them, still at least 10 feet away, before coming back to me.  It was at this point that the man now yanked his puppy up by the leash into his arms again and snarled at me about keeping my dog under control. He then snapped “the next time that thing comes near me I’m going to kill it!!!”

I was absolutely shocked. Did he actually just threaten to kill my dog?  Though not instantaneously, my dog did listen to my command and stopped his approach of their group and this man still feels the need to say such cruel and callous things to me, IN FRONT OF HIS CHILDREN?!  I couldn’t believe this kind of behaviour.  My initial reaction was to shout out some choice words back at this man, as I considered his actions to be not only rude and mean but completely uncalled for.  However, it wouldn’t be right to stoop to his level and throw venomous words back and forth, regardless of whether his children were present or not.

There are a number of different ways this man could have expressed himself to him in a calm and civil manner.  Regardless of the situation, there is never a need to make threats.

Its frightening to me that there are people in our community that would act this way; and even more so that there are parents role modeling this kind of unacceptable behaviour for their children.



Editor’s Note: The City is asking for feedback on off-leash areas.

4 thoughts on “Talk in Tuscany – Off Leash in Tuscany

  • tuscanycommunityassociation

    Emailed to on October 28th
    I would like to make a comment on the “Off Leash in Tuscany” comment made in the November issue of the Sun. I would first like to say I think that the behavior of the man that made the horrible comment was under no circumstances acceptable, on the other hand I do understand his frustration. I am the owner of a small 16lb dog and I really get annoyed when I am in a field in Tuscany with my leashed dog and a HUGE dog comes running up to us as the owner shouts “he’s friendly”. Well my poor dog gets very defensive when a 75lb lab comes running up to him out of nowhere and he becomes “unfriendly” I am then forced to pick him up as the other dog is not being controlled. The situation would be different if this was an off leashed area but it is not. I know it isn’t as there is a bylaw officer there from time to time just to remind people of the fact their dogs need to be leashed, probably due to complaints like mine. Please remember just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean my dog will welcome his visit!


  • tuscanycommunityassociation

    Emailed to on November 2nd, 2010

    In the November issue of The Tuscany Sun, J.O. wrote a letter about an experience he or she had when letting his or her dog run off-leash in “the field we always walk to”. J.O.’s dog ran up to a man, his puppy, and two little girls, and the man yelled at J.O. While the man’s choice of words may have been a little extreme, J.O. does not state whether they were in a designated off-leash area – I am betting not because I don’t think there are any off-leash areas within Tuscany other than right along Stoney Trail (on the east side of the ravine), and I assume J.O. would have said if they were in that off-leash area. If J.O. was letting his or her dog run off-leash in an area that is not designated off-leash, J.O. is breaking the law and quite frankly I think deserves to get yelled at (and fined!). I am absolutely sick and tired of people in our community thinking that they can let their dogs run off-leash anywhere they want. I see off-leash dogs in the school yards and along pathways where it is clearly not an off-leash area. I don’t care if you think your dog is friendly with children and other dogs – that’s what you usually hear in the news after a dog attack!!! The other issue is that Calgary bylaws clearly state that even in an off-leash area your dog must remain under control. We back onto 12 Mile Coulee Ravine, and have witnessed off-leash dogs running down into the ravine chasing deer; that is clearly not “under control”.

    J.O. says that he or she “understand that some people are not comfortable with their dogs being around other dogs off leash” – well I am not comfortable with myself or my children being around off-leash dogs either. This is why I do not go to off-leash dog parks. If J.O. wants to be treated with respect, then he/she should respect the law and keep their dog on a leash unless they are in a designated off-leash area. And J.O.’s comments about the father yelling threats in front of his kids – well, I think it’s just as bad if parents are teaching their kids to disobey the laws by walking a dog off-leash when it is not a designated off-leash area!


  • DR

    Regarding our encounter in Tuscany on the 15th September. I do not wish to get into a public debate regarding the rights and wrongs of both mine and your actions on this day or the level of truthfulness and embellishment used in your account. Suffice to say however, I will not tolerate aggressive dogs around my young children. After giving you adequate time and several requests to restrain your aggressive dog in what is clearly an on- leash area, you got the verbal outburst you justly deserved. You clearly felt walking away, doing nothing and chatting on your cell phone was a more than adequate response to my repeated requests to control your dog. If you feel as though my actions were unjustified, please feel free to file a complaint with Calgary police.
    Your neighbour

  • Scott Doyle

    I’ve lived in Tuscany for a little over tow years now and I agree it is not an off leash area and if you are ignorant enough to disregard the rules then you deserve getting an earfull. Threats of killing animals is a bit much but if everyone obeyed the rules then it wouldn’t happen. There will always be those people that think the rules don’t apply to them for one reason or another. If you want to walk your dog in an off leash area there are plenty of them around the city, one within a 5 min drive of Tuscany. Don’t be so lazy and inconsiderate of everyone else in the community and take your dog there. I also have a dog who is very friendly but I never let him run around off his leash unless it’s in an off leash area.

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