Thursday, October 11, 2007

This City Is Changing

I have lived in the lower mainland since I was 16 years old except for four years that I was forced to live in hell... oh sorry Florida. No offense, but any place that is that hot and has that many nasty bugs, snakes and gators is hell to me. For the most part the city has been decent to me even if sometimes hard, but now either I have lost my affection for it or it is just time to live a slower life. Either way I have begun to pray for the day I can get out of here. The one thing that has made living in the city bearable in the last six years has been living in Delta. Life, in Delta, except for the grid lock traffic over the bridge, has been pleasant and quiet.
The part of Delta I live in is a blue collar working man's area with few rentals and most of the homes are older family homes. The people are friendly, but not in your face kinda people. I know all my neighbors to say hello, some I visit with occasionally and most of them would look out for us and lend a hand in a pinch.
Almost every house has at least one dog and on a Friday night our local pet store is almost as busy as Save-on-Foods. People here do not scrimp on their animals and alot of people bought homes here because of the abundance of green spaces including Cougar Canyon and of course Burns Bog. As well Delta has been one of the few places where, if dog owners are responsible, we have not been harassed by the Delta Humane society over walking our dogs off leash even though we have a "no off leash" law in Delta. All year round you will find dogs and their guardians walking, jogging and playing especially in the bog. In fact in the winter dog walkers are really the few people who brave the mud and ankle deep water in the bog to walk there however all that is now about to change. The Burns Bog Society has decided they want us out of there and have put pressure on the Delta bylaw people to enforce the leash act and have used all kinds of bad press to make their case. They claim that people have been bitten by dogs in the bog, that dogs are threatening the delicate environment in the bog and that after all there is a "no off leash" law in Delta.
I am sure that everything they have to say is true. I am quite sure that people have been bitten in the bog, but I would probably be accurate in saying that they have not been bitten any more in the bog than in any other park or area in the summer in the city and actually if we could track the numbers I bet it is far less than some of the other areas around the lower mainland. In the five years that I have been taking Lucy, usually three or four times a week twice a day, I have not once seen anyone get bitten or even threatened by a dog although I have had people tell me that someone's dog had bitten someone. Usually though these dogs don't return to the bog as their owners no longer feel comfortable in letting them off leash and that is the way it should be. As for environmental damage that is just a joke ! They certainly haven't been screaming about the teenagers that go to the bog in the summer and drink beer leaving broken bottles and garbage strewn everywhere. Garbage that dog walkers routinely clean up and pack out of the bog. They also were not particularly interested when I reported to them that paint was being dumped into the creek in the bog on a daily basis for a few summers.
The truth is that the dog walkers have really done little or no damage to people or to the bog itself and most of the people who walk their dogs there have helped build the paths and walkways as well as fought to protect that bog. The truth is that someone is trying to get control over this area by throwing out the very people who helped save this bog from destruction in the first place. For myself and a few others, if we cannot walk our dogs off leash in peace there then we are finished. Finished not only with the bog, but with the city as well. I won't give up my dog and like most big dogs they need exercise. Either the city of Delta provides us with that or we will all have to move on and sadly some people will have to give up their dogs because they can no longer keep them active. For me it may be simply time to leave the city and head to the country. Something I have been longing to do for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you can find your dog-friendly country home soon. :(