On one hand, dogs need to run. People love their dogs. so people let their dogs run. It's like letting your kid do something that makes them so darned happy you just get all fuzzy inside.
On the other hand, people and dogs who don't know them aren't a great mix. The dogs bark crazily, jump and lunge at kids, take potty breaks wherever and whenever, and break the peace and calm of the day.
Dunwoody Park is a favorite walking spot for lots of people and dogs. Some leash their dogs (which they're supposed to); most let them run like crazy across the meadow and trails, into the creek, and up and down the hills.
I love dogs. I love their eager interest in every falling leaf and squirrel scent, happy disregard for wet and cold and mud, and lolling tongues. I love the way they run helter-skelter from tree trunk to fence rail. I love their crazed barking when they chase each other and every squirrel chattering at them from the safety of trees.
But I don't love the way they scare visitors who come upon them unexpectedly while enjoying a day in the park. Or the stuff I step in when I'm watering a native plant garden or picking up someone's coffee cup or juice box (we get a lot of those).
I have just one word for people and the dogs we all love: LEASH.