Disclaimer: This is a rant, sorry for being negative.
We went out looking for signs of spring but all we found was mud and ice! It was beautiful though- in the 70's today! First we went to the middle school's athletic fields and I jogged a mile on their track and let Delilah run around off leash (she must have sprinted 2 or 3 miles at least). And then we went hiking at Indian Brook, a park across from my neighborhood. I was hoping it wouldn't be busy on a Monday morning, but it was very busy!
They have a rule posted all around the park- only dogs under voice control are allowed off leash. We must have run into 8 or 9 dogs, and all but 3 of them blew off their recall and charged up and scared Delilah. She's very friendly and gets excited to greet other dogs but as soon as they start jumping on her that makes her scared (imagine being tackled by a stranger 10x your size!) I try to body block or grab their collars. The owners are usually idiots: "Don't worry, he's just playing!"
There was one dog that ran towards us, stopped with his hackles up, and hard stared and growled at Delilah. The owner was calling but of course he didn't listen. I stepped between him and Delilah. I yelled at him to go away. The owner called "Don't worry, he doesn't bite! He's a good boy!" He charged at us and I picked up Delilah and blocked him, kneeing at him to keep him away. The owner grabbed him and said "Sorry, he's not used to little dogs" as if the situation were MY fault for hiking with a small dog! How about you don't let your aggressive dog off leash?
So even though Indian Brook's only half a mile away from us, unfortunately I think we're going to have to drive to other towns to go hiking in less populated areas. There are just too many irresponsible owners out there and I don't feel like I can keep my dog safe around them.