Cracking dirt bikes, cursing mountain bikers who summon you to f*** off when you walk on what they claim to be their track, thumping music from festivals in the neighborhood, it’s all there in the woods surrounding Best. Without any consequence for whom so ever. But a dog that is NOT on a leash??? They can expect to be fined! Euro 104! The animal, and his owner too, is portrayed as the great culprit who disturbs all life and well-being of everything roaming the forest. And that is not fair.
Many people are eligible for such a fine. And the only thing they want to do is let their dog play and run a bit. There is nothing wrong with that cause really, not every dog is attacking animals in the forest by default. In fact, most of the dogs are not like that at all. But if there is such an incident somewhere, it is so widely reported that people get the impression these things happen every day.
And so, government decides that EVERY dog needs to suffer from that. Like all other animals in this country, a dog has no right to speak at all, and their need to run and play is completely ignored. And that is also not fair.
“Everyone else who wants to enjoy themself is free to do so,” says Cristel van Zunderd. “You can gallop with your horse, rummage through the forest with your dirt bike, people almost run you over with their mountain bike and nobody will consider it harmful for the animals in the forest when there are 400 cyclists touring around. A festival at Aquabest where the music is so loud that the bottom of the forest is thundering? No problem! Everyone obviously has the right to recreate in a way that he or she likes; except the dog. ”
Cristel continues: “Almost all dogs know how to behave, and their owners too. But that is not at all reflecting from communication coming from the local municipality. They issue messages about dogs being dangerous while destroying everything. And that’s just not true. They completely ignore a whole group of people, namely the dog owners who also want to have fun, together with their animals. The forest is for all of us. Dogs should indeed not be a nuisance, but neither should anybody else! We simply have to take each other into account, respect each other and be open minded. I think a normal discussion should take place about this.”
Cristel wants to figure out whether it’s possible to designate areas in the woods, where dogs are allowed to run and play, without being on a leash. Because there is a great need for that, so much is clear. She wonders whether others are possibly already engaged in developing these kinds of initiatives or wether people want to join her initiative. Because a joint action is of course much more likely to succeed.
If you would like to join Cristel on this, or give her tips or tricks: use the comment field below this post to enter your message and I will pass it on to Cristel.