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Henry’s Woods a safe place to spend time

October 24, 2014
Editorial , Lake Placid News

A dog-on-dog attack we reported on recently shouldn't dissuade you from visiting the recreational trails at Henry's Woods, with or without a canine companion.

Such incidents are extremely rare. As we reported, local police said they had no records of any dog attacks being reported to them at Henry's Woods since the popular trail opened in 2008. That's part of what made this event newsworthy - also the allegation that the attacking dog's owner gave the victim dog's owner a false name.

The rarity of such incidents speaks highly of local people's courtesy, considering how many people and animals frequent Henry's Woods. The Uihlein Foundation owns the land, built the trails and offers them to the public, which uses them as a combination of dog park, family meeting place, hiking trail and mountain bike / cross-country ski loop. It's very popular.

We're not sure one incident warrants much of a change in behavior, but we think it's good for people to have realistic expectations about Henry's Woods. When you go there, you probably won't have the place to yourself. You're likely to encounter other people and animals, more than on most other hiking trails.

Anything you do has certain risks, including going to Henry's Woods. Any time you go down a hill on skis or bike, there might be someone coming up the trail. And even though it's a relief to let your dog off a leash in the forest, keep in mind that you're likely to encounter plenty of other people and dogs. In the recent incident, the dog off leash was the one attacked, while the aggressor dog was leashed, possibly because its owner knew it didn't always get along with other dogs.

That doesn't mean you can't take your dog off a leash, but know what you're getting into and accept whatever risk that involves. The biggest problem with the recent incident was that the owner of the attacking dog ducked out of taking responsibility for his dog's actions. While he probably couldn't have prevented the incident, he should have been honest and owned up to it.



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