Comments on our Facebook pages came fast and furious after we posted the story about a Shetland sheepdog that was banned from a Langley dog park.
Owner John Levesque was handed a letter from the City on Nov. 22 that banned him and his nine-year-old Sheltie, Cameron, from the Uplands off-leash park for “excessive barking” and “inability to keep [the dog] under voice command.”
Cameron and Levesque received a lot of community support on Facebook:
“That would be like banning a child from a park because they are running around and being loud. Isn’t that what they are supposed to do. Just like at a dog park, place for a dog to run around and have fun!!” commented Lacey Usher.
A comment from Christine McCune compared the barking to kids screaming in a playground.
“My kids run and scream and laugh when they play at the park. Isn’t a dog barking and running at the park the same thing?”
Craig Ellison commented, “Next the bylaw officer will be patrolling playgrounds and banning laughing kids! Get a life!”
Others defended Cameron’s actions because Shetland sheepdogs are “herding” dogs meant to run and bark.
“It’s a bloody sheep dog!!” wrote John Hansen. “It’s what they do…you know, use their bark while circling the herd to keep them together.”
Vicky O’Connor added: “Bark, run (and spin) is what Shelties do.”
Some said seeing Cameron run in the park has put smiles on their faces.
“I’ve driven past many times and Cameron runs back and forth along the fence barking at cars and having a great time! It made me smile seeing how happy Cameron is and how much space he has to run in,” commented Lisa Jean.
And others criticized the neighbours who complained.
“Maybe they should of thought about that before they moved next to a dog park? Those self righteous people not only had a dog banned, but made a stand up guy feel lonely and took a shot at his happiness,” wrote Chelsea Crich.
Said Christie Lea: “Don’t buy a house near a dog park if you don’t like barking dogs. Common sense 101.”
While most commenters supported the pet, a few argued for the City and dog park neighbours.
Nathalie Ferguson wrote: “Yes, Cameron is just being a dog, but imagine being a neighbour that lives across the street from the park and particularly the area where the dog likes to run back and forth barking.. What if they worth shift work or have a young baby/child etc, whatever the case for them maybe. This person in charge did not make this decision on their own.”
Angie Steidle agreed: “While, yes, it’s a dog park, the constant barking is not necessary & the owner can & should discourage the behavior.”
Cameron and Levesque are banned from Uplands Dog Park for two months. Upon their return, Cameron is required to be on a leash until he reaches the far west side of the park.