Letters: The good and bad about Sooke

Visitor is send for medical attention after encounter with loose dog

Last week I visited Sooke from Edmonton and experienced the good side of your community. I required medical attention and was very courteously and professionally taken care of by the welcoming staff of the Harbour Family Medical Clinic. I am very grateful to them and feel that they demonstrate the best caring aspects of your town towards a tourist in need.

The less pleasant aspect of my visit was what made me need medical care. I was bitten at the Alyard Farm Beach by an out of control local dog, “Boomer,” permitted to run off leash on the beach and indifferent to the people trying to control it and its companion. Alarmingly, the custodians of these dogs had an infant and toddler in their party, and I can only wonder about the children’s safety or that of other vulnerable people in light of the aggressive behaviour of these dogs. The potential harm to young children is troubling to contemplate.

Ironically, there is a clear sign on the beach approach about leashing dogs.  Even if disregarded when the area is quiet, I expect that the dog owner should be able to restrain and control their animal when others approach to use the area.

I can testify to the quite painful consequences of this not happening and hope that your readers will take heed and control their dogs properly. Sooke and the GVRD do an excellent job of promoting tourism and providing outstanding recreational opportunities for visitors. I would hate to see their hard work undermined by the careless behaviour of some reckless dog owners.

A dog bite is not my favourite souvenir of your beautiful region.

Denis Haughey

Edmonton