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I'm reading stories on here about the neighborhoods people live in with aggressive dogs or owners who are irresponsible to the extent of endangering their dogs, and I'm grateful for living in the neighborhood, and town, that I do reside in.

The dogs are off-leash a lot. I think Finn is the only one who is on leash out of the big dogs, as well as being the youngest of the neighborhood gang. But the great thing about these dogs, that despite being left outside for a majority of the day, and practically in the middle of town, these dogs are the most respectful, mellow, and trained dogs I've had the pleasure of encountering.

Bo, a husky mix who is unleashed a lot, slightly shy, but otherwise kind, and Lassie, the sheltie who is scared of people and is Bo's buddy, and then Ally, the Aussie Lab rescue who hangs with them, all will be outside enjoying themselves, wandering around, and sometimes Lucky the pitbull/boxer wanders about with them (she and Ally don't get along too well though) and at first I was terrified that these dogs would get hit, or interfere with Finn's training.

They've done the exact opposite. I don't approve of letting dogs be off leash in town unless they are extremely trained, but these dogs instinctively will move and stand out of the way of cars, not bother people unless they are directly invited, and are insanely quiet and generally peaceful dogs. They have been superb influences on my Husky pup, and have taught me a lot of dog behavior that I can only skim in books.

It's even greater to go around town with these amazing people who are overall extremely responsible for their dogs and know the pup's limits (with a few bad eggs of course) and being able to learn from them simply because they are there!

At the beach, people will leash their dogs if the dog is aggressive or doesn't have good recall. They'll leash the dog even if it isn't aggressive, and if they aren't sure, they keep a very close eye on their dog and will inform other owners about their unleashed dogs. Even more superb is walking in the streets and seeing these really calm dogs walking perfectly beside their owners on the sidewalk, or outside of stores.

Where I live, dogs are a major part of society. You are considered strange if you don't have a dog, and even stranger if you CAN'T have a dog. So many activities involve dogs here, like Strut Your Mutt or parades for dogs and opportunities for volunteer.
People here don't really see breed as a major quality. They might say, "Oh hey, is that a husky mix? Beautiful markings!" Or, "What a great dog! What kind is she?"

But never have I had the opportunity to hear someone say, "God! You have a pitbull? You must be brave." They are so responsible with their dogs that they find is impossible to meet a "bad" dog!

I love my town and am thankful that I live somewhere where Finn can learn from the best and I can see dog behavior up close.
 
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