By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Feb. 18, 2012
As evening starts to envelope the day, the Nexen trail begins to clog with people—and dogs.
Hardly a few minutes pass and there are dogs facing each other as owners shout orders at them.
“Stay, stay, stay,” shouts Luke O’Brien as his dogs, Vadar and Missy, perk up at the sight of Sooki, a two-year old Labrador that saunters towards them.
The dogs stare at each other until Sooki’s owner, Ross Willard, catches up, and tugs at her to move on.
The board at the entrance says dogs must be on leash, but the directive is hardly heeded here.
Lack of proper-dog leash parks in Squamish has pushed dog owners to Nexen Trail, estuary, and the dike.
Williard bring Sooki at least three or four times for give her some exercise on the Nexen Trail.
She is well-behaved, and that is how he hopes are other dogs.
“This is a great open space for dogs, and hopefully dog owners are paying attention,” he said.
The two ‘official’ dog-leash parks are in downtown Squamish and the Garibaldi Highlands.
An enclosed structure near the tennis court in downtown Squamish that is the off-leash park is a ‘joke,’ said Chaya Jorgenson.
“It’s a mud pit when it rains and the fence is in disrepair so dogs can get out. It is also far too small for the current population of dogs,” she said.
She said it can be frustrating for residents to navigate the crowd of on leash and off-leash dogs at places such as Nexen and Brackendale dyke area.
“I would like to see an off leash park that was fully fenced to maintain safety for the dogs,” she said.