Alpaca at Alpaca Magic USA

Friday Meanderings

It’s Friday!

and I’m jumping right to what’s going on this weekend……

Three Sisters Springs is closing down until November. In mid-April the  Southwest Florida Water Management District will start rebuilding the banks that have eroded.  I’ve heard about this effort for the past few years and am very glad that they are finally starting the project.  If you want to know more about the plan, SWFMD will be having a meeting on April 12 at 5:30 at the City of Crystal River’s City Hall.

Meanwhile, because of the impending closure, the city of Crystal River is offering free admission into the refuge this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The trolleys have already been shut down but you can park at King’s Bay Plaza and walk in.  First you have to have a ticket which you can pick up at Crystal River City Hall, the Citrus County Chronicle at Meadowcrest, and the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge building in Crystal River. The tickets are for a specific day and time slot.

Three Sisters Springs Open House

Another free opportunity is the open house at Alpaca Magic on Grover Cleveland.  We’ve taken our grandkids there a few times.  The kids were quite small and scared of the alpacas at first but eventually enjoyed the experience.  The gentle animals are shy but did approach the kids to get handfuls of hay.  You can check out my previous post about our visit here.

Alpaca at Alpaca Magic USA

Alpaca at Alpaca Magic USA

Okay.  Now it gets sad. And I’m going to get on my soapbox.

(Donna you might not want to read this–you’ve been warned) 

The Citrus Chronicle ran a story this week that three neighborhood dogs (two were pitbulls) attacked the herd and seven alpacas were killed and 12 wounded.  

That made me so sad.  The alpacas have no means of defense.  The owners love these creatures just like you and I love our pets.

Now for my soapbox, which I really try to not get on.  But I gotta.

I don’t understand how the owner of the dogs could let them run free.  This has been bothering me since I moved here.  I’ve hesitated to write about it.  I only want to report happy sunny bunny moments. But the death of these innocent creatures really upsets me.

I’ve had trouble with irresponsible pet owners since we moved here 13 years ago.  I’m not blaming the dogs. The fault entirely lies with the owner.  If you own a dog you need to love it and control it.  Whether it’s a pit bull or a Jack Russell. It should not be running loose.  Yes, there are times that those clever pets figure out how to squeeze through a fence or make a break through an open door.  But that’s an exception.  Dogs should never be allowed to run free.  If you want a pet, it is the owner’s responsibility to provide it a fenced yard or only allow it out on a leash. No exceptions. 

I was a runner.  Now more of a walker.  But to suffice it to say, I’m on the roads early in the morning enjoying my life. Unlike anywhere else I’ve lived, I’ve had numerous interactions with aggressive dogs because their owners do not take responsibility for their pets actions.

While I have already said that I’ve had many incidents, I’m just going to share two.

We had a neighbor with a pitbull that allowed it to run free.  I quit walking in the area just because after one incident I just didn’t want to deal with it.  I LOVE dogs, I just didn’t want to cause problems or get bit.  But one lovely Christmas morning, Terry and I went that way.   And the dog was loose.  It had a wonderful time running around us, snarling, and lungeing at us.  

After much hollering, the owner finally came out and accused us of being the problem.  The dog was just having fun. He wasn’t going to bite us!

Really?  This was a pitbull. With a huge mouth full of teeth and no control. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally got out of his range and walked home.

They eventually moved.  

But it never ends.

More recently, there is an owner thinks it’s okay to walk with his dog off-leash.  This is a big dog. It has a history of trying to bite a friend. I have made an effort to pet this dog when I’m out on my early morning walk. Calling it by name.  Chatting with the owner.  All the while being very wary of the dog.  A few weeks ago, after petting the dog, and walking on, it turned and bit at my legs. 

Its very large mouth and sharp teeth didn’t make contact. But if they had, my legs would have been ripped to pieces.

So, now, once again, I can’t walk in my own neighborhood.  Because I’m afraid.  

I hate admitting this because I’m a person that says I won’t live in fear. 

And I recently got word back that the owner says that it was my fault because the dog can sense a “troublemaker”.

Me.  A troublemaker. Not the owner’s fault because it didn’t take responsibility for his dog.

Alpaca Magic is still holding their Open House.  Terry and I will be there.

Have a great weekend.

Kathy

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