LETTER: Loss of civility on Chilliwack’s Vedder River trails

Off-leash dog owner says she’s been threatened three times by men near dike trail

For the first time since moving here in 2013, I have experienced three very rude and hostile, even threatening, incidents walking my dogs along the trails above Vedder River. My two poodle crosses are well-managed and friendly, and I prefer to let them run and play off-leash on walks as is recommended for their breeds. Therefore, occasionally I use the upper dike walk near the Vedder Rotary trails, where it seems clear that dogs are permitted off leash as there is no signage concerning dogs, except at the end of the trail, at Webster Road, where it states that the “off-leash area ends.”

Today, New Year’s Day, during one such walk, my dogs ran down from the dike path to drink from a small pond along Peach Creek Rotary trail. I was prepared to call them back, but I could see no people so went down to join them. A couple with a young son on a bike appeared and, even though my dogs ran away, they continued to lecture me about how my dogs should be on a leash as their son was afraid of dogs. The dogs were long-gone, but I said fine, adding that the leashes wouldn’t have made a difference given how narrow the pathway is. As I was leaving, the man said: “How would you like me to kill your dogs? Next time they even touch my son, I’ll kill them.”

On two other occasions in the past two months I have been threatened in the same area in comparable, if less explicit, ways, also by 30-something men. Once by a man walking an aggressive Husky on a short tether who insisted on lecturing me that a leash was required on the dike and yelling and threatening me, despite the fact that the problem was his own vicious dog. I yelled back and told him he was a bully. Another case was of a man riding a bike very fast who said something similar. I feel these verbal threats and assaults have a gender aspect as well – all made by middle-aged men aggressively asserting rules inappropriately to a single woman.

I have to wonder if this is the cost of the aggressive development along the river. The culture here has always been respectful, courteous, and dog-friendly. I never experienced anything like these incidents in the past. Today, they have impacted me to the extent that I tend to avoid walking there if possible.

Seonaigh MacPherson

• RELATED: The looping of the Vedder Rotary Trail in Chilliwack is now complete

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2

PHOTOS: Chilliwack junior roller derby team celebrates long-awaited win over Seattle

NWO Junior Roller Derby hosted two games on the weekend against the Seattle Derby Brats

Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Jasper Wood joins the Bergmann Duo for an intimate morning concert in Chilliwack

Bold and brazen singer Begonia brings colourful show to Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

The musician from Winnipeg is equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads

PHOTOS: Home, Leisure and Outdoor Living Expo runs all weekend in Chilliwack

There are more than 250 vendors set up for the annual home show at Chilliwack Heritage Park

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Henderson at the Chilliwack SPCA

Henderson, also known as Biggy, has FIV, a virus similar to HIV in humans

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Man clings to roof of car driving along busy road in Maple Ridge

The man was also seen jumping on the vehicle

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read