We live in Idyllwild, and we applaud the fact that Idyllwild is such a dog-loving village. We love living here. But there is a big problem on the Hill.

We have four dogs of our own we have rescued from dire circumstances. For being such a dog-friendly place, and with awesome facilities like ARF and Living Free, it is sad and baffling that so many owners are irresponsible and putting their pets and others in danger.

My wife regularly runs with our leashed dog along Saunders Meadow and along the Ernie Maxwell Trail. She covers 6 to 8 miles daily. We often walk our dogs along Marian View and Double View.

This Sunday morning, during her run, no fewer than seven unleashed dogs aggressively rushed her and our dog with whom she was running. This happens nearly every time she runs. That morning, as usual, if an owner was nearby, they gave the same old excuses,: “Don’t worry, he won’t bite you,” and one man said, “Don’t worry, he won’t kill you.”

What in the world are these people thinking? The mind-set of “this is Idyllwild, we live up here to be free and do what we want” shouldn’t apply to dogs running free. It scares me to death that my wife and our dog are going to get bitten, mauled or worse.

When I am running or walking with them, it makes me angry to be put in a position of possibly having to hurt or kill another dog to protect my family. I hope this never happens.

It seems that whenever you read an article about another dog attack, the unleashed dog owner invariably expresses “surprise” that their dog would have attacked someone. When someone up here is bit or their dog is attacked by an unleashed dog, you can expect that the owner of the attacking dog will also express sadness and surprise. That is unacceptable.

Please, have a leash on your dog if you are not safely on your own property. And to those of you whom are being responsible dog owners, I am grateful.

Clay Cochran