On a recent drive home from town, I saw not one, not two, but four dogs running on various back roads north of Sandpoint. Two were sitting along the side of the road, poised and ready to chase cars (fortunately, my vehicle wasn’t interesting this time). I encountered another two dogs loping down the middle of the road straight toward me. It was still daytime and I drive pretty sedately, so I was able to see and avoid all of the canines with whom I was sharing the road.
This situation is not unusual but it is unconscionable. Someone owns all these dogs and these people should not be letting their pets roam free. The tired old argument that, "we live in the country" is not an excuse to be irresponsible. Dogs roaming in the country are just as big of a nuisance as they are in town. They pose risks to themselves and others. In addition to causing and being casualties of traffic accidents, roaming dogs are likely to contract and spread parasites and diseases such as rabies and distemper. Every day so-called "country" or "farm" dogs get shot. Dogs don’t understand the concept of property boundaries and many people don’t hesitate to shoot them.
Dogs are no longer wild animals. Just because they have fur does not mean that a dog can withstand prolonged exposure. Several thousand years ago, humans domesticated dogs, and now as pet owners it is our responsibility to take care of them. Dogs left to "fend for themselves" suffer and die, whether their former owners want to believe it or not. You don’t get rid of your child just because it becomes inconvenient, the same should be true for your dog.
The obvious answer to all of these problems is to confine your dog. It won’t get run over, shot, disease-ridden, or make a nuisance of itself. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor and install a fence before you get a dog.