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EDITOR: There have been several recent letters, both pro and con, concerning Sonoma West Medical Center and the Palm Drive Health Care District. Perhaps the most effective way to determine what is really going on is to attend a board meeting and form your own opinion. When in attendance at meetings, I have found the discussions by the board to be illustrative of how they reason and make decisions. The next scheduled meeting is tonight at 7:30 p.m. You should be able to find the agenda at palmdrivehealthcaredistrict.org.

BARBARA DeCARLY

Guerneville

Unleashed dogs

EDITOR: I run regularly for fitness and fun. Each of the local streets, trails, and paths I use are located in jurisdictions with leash laws. Once again, recently, I was accosted by an unleashed dog.

It was terrifying to be running in the peaceful quiet of early morning and have a large barking animal suddenly come flying at me out of the dark. At least the owner of this dog apologized; most owners in these situations either turn the responsibility back on me (“What’s the matter, you have a bad experience with a dog?” or “He can sense your fear”) or deny that there is any danger (“Don’t worry, he’s friendly” or “He likes people”). The degree to which many dog owners are in denial about their dog’s behavior is amazing to me; I’ve had folks proclaim the friendliness of their dog while it’s actively growling at me with hackles raised.

Just because your dog is friendly at home, with people it knows doesn’t mean it will necessarily be friendly with other people in other territory. Since I can’t afford to trust your judgment about your dog, I carry pepper spray, and I won’t hesitate to use it. I would really hate to inflict that kind of pain on an animal, but if I have to do so to protect my personal safety it will be your irresponsibility that caused it.

ERIS WEAVER

Cotati

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