Ted Moore and Jonas, a loveable black and brown mutt, hike the trails of Summit Metro Parks several times a week. On every fourth or fifth visit, Moore says, the duo encounters a dog off leash, or a leash that’s far too long. Metro Parks rules limit leash length at 8 feet.
Moore has also seen pet owners not pick up after their pooches, so he often carries an extra bag to do what others won’t.
Moore, a small-business owner, adopted Jonas eight years ago from PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron. Jonas had been there, waiting for a new home, for 3-1/2 years.
Moore says Jonas had been abused, leaving him fearful and anxious. He was left for some time in the backyard of an abandoned home, tied up with wire, yet somehow he managed to survive on rainwater and mice or other little critters. He had deep scars on his haunches, and the hair grew back like thin, white racing stripes.
“I didn’t want him to sit there forever,” Moore says, explaining he has experience with dogs that have behavioral issues. He took Jonas home, and the dog has become his energetic hiking buddy. “He’s a great companion.”
Their favorite trek is the challenging Deer Run Trail at O’Neil Woods Metro Park (2550 Martin Road in Bath). They also enjoy the Tallmadge Meadows Area, part of Munroe Falls Metro Park (1088 North Ave. in Tallmadge), and Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park (5779 Riverview Road in Peninsula).
Moore wishes more people would consider rescue dogs before buying a puppy, and this season, he would like more dog owners to be considerate of others on the trails.
“The rules are clear and serve a purpose,” he says. “They’re there to keep dogs safe, people safe, and the environment protected.”
/ Nathan Eppink is the chief of marketing and communications for Summit Metro Parks.