John Harrigan: Dogs on trails, left in cars, and more on Hydro-Quebec

August 03. 2013 10:50PM

I LOVE THE French-Canadian culture, history and language, having ancestors in St. Marie de Beauce and Scotts-Irish where I live. We are around 30 percent Francophone here in northern New Hampshire and Vermont, and so a potpourri. Hence, this is not an anti-Hydro-Quebec rant.

But wait, there's more:

At the Woodstock KOA we had a conversation with fellow campgoers about animals in the road, chiefly deer and moose. My take was that we owe animals a clean and quick death. There are no "animal hospitals" within reach of most of the northern parts of New Hampshire.

I've put down animals that I've seen thrashing in agony. I've been told we should wait for an "official." But who in the front of agony would or should wait for an "official?" Readers?


Jack Heath, on whose WGIR Friday 8 a.m. show I'm a regular, asked me a surprise question: Should hikers have their dogs on leashes?

I said yes, unless they have their dogs under voice control. And believe me this is based on a lifetime of hiking.

Oncoming hikers have no certainty about a loose dog. Is it overly protective? To me, nobody should assume that anybody else loves or wants or trusts your dog.

I've spent nearly a lifetime on high-country trails. These days there are so many dogs on the trails that I don't want to bother with guessing, or policing.

"Curb your dog" is an urban term unfortunately transferred to rural situations. First, clean up after your dog. Second, leash it or have it under voice command so that you don't spoil other hikers' experiences.


Dogs in cars.In Lincoln, we left two dogs in our vehicle while we went to (a) eat some snacks, and (b) try out the Segways. A well-meaning law enforcement officer immediately drove up to explain that he was certain to get reports about the dogs.

We explained that we were dog-loving people, had parked our rig in the shade, had walked and watered the dogs, would never leave our dogs in untenable conditions, and would be back to check them if we stayed too long.

Still, he said, he was sure he'd get calls. And we said, "Tell the callers we've acted responsibly." He left, saying "Thanks."

To me, a good guy, Sergeant Deluca. When I asked about the name, he said, "It's the Smith name in northern Italy."

This national hysteria about dogs and kids shut in vehicles is in the long run a good thing, but to responsible dog owners is nothing more than a hassle.


Now that the hayseeds (that's us) have forced this get-rich-on-our-landscape scheme to bury part of the line that would be Up Here, that apparently no one has paid attention to (that's us) in the North Country, what does that make residents, taxpayers, and adjoining people on down the line? Chopped liver?

We camped out (in a cabin, I've been on the ground in or without a tent and all, done that, and my bones are getting old) at the Woodstock KAO Campground for the past three days, and had a great time, dogs and children playing like mad. It was one of the best places we've ever stayed.

The Hydro-Quebec line would go right through there, the owners said. They are horrified.This brought to mind what opponents have said all along. If this for-private-gain, not-for-our-gain (New Hampshire exports power), landscape-insulting thing goes through, some of us won't even see it, because it would go through other neighbors' land, out of sight. So it's not "my back yard" (NIMBY). It's "EBY" - everybody's back yard.

John Harrigan's address: PO Box 39, Colebrook NH 03576, or

HikingJohn HarriganGeneral NewsGreat North Woods

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