To The Daily Sun,

Many of the letters published in The Laconia Daily Sun have become as snarky, hostile and threatening as social media posts. Has compassion and respect for our community members been socially programmed out of our communication? Or are people’s fears and past trauma being triggered? In the recent letters concerning politics and unleashed dog walking, it seems to be a bit of both.

Politics? I can’t even discuss politics with most people anymore. They are so strong in their opinions and firmly rooted in their beliefs, that they will literally become hostile and threatening if you dare to express a different point of view. This type of emotional response is driven by fear and lack of control of the world we live in. We need to wake up and realize the two party system is a scam. It was designed to keep us fighting amongst ourselves so we never gain the strength and unity to take back control from the greedy corporate overlords running the world who have enslaved us in a system of debt, scarcity and materialistic values. A system that is designed to increase their wealth and power at the expense of all else. That is all I will say about such a massive subject here. But can we show a little more concern and kindness towards each other please?

Dog Walking? So you would think taking a walk with your dog would be a simple and enjoyable event that you could discuss feely without fear of ridicule or being threatened… but not so. Here too there are strong opinions about where dogs are allowed and rules about keeping them leashed that have clearly struck a nerve.

The rules are set for public safety because many people do not invest the time it takes to raise and train a dog properly. And many people who own dogs shouldn’t because they don’t have time to keep the dog happy and healthy. And then there are many dogs who were rescued from horrible suffering and abuse, who fear people or other dogs and have behavior issues that need special handling.

People who don’t like dogs, and especially those who have had a traumatic experience with an aggressive dog, must be considered by those of us who love dogs and want to take them everywhere. We must be compassionate towards those who fear dogs and always be ready to help de-escalate a confrontation. For as much as we love our dogs, we must also love the people in our community.

I completely understand the fear and anxiety people have when encountering a dog while out walking. My husband and I have had encounters with aggressive dogs while walking our dog. It can be terrifying! So please do not think I am advocating putting people at risk when I am walking my dog and enjoying times when he can be off-leash. I am simply trying to connect with other responsible dog owners who love to hike with their dogs. If you see us out on the trail, please stop and talk with us. We likely have an extra dog who’d love to meet you and go for a walk!

Water or fuel? Next time you decide to write a letter to the editor, please think with your heart and let compassion guide your hand. We all have the choice to throw water on a fire to put it out, or throw fuel on a fire and make it bigger. We don’t always have to pick a side, and we can still care about each other when we do. If you want to see more compassion, you have to be more compassionate.

Carolyn Larocque


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