My first dog, Parker, (first after my childhood dog - Ping) had his friends come to call for him at our house in Vermont, and would be let out to roam the streets and forests of Plainfield. He came home for dinner like a good dog and had nice doggy friends but was never on a leash. My next dog, Samson, was pretty well trained to stay close to home as we lived on a busy street but was allowed free roam of the orchard and woods behind our house. I spend many hours looking for him, driving around town - usually to find that he was home when I got back, waiting for me by the door with his tongue hanging out.
I don't have a dog now, but it struck me this morning that I probably wouldn't let a dog out now without a leash. I'm older and more scared for a dog running loose. Too many cars etc. Older and more clingy. I feel sorry for the dog that I don't even have.