Last week we shared this essay railing against the notion that everyone must love dogs -- at offices, cafes and in parks. Here are some of your responses:
I personally love dogs, but that doesn't mean I think they belong everywhere. I do not think dogs have a place where I am shopping, eating and working. Also, people should remember that while I love my dog, and in fact, most dogs, that does not mean I love YOUR dog. Dogs are kind of like children: Some are cute and cuddly and some are just plain obnoxious!
Dog owners are abnormally unaware that there are many of us who do not like stepping in dog poop or having their dogs jump up on us. They are some of the most inconsiderate people on earth. I very seldom see a dog walker with pooper-scooper and a bag in hand, although you do see some. I've stood on my own property while a dog walker came by, let his dog piss on my shrub and then got ugly when I said something about it. I've even been at the vet's office with my elderly cat in her carrier when a dog owner comes in, dog not on leash, and lets the dog head straight for me. People thought I was the bad guy when I poised my leg to kick the dog from here to hell. Just asking dog owners to behave is asking to be labeled a dog hater. Not so. I'm an inconsiderate-dog-owner disliker. Take your dog with you where you go, just keep it on a tight leash, clean up after it, and don't let it get near me. And please, no leg humping. It isn't cute. I like dogs and lived with them as a child. It is clearly the owners who need training.
I find dogs far less annoying than children in the office. I've never had a co-worker's dog come into my office and stare at me while I was trying to work, or ask to borrow my colored pens. I've never had to contend with the noise of a co-worker's dog playing with their incredibly loud musical toy or game and never, ever had a co-worker's dog come up behind me and start tapping on my keyboard when I was working on an important document. These are all real-world, personal experiences I've had with co-workers' children in the office.
I would rather not see dogs in places where food is served, unless they have an outside patio. I would not expect my own dogs to be welcome in an inside eatery. I see no harm with having dogs in a patio situation as long as they are restrained in a way that keeps them with their owners and prevents them from annoying the other patrons.
I'm a dog owner, dog lover, and SPCA volunteer, but I respect that those who don't love dogs have a right to go through their days without being accosted by my overly-friendly pets without their permission. Well, unless they come to my house, and then they've crossed over to the dogs' turf.
All things considered it's certainly the owner's responsibility to manage their pet and hopefully not impose on others.
Interestingly enough a unique academic program seeking to study the incredible bond between canine and man exists right here in our lovely river city. This same center published a research study last year touting the benefits of bringing your dog to work.
I think the article is mistitled. I don't hate dogs at all, yet I relate to the Slate article. I have two rescued dogs and I foster for a rescue group. I do, however, hate irresponsible dog owners.
I had to stop going to the dog park because I saw too many aggressive dogs and dog fights in which the owners of the aggressive dogs did NOTHING to stop the fight. One dog pinned my 20-pound, very social dog to the ground and was snarling and biting him. The owner didn't grab his dog, who was DOUBLE the size of my dog. I walked over and calmly ordered my dog to "come" and thankfully, the other dog let him up and he was able to walk over to me, unscathed. It would have been ugly if the other dog held her groud.
In public, my dogs aren't allowed to approach anyone (people or dogs) without the human's consent. 1) Because it's rude for anyone to assume that everyone will be as thrilled to have their dog drooling, shedding, and jumping on them as they are. 2) It's just bad dog training. If you're a dog owner, you have to maintain a level of authority over your dogs. In pack culture, the alpha dog gets to greet everyone first. If you let your dog approach everyone or every thing it desires, don't be shocked when your dog doesn't listen to you!
And I do get angry when other peoples' dogs approach me and my dogs. My dogs are small and my dogs were both rescued from bad situations. I've gotten in verbal altercations in local parks when unleashed dogs don't listen to their owners and run towards us. I don't know your dog. I haven't evaluated his or her temperament. I haven't properly introduced our dogs. I will scold your dog if it approaches me and if it doesn't listen, I will discipline it. And you have no reason to be upset because you're the one violating leash ordinances and you're the one who can't train your dog.