I’m a dyed-in-the-wool dog lover. I grew up with a dog. I’m one of those people who big dogs just trust automatically. I currently own two dogs. They don’t just go out in the yard, they get walked at least two, and often three, times a day. I talk to them like people, and I feed them the kind of food that doesn’t even get advertised on TV because most Americans would never consider spending that kind of money feeding their dogs. I LOVE dogs.
That said, I in no way feel that *my* love for dogs is something that I have the right to push upon other people. While walking them I always make sure to keep their leashes short enough that no one I may pass close to has to have them in their personal space. I don’t leave them outdoors in their run if they are barking, so my neighbors have to deal with their problems. I clean up carefully after them while on a walk. But most importantly, I don’t allow them to use other people’s property as their toilet or play areas without *very* clear permission.
Unlike me, it seems many dog owners only like to walk them when it’s a glorious day outside, so I get to see and meet a lot more dogs in the summer months. Today, while driving home from running errands, I saw five dogs being walked in a space of two miles. Without exception, each and every one was being walked on the property side of the sidewalk. They were pawing at lawns, peeing on ornamental plants, forcing passers-by to squeak past on the street-side, and crapping where peoples’ children play, i.e. the front lawn!
Do you see why a lot of people think we’re selfish pricks, fellow dog owners? Every time you take your dog out, you are the public face of dog-ownership, and it seems like there’s a whole lot of dog owners who want that perception to be, “does not respect other people’s property or personal space”.
If you walk your dogs, keep them curb-side! If it’s safe, keep them at the edge of the street. You don’t get to decide that other people in a public place have to deal with your pet. Other folks’ yards are not your dogs’ playground or latrine. Destroying property is not OK! And sure, it’s nice that you obey the law and pick up your dogs’ crap, but remember that you are still leaving a rather nasty residue behind. What color is the sky on your world, that you think it wouldn’t bother someone to have to worry that their child is becoming smeared with your dog’s feces every time they play in front of their own house?
So yeah, I know I sound like that old guy down the street and screamed at you kids, while waving his cane, but I’m also right!