Dogs

It's been a month and if I'm really honest I haven't had many useful ideas to share with the entire Internet recently. Alas, spending the last few weeks among the masses of America has solved that problem.

Let me start by stating clearly that I like dogs. I really do. I had dogs growing up and I loved them dearly. I just don't like YOUR DOG IN PUBLIC. Now let me explain. Over the last couple weeks I've witnessed people doing some really strange things with their dogs in public. It's been so weird that it's time I spoke up (you know, as part of that whole be-a-good-citizen-thing.)

First, last week a guy brought his two HUGE mastiffs (think Turner and Hooch) into the small office at the local Jiffy Lube while I was waiting to get my oil changed. To begin with, this was socially unacceptable. These dogs were huge and they drool like it's totally in style. The guy (a twenty something frat-boy looking type) kinda smiles at me with a "yeah-I'm-cooler-than-you" look. He worked on getting them a drink of water. Acceptable? Outside perhaps. About a minute after he came in, one of the dogs pukes all over the floor. Acceptable? Not even outside! He swears loudly (the guy, not the dog!) and then only does the most cursory cleanup (by rolling up the carpet the dog puked on and taking it outside, but not actually cleaning any mess.) Does he take the dog outside then? NO! Acceptable? Perhaps in Afghanistan (but I've never been there and so don't really know.) This punk finally takes the dogs outside, but brings them both back in a couple minutes later. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I was about to say something (probably not witty and entirely rude) to the guy, but my car was finally done (wasn't nuttin Jiffy about that lube, BTW; took 45 min!)

Second, I was on a flight last week and a lady bring on her dog in a super-chic suitcase that's actually a doggie condo. Why is it OK to bring your dog in the airplane? I know the airlines actually allow this, but if we're honest we all know it's just because they can charge extra for it. The airlines shouldn't be our social barometer. They'd allow you to get on the plane naked if they could charge an extra hundred bucks for it.

Third, we often find that when we go hiking, where there's still leash laws, that dog owners think they're special and don't need to follow the rules; they're in NATURE afterall! In Boulder, you can even get a no-leash permit now, but that's just because everyone in Boulder is special. All too often, a dog comes running down the trail at us as fast as he can, and it freaks my kids out. Then there's usually the obligatory crotch smell that takes place before the dog's owner catches up, says he doesn't bite, and acts like it's no big deal. IT'S A BIG DEAL! Come on, please be courteous.

Finally, today we were at the factory outlets in Castle Rock (a large place) and I noticed "Dog Friendly" stickers on more than one establishment's door. Then I noticed probably a dozen or so shoppers that had their dogs with them. I found dog crap on the grass, and I heard dogs snapping at each other more than once. Many of these dogs were small, granted, but THEY DON'T BELONG AT THE MALL! Let me say that again to be very clear:

YOUR DOG DOES NOT BELONG IN PUBLIC PLACES OF COMMERCE, TRANSPORT, OR ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES PERHAPS A PARK, BEACH, OR OTHER RECREATION PLACE.

I don't care if the dog doesn't bite. That's not my main objection. There's noise, messes, fur, smells, etc. It's just not cool. Just like smoking in public isn't cool. One of my daughters is terrified of dogs, and every time we have to deal with you exercising your rights, you take away one of hers. If you want to take your animal out, that's fine. Do it at one of the cool new doggie parks. Don't do it at Jiffy Lube or the grocery store.

In Colorado now, it seems to be chic for people to bring their dogs into places of commerce. Even if there's a SERVICE DOGS ONLY sign, people seem to think they're special and often ignore them. Then the employees at these establishments rarely say anything, either out of fear that they'll lose business or because the little doggie is so cute. Not cool either.

I'm a big supporter of service dogs. I think they're very cool; never get tired of watching them work, and they never bother anyone, no matter where they're at. I just wish that we'd all dump the "I'm special" attitude and observe the rules and be considerate of others. That's it.

Wow, that turned out to be quite a rant. But remember, it's not that I'm a dog hater.

Comments

Jolayne said…
Amen, and I am actually leaning toward the dog not-like side. Except for Badger.
Deni said…
Amen times TWO.

I'm always amazed at the people who think that since they like dogs, you should too.

I'm with Jolayne, I'm on the not-like side of the fence.
Unknown said…
Tell us how you really feel, Chris:). Actually, I'm with you on this one- even the best behaved dogs are not welcome everywhere. And I'm a great dog-lover.
kevandcan said…
I like dogs - especially with relish and ketchup.

Good post, Chris.
Erica said…
I agree!! You should read my blog entry about a wonderful dog licking my brand new baby!! I wish people had a bit more respect for others when they take their dogs out in public.

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