Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just Because YOU Love Your Dog

I'm a dog lover; I have a natural ability with them. My family had dogs while I was growing up, and back in DC, I used to dog-sit for several friends now and then. It was fun and allowed me to have a dog for brief amounts of time without too much commitment. But I don't own a dog and I have my reasons for that.

You don't have to be a dog owner to be a dog lover. But when you own a dog, you have to understand that many people are NOT dog lovers. There are some people (one of my brothers included) who have a fear of dogs, regardless of the size of the animal. Just because you love your dog, doesn't mean that everyone else does too.

Your dog should never get near another person on a sidewalk; it should be walking beside and close to you on a short leash. Allowing your dog to come up and smell me or even walk in my direction is not acceptable.

And while we are on the subject of leashes - those long retractable leashes have absolutely no place on a city sidewalk. In the park, sure, but not on a sidewalk where I have to get out of the way for it. People seem to forget that sidewalks are designed for single lane foot traffic going in two directions: no bikes, no runners, no groups shoulder-to-shoulder, and no retractable leashes.

Owning a dog takes alot of responsibility. And just as there are people out there who should not be parents, there are people out there who should not own dogs.
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