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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bark, Bite, Slobber, Slobber

Posted by on January 26 at 15:51 PM

I’ve been avoiding reading Josh Feit’s diatribe on ill-behaved dogs (a topic selected and sponsored by a Strangercrombie auction winner) because I am a big fan of dogs and also a big fan of Josh—I didn’t look forward to arguing with him over the merits of canines as pets or, worse, deciding that he’s just a joyless prick.
Well, I just finished the piece and I have to say that I agree with most of his sentiments and all of his logic. Many dogs annoy the hell out of me: those unleashed, tough-looking mutts that charge me and my dog while we’re walking around the hill, the dogs who shit in the middle of the sidewalk and the owners who leave it there, the out-of-control dogs who greet me by licking, licking, licking my hands and shoes and anything else they can reach…. Of course these bad behaviors are primarily faults of the humans behind the dogs—a well-trained dog is usually a well-behaved dog, and training classes should be a mandatory part of dog ownership. (I’d like mandatory classes for new parents, too.)

Anyway, dog owners, read Josh’s article. If you recognize yourself and your pet in there, do everyone a favor and enroll yourselves in a basic manners class. Grisha at Ahimsa in Ballard runs excellent positive-training programs.

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He denies that he is afraid of dogs. Oh, please! The guy can't be trusted.

How about waiting until a kid shits in your lawn or permanently scars your face before throwing them in with public nuisances eh? It's hard enough doing a dirty harrowing job 24/7 for no pay without little comments like these making me dread going out in public.
Ok, my reaction is a little over the top, but I kid you not I got yelled at recently on a bus for my kid's happy giggling.

Josh is spot on and so too are you, Amy. The problem is that too many dog owners are themselves, self-indulgent bores and they pass that message right along to their companion animals. (Dogs, as you know Amy, cue off their humans, as leaders-of-the-pack, hearkening back perhaps to the heritage they share with wolves as pack animals, social creatures.)
So we get dumb-asses such as Peter Mansour, so-called "software pioneer, telling the Seattle Times (1-24-2006, Local section), "I'm not one of those crazy dog people" and adding about the $10,000 he spent, trying to disprove the assertion of a cat owner who lost his or her feline friend, "I could have moved but felt like fighting the inequity in the system."
(The gender of the owner is not noted, only that of the Prosecuting Attorney, representing Mansour's neighbor.)
Perhaps Mansour felt like proving that dickheads with money can allow their dogs to terrorize the neighborhood?
In the complex where I live, one peanut-headed refugee from Iowa (not all Iowans are, but she is) allowed one of the three dogs she was in charge of, back in August of last year, to chase my cat into my apartment; and then to add injury to insult, the dog ate all my cats food. When I removed the dog, the owner tried to give me grief about it. I simply asked her if she wanted to pay my rent - with a few modifiers I won't use here.
I later, left her a short note explaining my cat is afraid of dogs - he had an experience such as Josh, delivering papers did, escaping death only when his former human caretaker, snatched him from a dog's on-coming open jaws. I asked her to keep all her dogs on leashes. (She has two and was pet-sitting one, none with leashes.)
For the record, when I asked for an assist from Seattle Animal Control, they said they couldn't do a thing.
"It would be like us coming into someone's yard and telling them to put a leash on their dog," asserted one feckless apologist whom I talked to at Animal Control.
It was suggested I ask the landlord to do something; but my slumlord of note, who lives in Kirkland, just wants the extra $20 a month he charges dog owners - we cat owners, pay an extra $10 a month.
I may sound akin to, to riff on Mansour's phrase, one of those crazy cat people. Well, I don't give a damn if I am. I don't want people in my city who can't control their dogs.

Well, I will amend the last sentence to read, relative to the facts, Mayor Nickels and his rich friends' city. The rest of us are just allowed to live here, as long as we don't make any trouble.

The biggest Seattle dog problem?

The ignorant people who don't pick up dog crap!

It is everywhere! Sidewalks & the grass beside the sidewalks, public parks, dog parks, everywhere!

I have a 140 lb. dog (equates to big crap) & I pick it up because I don't want dogs/people to step in it!

The ignorant SOBs that don't scoop should be severely fined & also have the crap kicked out of them by any witnesses.

Next time I witness someone not scooping I will pick up the crap (with my plastic bag) & smear it in their face!

I encourage all Seattleites to do the same.

Josh, you can't possibly be a "misanthrope" for hating dogs, because the "anthrope" part of the word means "man". Man-hating. Not that that's not a bad idea. I don't think misocanine is a word.

I like dogs, but would never own one without a yard.

The City should impose steeper fees for pets. We cater to the upscale house doggie crowd, if we let them. all parks would become shitt littered dog runs.

And pit bulls should be outlawed. If any dog ever mauled my child, it would survive 20 seconds. I can't understand the passive parents who don't defend their kids when attacked by rampaging dogs.

Violent dogs were a bigger problem back home in Vegas (I actually had an irrational fear of dogs through childhood because of a couple dogs who attacked me), and actually I find it isn't as big a problem here in Seattle as it is in other cities, but it's still a problem.

I agree with the precedent set in San Francisco, after that little girl was mauled to death by attack dogs. Try the owners as if they did the mauling themselves. If you can't housebreak your dog(s) enough to keep them from tearing people to shreds, then either you shouldn't own pets or you should suffer the legal consequences of your pets' actions.

And really, the legal accountability should apply to every other aspect of your dog. How do we should punish people who crap on the grass and walk away?


ADDENDUM: that 2nd to last sentence should read: How do we punish people who crap on the grass and walk away?

I completely agree with Josh's article. I have had dogs most of my life, and currently have a black lab. Jack spends his free time in our fenced backyard or in limited areas of our house. He is NOT allowed in the kitchen, nor is he allowed to share any eating serviceware. He gets daily walks, lots of playtime with our kids and occasional trips to the dog park. Poop is immediately picked up, and he is never allowed to jump up on people.

The idea of bringing him to a bar or restaurant? Please....will never happen. Dog owners who participate in and/or support behavior such as this have some pretty deep rooted issues going on.

Really, as a recent dog-owner, the only complaint I have about Josh's article is that he exposits vitriolic thoughts about dogs and their owners as irresponsible and/or assholes and glosses over the fact that he is desbribing a minority. As with any group, there are many sides to the story and it is frequently the few who are irresponsible assholes that make eveyone look bad.

Frankly, I live in cat-ville. People let their cats roam the streets freely...shitting in people's gardens, spraying everywhere, getting into screaming fights at 1 in the morning, and spawning dozens of litters of diseased mongrels. It is filthy and Project Purr is over-whelmed. The fact is that the single biggest danger to a domestic cat is being allowed to go outdoors where they are exposed to disease, traffic, other animals, and the harbingers of death and dismemberment - humans.

If my dogs are outside, they're on leash and I always pick up after them. How many cat owners can say the same? Also, I don't take them to inappropriate places- downtown, restaurants, bars, libraries, etc. I wish that parents would extend the same courtesy regarding their children.

Dog owners are mostly rude noisy louts- I think that dogs are American sacred cows- they chew up thousands of people and kill scores every year but that is ok cause it is "dogs" that are killing humans mostly children and old people.

I really do not understand that mentality at all- why worship dogs? Why no laws that make dog owners be responsible for their dingleberried friends?

People have every right to enjoy their pets- they do not have the right to subject others to noise pollution, envirionmental pollution or physical risk.

Animal control is worthless- just and organization to make sure there is more dog noise pollution- and dog do do on the streets.

Don't have a dog unless you can keep it from bothering other people- and you are smart enough to control it and train it.

Most dog owners can't do that....

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