|Barked: Thu May 5, '11 7:41pm PST |
|Oh this is my pet peeve! As a service dog handler, I take my dog with me everywhere. Far too often the entrance to a place I need to go is blocked by one or more dogs tied up without an owner-- or even worse, I exit a building only to be unexpectedly confronted by dogs with no human present. Not only is this scary, but it can also be very dangerous. We've had more encounters than I can count with dogs tied outside of stores who become aggressive when my service dog tries to pass. Nowadays we don't even try! We usually will just not go to that store, go in another entrance, or we call the police if the dog is aggressive or if we know the dog has been there too long (eg some people tie their dogs outside a building while they go to class for an hour or two). I even cross the street rather than pass these unattended dogs taking up the sidewalk if I am walking somewhere.
For those who say my dog would never do that, how can you be so sure? If you aren't there with your dog, how do you know what your dog is doing? Often dogs react differently without their handler present, and if they are anxious or worried about their human, they may take it out on an unsuspecting passing dog who needs to squeeze by to get into or out of a building.
Also, I think it is not very nice to people whose religions say they have to go through a cleansing if they touch a dog or to people who are really fearful of dogs. How do you know your dog doesn't brush up against them or approach them and make their lives much more difficult? If someone is really fearful of dogs, they also may be like me and unable to pass an unattended dog (especially one making any sort of noise or taking up part of the sidewalk or blocking doors).
I would encourage everyone who wants to tie their dogs up outside to simply leave your dog in the car when you go in somewhere, or leave your dog at home if you will be going places that don't allow dogs. Or visit only dog-friendly places. I know there are many coffee shops and restaurants out here that are happy to send someone out to take your order and bring your stuff to you. Another option would be if you are with someone else, have one person stay with the dogs to manage them in case someone needs to pass by.
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