Who let the dogs out?

We have received this submission from a reader and we are pleased to post it here in its entirety. Formatting may differ and we have added a link to the post to which it refers on Post Office policy. The view differs in some ways from ours but we welcome the debate.

Comment on Post Office Policy
Subject: Who Put The Dogs Out… Woof…

First, let me make it perfectly clear, “I LIKE DOGS”.   Next, I agree with the Post Office policy of not allowing non-working dogs inside official public buildings. People overall were quick to change the subject, the point…. the focus on dogs per se. They immediately lashed out and foisted blame targeting the person who dared to complain (for whatever reason) about “fluffy”….. It is sad to say people…. but not all dogs have good manners, and I DO BLAME THEIR OWNERS. I have seen people allow their dogs to encroach on others in public places…. sniffing and jumping up on people. Some laugh and think this is cute. It is disrespectful. There are people/children who are uncomfortable… even afraid of dogs. This is a fact. Should these people be forced to put up with other people’s dog(s) inside public places? Be realistic on this subject, not emotional. We are talking Dogs here….

Yes I know and I do understand that in this society, in today’s context some people consider their dog(s) to be, their friend, their best friend, their child, their baby and or part of their family…sad but true… “their” is the key word. Most of us recognize this and even make certain allowances “at home” for family members and friends who have this particular view of their dog. (Right Mom…) However, a private household is not an official public building… In my perspective, dogs are dogs first, then a companion(s) of sorts……. Dogs are unpredictable..(though through proper socialization & training, some dogs are well behaved, have good manners, and good temperaments – a sound dog) Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it only takes one, one dog to react… to a specific person, a person’s look (challenging), inappropriate touch(the pat on top of the head), another dog – an unneutered dog,  a smell (monthly period/bitch in heat), sudden movement (small child), getting too close to their owner or a dog just not feeling up to par on that day… there is always the possibility for something to happen. Can anyone guarantee “it” would never happen?? In public places who is responsible if something happens between a dog and person?  I have seen little “fluffy” snap and yap in public for what seemed to be no apparent reason or threat. Some… but not all people are well versed in reading their own dog…. It is a safety issue….. In addition, what about the dog; do people not realize that dog(s) in these situations are at risk too… after the fact…..

It is different if a dog is tied outside of a public building… it would then be up to me the person to choose to approach a dog and make contact; (my decision – my consequence). But again, the owner would be responsible for the dogs behaviour. And unless I knew the dog, it would be smart if a person waited for the owner before approaching a strange dog; respect is a two way street. Perhaps we could have “posts” installed at the post office similar to what they had for horse leads in the past. I am also in favour of a doggie park for all responsible dog owners. (That too would be a change for Wolfville.) How would that affect the character of Wolfville? It maybe something that could be used to perpetuate community building. Something for the strategic plan discussion. I totally agree that people should continue to socialize their pups/dogs with walks downtown. They need that kind of socialization. Providing owners have total control and are prepared for any situation; it’s the owners responsibility. Safety applies to dogs too. Furthermore, not that long ago while I was sitting outside Just Us Cafe enjoying my coffee/paper a woman and large breed dog walked by. In that moment the dog lifted his leg and urinated on a concrete form in front of people/kids, myself included, all of whom were gathered there. It was rude, to say the least. It was not the dog’s fault; after all it’s a “dog”. However, dog(s) do take their cue or lead from their owner(s).

Finally, I LIKE CATS too. But, cat owners who allow their cat(s) to roam the area freely and at will should be held accountable as well. It’s all about responsibility; being responsible pet owners. Thank you for your consideration in allowing me to express my opinion on this matter….. Judoth Aro

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5 responses to “Who let the dogs out?

  1. We largely agree with you Judoth. As you very rightly and eloquently describe – ill trained dogs can be a problem anywhere. But what is the solution to this general problem? There isn’t a great deal of difference between a public building and another public space – a park, a town street or a coffee shop. Will we see a legislative solution there too? A ban extension into any space outside one’s own property? This is legislating against all dogs and dog owners because a few owners are irresponsible, like the silly pit bull ban. [This is a tendency we see in not just animal control but people control. ] The responsible end up being penalised for the irresponsible. It might be easy but in our view it isn’t the way to go and very often only masks the problem.
    We hope others chime in on this subject. What IS the solution? Are there other alternatives which will actually encourage or push those irresponsible ones to change (specific targetting) without penalising those who already do the right thing?
    And what about CATS? Meow.

  2. Don’t forget the horses! Wolville has a bylaw baning them from town… I heard a rumor they were going to ban grumpy old men but they decided to tax them to death instead. The point is, different people/dogs have different ideas about what is good behavior and what is having fun and what should be done to straighten out all the other deviants.

    The overwhelming majority of pets owners are reasonable people… the others are more interesting. None of them have the “total control” that Judoth suggests as a precondition to “walks downtown”. If things go awry from time to time, that’s life… enjoy the experience!

    Dogs are about the last tiny connection us over-domesticated sub-humans have to our wild origins. Frankly, I’d prefer to have a few more dogs and horses roaming around town… (Relax, that’s only a wish, not a threat.)

    Judoth and I obviously don’t share a common fantasy. Judoth calls for domestication and control… I crave wild and free. Perhaps it’s one of those “Mars” and Venus” things?

    As for the urination issue, I take my lead from the dog! Give it a go, it’s very liberating.

    Aside — This reminds me of an experience relayed to me many years ago by a former graduate student. “Rob” spent a year in Japan teaching English. Wandering around town late at night, Rob was surprised to see businessmen stumbling out of drinking establishments and urinating in the gutter. Apparently, this was the local custom. Imagine Rob’s surprise when, a few days later, he was admonished for uncouth behavior. So what was his crime? Walking down the street whilst eating an egg sandwich! —

  3. We hate to bring up chickens! BTW – what do y’all think about the bio-degradable poop and scoop bags they are giving out at the Rec Centre? Dare we ask who pays for those? They are from Practica Ltd. http://practica.ca/index.php

    LATER: Speaking of deviant dog behavior – Here’s a topical screensaver.

  4. It wasn’t me, I didn’t do anything to those chickens…

    I’m ashamed to say I don’t use those fancy bio-degradable bags. I use the big old clunky grocery bags. Like a good tampon, they give you better protection.

    Reminds me…

    Years ago I was building our house in Oz. The lady up the hill saw me struggling with large sheets of plywood… so she wandered down to give a very welcome hand.

    Well, we’d hardly got going when she slipped on dog poop…. It greased her from ankle to bum. Being a good sport, she acknowledged that it was her dogs that had pooped on my yard — but “why hadn’t I cleaned it up?”

    After that, I was always careful when I visited her place… you see, that’s where my dog went.

  5. We need more good sports in Woofville. [That was originally a typo but I left it! Freudian slip?]