I’ve known a few people in my life that didn’t like dogs. Not surprisingly (to me) those people were invariably untrustworthy and not especially likeable.
I’m only mentioning this because the dog-haters around here have been having a heyday in the letters sections of local newspapers. Their li’l screeds, purportedly looking out for the common weal are essentially matters of canine detestation and probably puppy-fear. Sad that.
These also seem to be people who decry the fact there is simply not enough ‘control’ in society and they scapegoat dogs in their process of wishing there were more uniformed, Sam Brown belted protectors of the values of decent folk like they are – or as they see themselves.
Their objections seem to be based on two primary issues: poop and inobservance of leash laws.
About the poop matter, they will find I am completely in accord. People who don’t clean up dogshit should be summarily shot by one of the ‘brownshirts’ the dog-haters would like to see on patrol. As it stands, however, the majority of dog-owners I know feel exactly the same way about the issue as I do. I’ll also say that those bewailing the odd canine deposit on the footpath should take a trip to France if they want to see a casual attitude about doggy functioning and negligent owners.
About leash-law I am diametrically opposed. Quite frankly, if you want your dog to get into fights with other dogs, or to even have him bite folks, then slap a leash on him and never let him run free. People who know dogs know that to be true. Dog-haters don’t know dogs so they believe that dogs (just like the rest of society) should be constrained as much as possible.
Yes, there are unfortunate incidents, and sometimes they involve some breeds more than others. And cases in which a child or innocent person is mauled by a certain dog should mean that the dog is expedited immediately and if the owner has proved negligent, then the penalties should be stiff and future canine ownership should be verboten.
Unfortunately, even with ‘those certain’ breeds, you might find a good look at the owners will answer any questions you have about why the dog went rogue.
Likewise (and in so saying I must also state that I love dogs with all my heart) any dog found harassing, or worse, killing or injuring wildlife, should also be dispatched by the game control folk.
In my ideal society our relationship with dogs here should be more like it is in England where dogs are quite welcome in shops and pubs, and it’s never a question of whether vacation accommodation you are seeking will permit you to bring your pup. As one hostelry owner (in the US, actually) said to me: “I’ve never had a drunken dog destroy a motel room.”
But, I suspect dog-haters wouldn’t like the English model. It’s just not strict enough. I suspect in their world there would ideally be no dogs. Sorry, but I opt for Thurber’s view.