Borderstan Candids: Urban Petiquette Rules for Dog Owners

by February 20, 2012 at 10:30 am 1,752 0


Love your dog: she depends on you.  (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at [email protected].

Borderstan, some of you may have seen scenes like this and I’m not sure where you come down on them, but I’m declaring my displeasure.

I am usually fine with the sight of dogs tied up outside various neighborhood establishments, as it normally involves a 5- to 10-minute foray into the supermarket, pharmacy or flower shop of choice. Fine, you remembered you needed dish soap as you were walking your pet, and combined a quick pop into the store with the rest of the walk. No problem, I hear and understand you.

But do not get me started on the folks who tie their dog up outside a restaurant or bar while they are inside hanging out — inside — with friends, having drinks or even a full-blown meal while their pet is sitting outside, tied to a railing or tree box. My latest such sighting came as I was walking a friend’s dog at night and we turned the corner onto Church Street NW.

My dog was sniffing along and suddenly we heard a pitiful whine coming from a pet tied up in the next tree box, essentially sitting in all the pee and other traces left by earlier dogs, unable to defend himself if attacked, looking and sounding pretty vulnerable and miserable.

For real?! This particular owner couldn’t take their pet back home before hitting the happy hour or getting to their dinner date?

I imagine that sometimes the daily walks can be a drag or an interruption to our other activities; in certain weather they’re downright uncomfortable. But let’s not forget that dogs living in city apartments or condos, with no yard to run around and relieve themselves in, rely on those walks for an essential function, one they’ve patiently and generously learned to avoid doing around our homes. Let’s at least show them the courtesy and caring not to make those moments outdoors become associated with feeling abandoned, exposed and otherwise humiliated.

Finally, kudos to all those caring dog owners who don’t subject their pets to the behavior described above. You are (thankfully!) the rule.

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