Poochie’s Inconsiderate Owner

by admin on February 21, 2017

I wanted to write in about something that I’ve been noticing more and more frequently; inconsiderate dog owners.

Now I adore dogs. When my roommates were against my getting one in university, I sponsored one through our humane society. I am very much a dog lover.

I’m frustrated by how a lot of dog owners in my area are handling their precious pups though.

We have some gorgeous nature trails at one of the lakes here and there is a massive off leash section where dogs can (and do) have loads of fun playing in the water and on the beach.   The nature trails are strictly leash areas for a variety of reasons. There’s wildlife that includes cougars and coyotes. There are small children. Dogs could get lost or hurt.

I was out for a run there one day and two wonderful labs came bounding past me. No one else was in sight and they shot past. They both ran back a few minutes later and then spent the next half hour or so running ahead a little, running back to me and back a little more, and repeating. They weren’t happy pups anymore; they were upset. I began to walk back with them and we wound up going back quite a ways. Their human was sauntering along with a coffee in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and both leashes draped around his shoulders.  I politely explained that his dogs seemed to have run too far ahead of him and that they were upset. I also mentioned that there were cougar warnings in effect and pointed out the off leash section. He told me to **** off and kept going.

I used to work in a huge cemetery that had dog restrictions posted at every gate. Now obviously we understood that dogs are a tremendous source of comfort to a lot of people and so we would look the other way of someone brought a four legged friend to visit a loved one.  But there were also so many people who lived in the area and who used our cemetery as their own private dog park. One woman would let her dog run freely inside our fences while she walked outside. It was as if people couldn’t understand that seeing their pooch poop on a grave marker would be distressing to some.

And I work in a furniture store now. We do have signs saying that dogs aren’t allowed. And we constantly have customers who “just have to check/measure something” with their dogs in tow. We tend to ignore little dogs in carriers but large dogs on/off leash? I’m thrilled to see the dogs. I’m not happy to see their entitled owners and I’m dreading the day when a dog gets in trouble for having an accident on an expensive piece because its owner insisted on ignoring the rules.

Like I said, I adore dogs. And I’m annoyed by dog owner’s entitled attitudes. Is this something that a lot of people are bothered by or am I being a bit sanctimonious here? 0220-17

{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol February 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

I was in BigBox store the other day (grocery section) and saw a guy with a large German Shepherd, on a leash. No harness or vest. Another couple came around the corner and gushed, “Ooh, what a nice dog!! Can you bring dogs into BigBox now?” To which dog owner replied, “Well, you can if they are SPECIAL…” with a smirk.

EvilCarol resisted the urge to comment, “yeah, like if you have the cojones to walk right in with your dog and dare anyone to say anything…”

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Ella February 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Both of my children work at Target. They are not allowed to even ask if any animal brought into the store is a service animal.

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Dee February 22, 2017 at 12:18 am

In BC, a business owner is allowed to ask for the official government certification for a service dog. It’s a license that service dog owners need to have with them when they go out with their dog. Even if the animal is registered a business owner can escort the dog off the property if it is being unruly or causing problems. This legislation only applies to service dogs, so I’m assuming all other service animals, even though they may be trained per governmental regulations, do not have the same rights. A business owner is never required to allow any other animals onto their property, no matter how legitimate the need or where the animal is trained. It must be a dog and be registered properly or it has no rights under the law.

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dancecommander February 27, 2017 at 2:25 am

Quick note about a common misconception — There is no registration required for service dogs. Anyone providing such a service is offering a useless product, assuming the best intentions, or running a scam, assuming the worst. The legal definition of a service dog is a dog that is trained to perform specific actions to assist a person with a disability. A business owner cannot ask what the task is or what the disability is, but they can ask if the dog is trained to perform a task specifically to assist with a disability (making it a service dog). That’s it. That makes a service dog. They don’t need a letter, they don’t need a vest, they don’t need an ID card, and there is no official, government regulated training (although when it comes to training, businesses are absolutely allowed to rescind access for a dangerous or destructive animal).

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Karen D March 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

Dee said “In BC,” which I’m assuming is British Columbia. Canada’s federal and provincial laws regarding service animals are not nearly as permissive as the U.S. law, which is what you’ve cited.

Dancecommander March 19, 2017 at 4:12 am

@Karen D- ahhh, I completely missed that. Thank you.

Kat February 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

If you’re in the US, in many states, interfering with a real service dog can carry a misdemeanor charge. So if a fake service dog were to upset and distract a real one, the owner could be arrested. It’s understandable, if, let’s say a seizure or low blood sugar alert dog were to miss an alert because they were distracted, the owner could be seriously injured. At least with an alert, the owner might have time to lay down before a seizure starts, preventing a fall.

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NostalgicGal February 24, 2017 at 7:20 pm

I know of a toy poodle service dog, that is trained to warn before his owner has a seizure. The dog’s training is worth more than $10k. It doesn’t look like it but it is a service dog, and it is a purse dog. However the owner also does carry a doctor’s letter just in case there is ever an issue. I also know of a deaf assistant dog, it is trained to alert owner to things like a phone ringing, a smoke or fire alarm, or someone at the door. It also can ‘go’ reasonably on command, so if the fellow knows they will be in places the dog can’t go for awhile he can tell it to do it’s duty now. It’s a terrier mix so again not a big dog.

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koolchicken February 22, 2017 at 6:18 am

People like that really burn my toast. If a store sells food, doesn’t matter if its restaurant food or packaged like in a grocery store. If someone from the board of health walks in, sees an animal that’s not a service animal, and no employee is actively engaged in trying to get the animal and their human to leave, they can close the store down. Right then and there. Plus the store can be hit with a huge fine.

I worked in a drugstore. I had selfish jerks bringing their dogs in all day long. I also had customers complaining about the dogs all day long. We’d already been fined twice because we literally couldn’t help it if some jerk brought a dog in in a handbag then when they thought they were alone took them out (happened soooo many times). One more time and we were shut down. I bet these are the same people who would complain if the store was shut down and they were inconvenienced by it. 🙁

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Emmy February 21, 2017 at 8:49 am

I don’t think you are sanctimonious. Like every area of life, people who think they are entitled to do what they want with their dogs at the expense of others are rude. I am not a pet owner, but live in a neighborhood with several dogs. There are clean up laws and leash laws, yet I’ll often see several dog messes while I take a walk around the neighborhood.

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lakey February 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm

The weather has warmed up so I took my dog for a walk yesterday. There was dog waste at the edge of 3 front yards. This isn’t just a problem for the property owners, it’s a problem for anyone walking down the road. There’s just no excuse for this kind of laziness. You save plastic bags and stick one in your pocket as you leave the house. It’s that simple.

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Kathryn February 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I was in a small personal training fitness group that meet at a local oval 3 mornings a week. One morning us ladies observed a man with a dog. The dog did a poo, then went a bit further and did another poo. He looked as though he intended to do nothing about it! We were doing some kind of jogging exercise. I took off toward a bin with doggy poo bags (quite common in my neck of the woods), jogged towards the man, gave him the bag and said “you missed a bit over there too” them jogged back to my group. I was friendly and polite in my manner and he did pick up all the poo. But I don’t think he would have if I’d not shamed him by acknowledging the poo he’d neglected to pick up.

Whenever I take a dog for a walk at a park, I grab extra bags and tie them to the leash so I’m prepared. It’s not hard to do!

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EchoGirl February 23, 2017 at 12:38 pm

A lot of stores also sell “dog waste bags” for cheap (I buy them to clean out my cats’ litter boxes, since they’re better at trapping odor and less prone to have gaps or holes than grocery bags, which are sometimes stretched or punctured by their contents). If you can afford to own dogs, I think you can afford 60 bags for a dollar.

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Kelli February 21, 2017 at 9:07 am

I have two small dogs and I feel the same way. It makes me extremely angry to walk either at a regular park or dog park and seeing the many piles of poop that other dog owners just leave instead of cleaning up. I get pretty agitated in an on leash park when people let their dogs off leash. My two current dogs are not unfriendly, but I had an old guy that took umbrage when other dogs were off leash and he wasn’t. I was at a dog park a couple weeks ago and a young woman let her dog poo and then didn’t clean up. Several of us offered bags and she told us to eff off. That’s the dog owner that I loathe.

So no, I don’t think you are being sanctimonious.

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livvy17 February 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm

I’d have been tempted to follow that young woman back to her car and “return” her deposit.

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JD February 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

I was in Walmart yesterday, and a woman had her cat in her cart. It wasn’t crated; it was lying on a blanket with a cat toy. I just wondered what she would do if something startled it and it took off through the store.
I have two dogs, two in a long, long line of dogs in my life, and three cats. I love dogs and cats. I don’t love inconsiderate pet owners, whatever the pet may be. Dogs don’t need to be in a store if they aren’t service dogs, and if the store doesn’t have a clearly posted welcome such as PetSmart has, then leave them at home. They should be leashed or crated when out, unless in areas marked for un-leashed animals. I could just picture my daughter’s best friend, who is afraid of dogs, being surprised by two large, loose dogs on the walking path, no matter how gentle the dogs seemed. She would have panicked completely.
The pet owners who assume their pets need to go everywhere they go and don’t have to obey the rules when they get there, are inconsiderate. You aren’t being sanctimonious at all to me.

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saucygirl February 21, 2017 at 10:48 am

you are not being sanctimonious here at all. people who let dogs off leash where they shouldn’t are asking for trouble.

i love dogs too, and used to have two big ones. one day while walking them (on leash), a girl with an unleashed dog turned the corner towards us. her dog saw us and immediately began running at full speed towards us. Without a leash the girl couldn’t stop her dog. Because of where I was on the sidewalk and the size of my dogs (70 pounds each), I couldn’t get out of the way. My dogs, who were very protective of me, didn’t know if the dog was friendly or not, and immediately placed themselves in front of me. When the dog got near me my dogs took that dog down, thinking they were protecting me. Unfortunately, that dog was hurt. It could have been avoided if she had had a leash.

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Kate February 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Oh my gosh! Were your dogs okay?

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Op February 22, 2017 at 7:18 am

My dogs were fine, thanks. The other dog was hurt, though thankfully not badly. I just hope the girl learned her lesson, before her dog or another got hurt worse. Her dog is also lucky it wasn’t hit by a car, as it recklessly ran across a street to get to us.

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Amanda H. February 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

We had a somewhat similar run-in while dogsitting for a friend over the holidays. The dog we were sitting is a reasonably large dog, probably about the size of an average lab, a big barrel-chested boy. My daughters and I were walking him to the nearby dog park, with my oldest (age 10) holding his leash while I pushed the stroller with the youngest two in it and my second-youngest walked beside us. As we passed a neighbor’s house, her two dogs were out in the in-fenced front yard going to the bathroom. Both started barking aggressively, defending their turf from the dog they didn’t know. Then one took off after my daughter and the dog we were sitting. I tried to catch up (daughter and dog had gotten a bit ahead of me), while the dog we were sitting tried to ignore the little yappy dog. That is, until little yappy dog got too close. Our dog growled and snapped at the yappy dog, and he must have connected at least a little bit because the yappy dog retreated with a whining yelp. I caught up at that point and was able to rein in our dog and make sure everyone was all right, and while the neighbor seemed a bit annoyed with me she simply called in her dogs to the house, so I assume her dog is okay. She hasn’t said anything since.

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Op February 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

Glad your daughter was okay! How scary!

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Cleosia February 22, 2017 at 8:44 am

That is a GREAT dog! I have no doubt he was protecting the puppy (your daughter). He did what he felt was necessary to discourage the little yapper and nothing more. Another dog might have grabbed him by the throat and shook him to death.

Good Boy!

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Billia February 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm

I’m sorry but I think if your dogs attack another dog and you couldn’t or didn’t stop them from doing it-particularly while they were on their leashes- then that is just as much of a problem than the girl having her dog off leash.

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saucygirl February 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm

My dogs didn’t attack another dog while on leash. My dogs prevented me from being attacked by a dog that weighed over 50 pounds and was running full speed at me with no one controlling it.

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Kate February 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

No, sorry. It is the most basic instinct all living creatures have to defend themselves when they are being attacked. To try to train an animal not to defend itself would be morally wrong.

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PJ February 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

On my browser it is hard to tell if this comment was for saucygirl or AmandaH, but in both cases, their dogs were under control and attacked by uncontrolled dogs. They did not lash out until provoked. It isn’t clear that this didn’t turn into a drawn-out gratuitous dog fight, but there’s no real evidence of that so I’m giving the posters the benefit of the doubt.

Really, this is how I’d want the situation to play out in the case of unleashed dogs. No innocent people got hurt, and the offending animals were taken down by leashed dogs taking care of themselves and their people.

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Kel February 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

I agree! I love dogs and have one too. It amazes me how restaurants and bakeries now have to post signs to remind people they can’t bring dogs in (guide dogs are always ok). I was at RCMP musical ride show (containing over 30 well trained horse) and people brought dogs, which is insane as it’s not safe to have riders trying to control large horses with poodles yapping at them from the stands. I understand they are family but they are not people and should not be treated as people.

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Aleko February 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Well, children *are* people, and exactly the same strictures apply: if you take your children into public places you should be prepared to control them too, and not allow them to rampage around, make a nuisance of themselves, get into potentially dangerous situations, and steal or damage stuff.

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Klein Bottle February 21, 2017 at 11:17 am

Argh! Stuff like this frustrates me so much. I have two small dogs, and we walk every nice weather day in a local park. I carry my own plastic bags with which to pick up their messes. Plus, the park has installed “pet clean-up stations”, which have a supply of bags, and a receptacle in which to toss them. Still, it’s awful the number of dog messes I see daily. I’ve been behind people who let their dogs just “go”, and don’t bother to pick it up and dispose of it, and have been tempted to “shame” them by offering one of my bags. However, that’s probably a good way nowadays to get into an altercation.

My dogs are well-trained and behave properly most of the time. (Being dogs, of course they forget themselves from time to time, particularly when a squirrel is sighted. ) I’ve trained them to ignore and not bark back at other dogs, and that took awhile. (The younger one is much better about this than her older sister!) In all fairness, most people will curb their dog if it starts to bark at mine, but some owners allow it to go on a little long.

Lastly, my parents’ house is less than a block to the aforementioned park, and people often walk down the side road en route. There is no sidewalk, and I’ve often found dog messes in their side yard. It’s incomprehensible to me that anyone would allow their dog to poop in another person’s yard and not clean up! The park is bad enough, let alone private property.

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LadyV February 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

I also love dogs, but I’m 100% on OP’s side when it comes to dog owners. There are too many people out there that take the attitude of “oh, those rules don’t apply to MY dog”. The idiot on the nature trail shouldn’t be allowed to own animals, as he obviously doesn’t care about their welfare. The “dogs in the cemetery” idea makes me cringe – I wonder if these people would let a dog run loose where THEIR loved ones were buried. As far as the furniture store – anyone who says “oh, I’m just checking something, it will only be a minute” needs to be told, firmly, that it will only take a minute to put their dog outside. It might also help if signs were posted stating that the dog owner would be responsible for any damage caused by their dogs. The poor dogs shouldn’t get in trouble because of their owners’ sense of entitlement.

Side note: what IS it with furniture stores that attracts jerks? A couple of weeks ago it was “they don’t make us do this at IKEA”, and now it’s rude dog owners.

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Linda February 21, 2017 at 11:34 am

It would not only be the owner’s fault if a dog had an accident on an expensive piece, but it would also be the fault of the employee who chose to ignore the rules. If the customer would be made to pay for the ruined piece, the employee should have to split that cost.

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Anon February 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Okay I think you are assuming that employees have a lot of power for some weird reason. I would love to live where employees are allowed to force people to leave for breaking the rules.

90% of the time when it’s an employee vs. customer, customer wins. Even if customer is at fault and employee did everything they were supposed to, customer wins. I would bet most furniture store employees can only say “you can’t bring that dog in here” and that’s it. And if the customer complains, most of the time the manager is on the customer’s side, even if they are breaking store rules because problem customers = more money or something in the minds of the higher ups.

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Lanes February 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm

I think that’s a bit rough. That would be like splitting the cost of stolen goods because the employee failed to apprehend the offender (who could easily be twice the size of a teenage girl, for example).

Generally the people who flout the rules like this are uncompromising when an employee challenges them about it, and it’s not like the employee could man-handle the dog and expect to come through that unscathed. The employee could only take the issue ‘up the ladder’ or notify security if the store is big enough to have security staff.

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:27 am

Working in a restaurant, especially one that serves alcohol, accidents do happen. Some places require the server to pay for every dropped meal, drink, broken plate, etc; even if the customer did the unlovely thing of try to help and grab stuff off a hand held balanced tray. WHEN YOU DO THAT THE SERVER LOSES CONTROL OF THE BALANCE OF THE TRAY!!!!! Or the people that sneak out especially on drinks, and the server is forced to pay. Too many tables and people to keep track of… one round of four drinks can really hurt. Sneak on a tab and the server may be out a check for two weeks to a month easy. Just so you can drink free, they might lose their vehicle and their place to live.

If the employee did the deaf ear/blind eye to someone they know stealing something, or hit a discount for them at the register that isn’t allowed, THEN the employee should be taken to the task. For someone being dumb, stupid and a Boor from the Planet Booron, the customer should have to pay. Period. They brought the dog in, the dog does something, they should be ready to buy the sectional set Fido just ‘signed’. I certainly don’t want a dog peed couch….

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SS February 22, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Just a note about the comment about places requiring servers to pay for breakage or dash-and-dines… in the United States this is illegal although some employers try to ignore that law.
http://waiterpay.com/top-ten-violations/

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:29 am

There’s more than a few that are still doing it, unfortunately.

Kirsten February 21, 2017 at 11:52 am

People who don’t pick up after their dogs should have their noses rubbed in it.

As for shops, I’d be insisting that people left their dogs outside or left the shop.

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Aleko February 22, 2017 at 8:28 am

A few Mondays ago I was in my local high street, which is pedestrianised and has market stalls on Mondays, and saw a young woman watching complacently as her Staffie produced a prize-winning-sized turd, right in the middle of the street next to one of the stalls. Clearly nothing was further from her mind than any notion of cleaning it up.

Call me a coward, but Medway low-life of both sexes can be quite violent, so I confess I wasn’t about to confront her. However, she was hailed from across the street by some passing friends, and she turned and had some chit-chat with them. After they had passed along she stepped backwards – with a squelch, right into her own dog’s turd. Her language was unprintable; as for me, I felt like that wonderful line from Sense & Sensibility –

‘All within Elinor’s breast was satisfaction, silent and strong.’

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Kathryn February 22, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I let out a very satisfied sigh upon reading that. Perfect retribution! Excellent line

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:31 am

Totally Karma Served! Love It!

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kategillian February 21, 2017 at 12:05 pm

No, I don’t think you are being sanctimonious at all. I work at a restaurant, and you would not believe the amount of people that come in with fake service dogs. How can I tell if they’re fake? A real service dog won’t bark at every person who walks into the restaurant. A real service dog won’t growl at me when I approach the table. I would imagine they also don’t splay themselves out in the aisle next to the table. (If I’m wrong, please let me know!) It’s infuriating that these people can’t leave fluffy outside in the shade for an hour, so other people can have a dog free lunch.
I KNOW you can buy those tags on the internet, just like you know it’s illegal for me to ask for proof.

We have also had perfectly well behaved pups, I’m certainly not against service dogs!!
Ahhh! Rant over, and full disclosure, I’m a cat person!

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Kry February 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm

It sounds like you need to hope that there is a customer like me in the restaurant.
Recently I was eating at a mid prices restaurant and someone brought their dog in. He was asked to take it out “but its a service dog” was shouted. Knowing the staff couldn’t ask for proof I piped up with an excited “oh! I have heard about these special dogs. How cute is he! Can I see the permit? I’ve never seen one before.”
The owner sneered and quickly left. General public IS allowed to ask.

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:28 am

Bravo!

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JeanLouiseFinch February 22, 2017 at 10:28 am

Great idea! I am a dog lover, but when I hear about people with fake service dogs my blood boils. It’s fraud and it damages those who truly need a service dog.

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kategillian February 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

You can come to my restaurant anytime!

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SS February 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm

The staff can ask if it is a service dog for a disability and they can ask what the dog has been trained to do. http://adapacific.org/ada/faq.php

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Cleosia February 22, 2017 at 8:53 am

I’ve never been able to understand why it is illegal to prove your dog is a service animal. If I drive a car, a cop has every right to ask me to prove that I have a license to do so (same for a dog license, not that I think of it). Otherwise there’s going to be a lot of abuse of this right. I would think that anyone whose animal is a legitimate service animal would have no problem whipping out their animal’s certificate upon arrival at the restaurant/store etc. Only people who are lying about it would get flustered/pissed that you would ask since they can’t prove their animal is a service animal.

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Cleosia February 22, 2017 at 9:01 am

And that NOW that I think of it). 🙂

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Vicki February 22, 2017 at 10:11 am

They’re not allowed to ask for proof because there is no such proof. No government agency or other organization licenses or tests service dogs, so either anyone at all could print a certificate saying “Fifi is a service animal,” or even blind people with trained guide dogs would be unable to prove that the dog was a service animal.

Changing that would mean going to Congress and getting the Americans with Disabilities Act amended, and probably involve significant extra expense to set up and maintain a suitable training/testing/registration system.

In the meantime, a business can ask whether the dog is a service animal, and what service it is trained to perform. It’s not your or my business why someone needs a guide dog—for example, we shouldn’t be asking whether they’re completely blind, let alone why, and they aren’t required to hang out for a discussion of how blindness affects their life, when they just want to get a sandwich. Businesses are allowed to exclude a badly behaved or uncontrolled animal, even if it is a service animal.

Driving is unusual: most things that you can do in public at all, either everyone is allowed to do, or the restrictions are based on location or time of day (no ball playing in the nature reserve, quiet zone after 9 p.m.), not whether you have passed a test and now have a license to picnic, play basketball, or argue about politics.

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Dee February 22, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Commenters seem to be assuming that everybody (including OP) lives in the US, but at least where OP is concerned there is nothing to indicate where she lives. There is legislation regarding service dogs in my province, they are tested and licensed, and we can’t be the only place where this is legislated, so it’s can’t be assumed to be automatically illegal to request certification for a guide animal. There is no reason why a disabled person would not want to produce such documentation and there is no reason why it would be out of line to ask to see it. Legitimate service animal owners are the ones who requested such licensing and certification, as it is in their best interests.

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Amanda H. February 23, 2017 at 8:19 pm

And even within the US, this is something I feel *should* be documented, even if only to the same extent as getting a handicapped placard for the car, which doctors can issue. Doctors who, presumably, would know if an animal is properly trained as a service animal, since it seems to be covered under the same concept. It would at least make it more difficult for abusers of the system to get away with it.

Anon February 22, 2017 at 10:52 am

I think it’s because of HIPAA or something. If they have to produce papers for it, that could be disclosing a medical condition that they have if it says something like “[insert condition here] Certified Trained Service Animal”. Idk what the papers look like but I think it’s mostly privacy concerns.

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Lerah99 February 22, 2017 at 11:45 am

It’s because there is no actual standardized requirements for the training of service dogs.
This is so disabled people can train their own service dog should they choose to do so.

So it’s not like there is an official license or tag they receive at the end of training.

They can go online and buy the harness or vest that says “Service Dog” to make it easier for people to identify them, but it’s not required.

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Amanda H. February 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm

This is why I think there should be some sort of ID or certification card that can be given to an owner of a service animal, same as people authorized to park in handicapped parking have a special placard for that.

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Beth February 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm

There is no federal certification for service animals, and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits anyone from requiring certification of service animals.

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Dee February 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm

In some places it isn’t illegal to ask for the registration and license of a service animal. I suspect many business owners don’t know their rights and simply declare themselves unable to do anything about pets being brought into their stores.

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Multi-Facets February 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I wouldn’t call it sanctimonious; I’d call that “being concerned for the welfare of an animal.”

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Anonymous February 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Yeah, this. Dogs should be leashed, except in off-leash areas, and they don’t belong in stores…..except PetSmart, but as a general rule, dogs don’t belong in stores. I call that “being concerned for the welfare of an animal, the store, and everyone and everything in the store.” Even if someone brings their dog into a furniture store, and the dog is clean, leashed, and behaves perfectly well, and doesn’t bark, scratch, bite, or have an accident, dogs shed. I know this, because I have a golden retriever (who I love to bits), and his hair gets on everything. So, someone could bring their dog into the furniture store on, say, Saturday morning, and if the dog sheds, and/or rubs up against a piece of soft furniture, like an upholstered couch, they’ll get their hair on it. Then, if someone with allergies comes in on, say, Sunday afternoon, they’ll have their allergies triggered by the lingering dog hair. Worse yet, if they buy the couch that the dog rubbed up against, they’ve just brought their allergens into their own home. They might not immediately realize that the couch is the problem, because they didn’t see the dog in the store when they were there, so that would make for a very unpleasant few days, until they figure it out, and (hopefully) take the couch back for a refund. That’s a lot of hassle for people who didn’t deserve it, all because someone just “had” to take their dog into the furniture store for “just a minute.”

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Lyn February 21, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I am a HUGE dog and cat lover. I have several of each. If you love your pet, you will be responsible for it’s safety. That means – leashes and or crates when in public. I wonder how that cat owner would feel if her unleashed, uncrated cat got loose inside a large store? How would she find it? “Oh, my cat NEVER runs off!” No, your pet has never run off YET.

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Dawn February 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm

I’m a cat person, but I love dogs. I kept my neph-dog for a week when SIL and BIL were out of the country. We walked the neighborhood several times a day. In my opinion, this was HIS time so if he wanted to stop and smell something, that’s what we did. There are dogs in my neighborhood who never get out of the back yard. They’ve never been taken on a walk, never gone to a dog park. They either look out a window at the world or between the slats of a wooden fence. It’s criminal.

-Dawn

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lkb February 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I agree with the OP and also want to consider this from another angle:

I happen to be deathly afraid of larger dogs, especially if I don’t know them or their owners. When my son was an infant or toddler, I took him for a bike ride and a large dog (I think a Doberman) started chasing us to the point where my son could have been bitten if I hadn’t been pedaling to make Lance Armstrong look like a slacker. The owner was right there and dared to say, “Oh, he won’t hurt you, he’s just a big baby!” Not with those teeth bared like that, he wasn’t.

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:31 am

I was 10, visiting with parents and took an adult bike out for a quick bike ride (5 speed). I met a St. Bernard that liked to chase cars and he decided I was fair game. I didn’t know I could pedal like that, and once or twice I glanced back and he’d settled into full run, he was going to catch me. I think I ran ten long blocks before he finally decided to head home… I walked the bike the rest of the way back with rubber legs.

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Kathryn February 22, 2017 at 9:28 pm

That is incredibly scary! I was bitten by a friend’s dog when I was a child. I was leaving her house on my bike when their otherwise friendly dog took a small chunk out of my lower leg. I’ve been chased by dogs a couple of times on my bike, once the owner was in the front yard and I actually had to call out to her to control her dog! Dogs are fine, but I am quite scared of them when I’m on my bike!

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lkb February 22, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Forgot to also that there have been several stories in recent years involving loose dogs. One of them made the national news: A jogger was attacked and killed by large dogs that had gotten loose from their home. The owners were ultimately charged, convicted, and I believe, deported. (I can’t remember if their children were likewise deported.) The dogs were euthanized.

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Kirsten February 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm

A friend of mine was regularly chased by the same dog when cycling. It was a small yappy dog, a Jack Russell or something, and it managed to catch him and bit the bike’s back wheel, got flipped over and thrown through the air, and never chased him again.

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Amanda H. February 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

When I was a teenager I used to babysit some kids a few miles down the road (out in the country) every weekday while their parents worked. I biked to their house and back every day, and every time I biked back, I had to pass this one farm with no fence around the yard and a big Doberman-sized dog who was allowed to run loose (presumably because he never wandered very far). Every day I would start down the hill past that house, see that dog come running, barking and growling, and have just enough speed from the hill to get past before he got near me.

Until the day my younger sister came sitting with me. On our way home, she was ahead of me as we started down the hill, and the dog came running when he spotted her, barking and growling aggressively again. Only this time I was behind her, so while she sailed by before he could reach her, I was right in position for him to intercept me. So I did the only think I could think of. I snarled back at him. The dog pulled up short, surprised, and I managed to get by. I don’t think that dog ever tried to catch me again.

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:42 am

Neighbor on one side got a fourth dog (they had a min-pin, the obnoxious cairn terrier-terror that took a massive affront to being penned or tied up, and a full sized Doberman… then got this daschund) and it liked to chase cats. The neighbor on the other side had a cat for granddaughter, and one day the cat came like greased lightning through the yard, and between my legs, the doxie in hot pursuit. I hunched down and did my best alpha dog snarl at it, the reserved one I used on our kees when she wouldn’t hold still for a coat brushing. The dog went from full forward to rolling backwards awkwardly the way it had been coming, peeing itself and yipe-howling like I was skinning it. The cat owner neighbor had seen and heard me do that, and shook his head… but that dog left that cat alone after that and it never set foot in my yard again.

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Ygraine February 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Absolutely not sanctimonious. I live on Chincoteague Island, right next to Assateague Island – yes, the home of the renowned wild ponies made famous by “Misty of Chincoteague”. Assateague is an incredibly beautiful National Park, full of trails and a stunning beach. The regulations state that no pets are allowed on the island – not even in cars. This is strictly enforced during the “tourist season”, but sadly not as enforced during the winter months. My husband and I cannot count the times we have heard and seen dogs running loose on Assateague, with and without their owners sauntering behind them. The regulation is there for the protection of both pets and wild life. The ponies there are feral. They don’t mind if a human gets nearby, but they will stomp, bite, kick, charge and otherwise protect themselves if they feel threatened – and a dog running up to them, barking madly, will make them feel threatened. Irresponsible pet owners simply do not want to hear that it’s for their own protection, as well as the protection of the ponies, several species of endangered wildlife, and other visitors to the island. (We won’t go into the possibility that the Bald Eagles would consider little Fifi a delicious snack.) The usual excuse is that they didn’t think it applied during the Off Season, or that it’s a companion animal, or that the dog is so well trained it would never harm anything, or it won’t get out of the car, or or or or…. ad nauseum. All we can do is notify the Park Staff that there is a dog running loose out there and give it’s approximate location. Please, people, use some common sense! The regulation is there for a good reason. Comply or find somewhere else to let your dog run free.

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Melissa February 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm

My personal pet peeve are the people who leave a small bag of dog poop on top of my trash can lid. Really? You couldn’t take that extra step, after walking into my driveway, of putting the poop bag into the can? You had to leave it on top so I had to deal with it.

If I wanted to deal with dog poop, I’d have a dog.

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Lerah99 February 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

I have a little chiweenie (chihuahua dachshund mix) that is a rescue.

She is not friendly. She is easily frightened. She barks incessantly at other dogs and she tries to run away from strangers.

She’s never bitten another dog or person, but I also take care to tell people that she’s not friendly.

I’ve picked her up to get her out of the reach of determined toddlers, off leash dogs, and people who insist that “dog love me!” even after I say “No, she’s not friendly. Don’t try to pet her.”

Because of this, I’m not amused by people who let their dogs off the leash in park areas that clearly state leashes are required. Those people always call out “Don’t worry! He’s Friendly!” And I’m trying to corral my barking, freaking out dog while I call back “She’s not! You need to get your dog!”

Why do people think that just because THEIR dogs are sweet love-bugs who adore all people and dogs, that every other dog or person on the path would be happy to interact with them? My dog isn’t friendly. Other people are terrified of dogs. How about we all just follow the rules, mmmkay?

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saucygirl February 22, 2017 at 7:32 am

yes! i have a friend who was walking her big, unfriendly dog down an alley. A lady started towards her with her small dog, and she was veering so that she would pass right next to my friend. My friend called out and asked her to please not pass close to her, as she had an unfriendly dog. The lady told her it was fine, her dog was friendly and got along with everyone. My friend told her that was great, but that her dog really was unfriendly. The lady wouldn’t listen and got right on top of my friend, who was trying everything to keep her dog away from this ladies, in a small alley. Sure enough, my friends dog hurt this little dog. And my friend got hurt trying to keep her 90 pound dog away from the lady and her little dog. The lady called animal control on my friend, and even though she admitted to them that she had been warned multiple times to stay away and chose to ignore that warning, she was able to sue my friend. And my friend lost in court. All because the lady was sure her dog would be loved.

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Lerah99 February 22, 2017 at 11:55 am

That’s terrible.
Your friend did everything she could to try and prevent that confrontation.
It burns my biscuits that the little dog was owned by such a careless and stubborn person who put it in danger like that and then refused to take responsibility.

I’m lucky that my unfriendly dog is 10lbs. So I can just pick her up and pull her away.
Even then, I’ve had adults keep reaching for her.
She’s growling, her teeth are bared, she’s barking up a storm, and people will coo “Ohh, it’s all right! I won’t hurt you!” as they reach for her.
No, it’s not all right. Stop it.

One day I actually ended up screaming at one such determined guy.
He had ignored my multiple statements of “Stop. She’s not friendly. No. Get back.”

I picked her up and physically turned my back on him so my body was between his hand and my poor freaked out puppy.

And he danced around me and kept trying to reach her.
So I started screaming my head off “Get away from us!!! Get away! Don’t Touch us!!!” which caused several people in the park to stop and stare to see what was going on.

And he finally stopped reaching for my dog and yelled “Geeze, I was just trying to pet the dog you crazy b-word! Go eff yourself!” and stomped off.

I didn’t go back to that particular park for months because I was so freaked out by it.

How do these people justify that kind of behavior to themselves?

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EchoGirl February 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Ugh, I hate this as well. I have a soft spot for very shy cats because it’s so hard to find homes for them, even though many of them don’t require any more care than the standard cat, and so I have two cats living in my home right now who are terrified of strangers. My family is pretty good about leaving them alone, but when I have larger groups of people over, there always seem to be one or two who go looking for my cats. Hello, there’s a *reason* they’re hiding!

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Kate February 22, 2017 at 8:02 pm

How awful! Was your friend and the dog okay in the end? I have heard of people being forced to put their dogs down or being bankrupted in cases like these.

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Willynilly February 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

A friend of mine used to have two large, dog-aggressive, rescue dogs (they have since died of old age). They were trained and kept on sturdy and short leashes. One day he was walking them and saw a small dog on a “retractable” leash approaching. He called out his dogs were not friendly and tried to position himself in front of his dogs.
Unfortunately the small dog’s owner ignored the warning, saying “oh my dog is friendly” and letting it run over.
The small dog was *very* seriously hurt. My friend was quite distressed, he loves dogs and took no pleasure in seeing that dog injured, plus he was legitimately scared for the fate of his own dogs.
Three people witnessed the incident though and approached my friend with their contact info stating they were willing to testify they heard him warning the other dog owner and saw him trying to block off his dogs.

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Lady Catford February 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Just had to post. We have a farm and keep sheep. One year, in the spring a lady would park her car and then walk her dog up and down the road where the sheep were in that field. Sheep (ours, anyway) don’t like black dogs so the sheep ran away. I was able to speak to the lady about walking her dog down the road because the ewes were just about ready to lamb. Her reaction was that her dog wouldn’t hurt my sheep. My retort was, “my sheep don’t know that!” I never saw her again.

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nora February 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

My partner and I have a small dog. We used to have a neighbor who had a large, untrained, intact male pit bull, and he basically let it live in the woods next to our apartment building. The dog lunged at me, my partner, and our dog multiple times. No amount of requests to him or our landlords to keep the dog on leash worked. For our own safety we called the police, which resulted in the dog being taken away and the neighbor being evicted. Clearly this was not an outcome we wanted. It’s likely the dog was deemed unadoptable and euthanized, and who knows how long it took the neighbor to find a new apartment. If the dog had just been neutered, trained appropriately, and kept on leash…

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saucygirl February 22, 2017 at 7:38 am

years ago we had neighbors we called the party boys. because they threw parties every single weekend. which one time resulted in a condom being thrown into our yard. no matter how much we complained we got no where. then they got TWO big, untrained dogs (one was a rottie and one was a pit bull) that would spend all day trying to jump the wall into our yard. i warned the hoa and the landlord that based on their history, no good would come from them having the dog, and that if their dogs ended up in my yard there would be hell to pay. sure enough, within a month of them having the dog i looked out my window one day and saw them running loose down the street. which was a private gated cul de sac so kids played out there all the time. my husband went after them, and took pictures to show they were loose. i went next door to the party boys to inform them their dogs were loose, and took video of them sitting around doing nothing, and not even attempting to go after their dogs. that finally got rid of the party boys.

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:57 am

A neighbor we had, he had gotten a Rottweiler and had someone else keeping it when they married. So after, he brings the dog home, over a year old, and never trained or disciplined because ‘he didn’t want to break the dog’s spirit’. Well it was mean, it was untrained, it was intact and it was a scary proposition. He refused to let her take it to classes or even try to homeschool train it. He was in National Guard and got called, so she arranged literally the day he left to take the now approximately three year old animal to a full boarding trainer (they trained guard dogs-this was NOT going to be cheap) to deal. They called her after three days, said the dog is unmanageable, and come get (they refunded her). It ended up to live in a pen about the size you could park a compact car, and she was the only one that fed it so it tolerated her. He left her, and left the dog. It started to get arthritis but taking it to the vet was impossible, she even got the mobile vet out and four rounds of tranquilizers, the vet refused to get in the pen with it. So it ended it’s days lying in the sun in it’s pen, hardly able to move, and lying there and still howling at the sirens. The one that was disserved was the dog. Well trained rottweilers can be lovely family members, this poor dog wasn’t, not of his own fault.

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Anon February 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

Let me guess, this neighbor also didn’t believe that animals should be treated with care and such because it’s “just an animal”.

I can’t assume of course, but I’ve seen quite the correlation between people having untrained and/or unneutered pets because that would be taking them of their “sexual” abilities or something, and yet treat them like trash because “it’s just an animal”.

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:52 am

The guy should have never been allowed to get the dog. Because it was untrainable, nobody else could or would take it, so it’s options were to live out it’s life in that run, or be put to sleep. It wasn’t the dog’s fault. The dog was one reason she kicked him out finally. She tried to do right by the animal, hence her attempt to have it trained while he was gone by some real professionals that should have been able to handle an aggressive large dog. His words about no training or discipline was ‘because he didn’t want to break the animal’s spirit’… and of course it was unneutered. We found this out when we got a keeshond and she went through her first cycle (we were going to breed her and had scheduled her hip dysplasia screening, heart screening, and a VISION TEST as those were issues with the breed). He let us know she went into heat. He tried his best to get through the chainlink AND cedar picket fencing for four days…. (she in the meantime totally lost her mind, scatterbrained didn’t begin to cover it, so she was neutered after that).

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kategillian February 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

That’s heartbreaking! I really wish there was a test required to have pets or children.

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

I know, and there was nothing that could be done. I hope he never got another dog. I truly hope he didn’t.

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Cat February 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I have a friend who refuses to do anywhere without her dog. We can never have lunch in a restaurant because of the ever-present dog. I love animals, but I have no problem going places without them in tow.
I did have a neighbor who allowed his two dogs to use my yard as their restroom. I had to remind him that I fertilized my lawn with approved fertilizer and needed no help from his dogs. He began to remove their feces from my lawn thereafter.
It’s a sense of entitlement that I do not understand to treat a pet dog as a constant companion.

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Cat February 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

That’s “go anywhere” and not “do anywhere”.

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jokergirl129 February 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm

You’re not being sanctimonious at all. You’re right to be annoyed by irresponsible dog owners and other people would be too. People that ignore the rules and don’t do anything to train/control their dogs often causes trouble for other people and sometimes the poor dog ends up paying the price for their owners negligence. When you have a pet of any kind you need to be responsible for their well being and take care of them. For dogs that would be keeping them on a leash when you’re suppose to, clean up after them, make sure they are trained and to not take to places where dogs are not allowed. I get annoyed reading about stories like these sometimes.

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CW February 21, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Just this last weekend my husband took all of the dog poo that was in our front yard (Courtesy of our neighbor who lets her dog run into our yard regularly.) and shoveled it back onto the neighbor’s property. There were at least 3 piles. We have 2 dogs that go in the backyard to do their business and as gross as it is, I can distinguish my dogs’ mess from other dogs so I know it shouldn’t have been down the side of our house.

If you’re not willing to deal with poo, don’t have pets. Or children for that matter!

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:41 am

Neighbor had a rat terrier that was dumb as a brick. Trust me it was. It decided my front yard was where it should poo, and when he let it out in the morning (he had a fully fenced back yard but neighbor let it out the front door) and it would just about break a leg running for my yard to dump. I don’t know what it ate but the poo also attracted flies, and it had diahrrea often enough this was a MESS. I took it up with him and kept repeating about (quit laughing and accusing me of throwing food scraps on my front lawn for the reason the dog ran over there like a sprinter every morning) until he quit laughing-his dog was running over to my yard to CRAP. Which took about six times. Then Halloween was coming up and I temporary fenced my entire front yard in and put lights on the fencing so it could be seen, and decorated the blocked off space with all sorts of scary stuff (it took a month to build and install everything). The dog went ballistic and tried to dig his way in to his private crapatorium which it couldn’t so it went the other way and started using that lawn. That neighbor’s wife almost shot it with her husband’s 44 revolver. I also started throwing all the piles left in my yard after the fence came back down (after Christmas) under the pine tree his toddler granddaughter loved to play under. THAT finally got him to start letting it out in the BACK yard in the morning. How clueless?

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CW February 22, 2017 at 11:18 am

I have a Great Dane and a min-pin/pekingese mix. One very big poo, one very teeny poo. The dog next door is pit mix. She has no argument to tell me the mess on the side of my house is either of my dogs’… it’s the wrong size! (Gross, I know, but I’ve cleaned up enough of their poo in the last 10 years to know what it looks like!)

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:57 am

Yep. You know your own ‘tulips’ …

(same as shower hair, one person with a foot of hair, everyone else with 3″ or less, the long ugly drain-doodie is foot long hair… guess who is NOT cleaning the drain cover? Don’t deny it the hair length matches one person…)

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livvy17 February 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Dogs, kids, monkeys….whatever you’re a guardian of, you need to take care of, clean up after, and generally make sure they aren’t a nuisance to others. End of story.

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Redblues February 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Exactly! And realize that you are probably the only one that actually wants them around.

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Joni February 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

I admit I’m a little puzzled by OP’s employer (the furniture store) posting a sign that dogs are not allowed, but then allowing small dogs in the store. That’s probably why people feel free to bring larger dogs in – because there is ALREADY a discrepancy between what is stated and what is allowed. Seems like it would be less confusing to state “dogs under 10 pounds only please” than to have a written and an unwritten rule that don’t agree. Personally I’d rather shop at a furniture with NO dogs – I find small, yappy, high-strung dogs to be intensely irritating and I don’t think I’d be able to concentrate on my shopping. (I’m not a dog hater – I’ve got a retired racing greyhound whom I adore. But the mellow greyhound personality has ruined me for a lot of the other breeds.)

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Linda February 22, 2017 at 9:18 am

That is exactly why I posted earlier that if a dog ruined something, the dog owner and the employee should split any costs. If the rules are broken for small dogs, then why have a rule in the first place? If an employee decides to ignore the rules, then they should also suffer the consequences.

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

If the employee says boo and scares out the customer, they might get fired on the spot.

You’ve not worked in places like that obviously where if you do what you’re supposed to, you’ll get fired… and if you need to eat, you need that job. Making the employee pay is just like restaurants and bars making the servers pay for dropped food, broken plates, or tabs snuck out on.

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Anon February 22, 2017 at 10:57 am

Money is the bottom line, and even problem customers that might spend a dollar are totally worth having stuff destroyed and overall making them lose money.

Yeah, I may read notalwaysright too much.

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NostalgicGal February 21, 2017 at 8:08 pm

2004, I walk into my local bank. I am well known enough that the clerks do know me as a regular customer. This day though, some guy in an RV had pulled in the lot and he walks right in with his cream toy poodle NOT on leash but freeroaming with him like they both own the world.

The security guard steps forward about ‘who’s dog is that?’ and I back up two steps (we are at the velvet ropes and runners leading to the counters) and put my hands up to the shoulders in ‘NOT ME’.

Fellow starts protesting that his dog is fine, well behaved, goes everywhere and doesn’t hurt anything. As the dog went and ‘signed’ two of the stands holding the velvet ropes and finished by a good soaking of a fancy wicker backet (think pricy hand woven with beads and threads) to hide the pot that a lobby plant was in. The dog probably ‘never did anything’ because he never paid attention to what the dog was doing.

When I left he was busy at work cleaning up the mess and they were looking up how much the wicker basket was worth. And to the clerk, yes I am married but trust me not to THAT.

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Lilyholiday February 21, 2017 at 11:09 pm

I’m so happy to read this post and know that there are still people who do not feel dogs belong everywhere, all the time.

I’m so frustrated when I am grocery shopping in LA and people have their dogs inside the grocery carts. It is unbelievable to me that people are so rude and so self centered. I realize that the law has changed and people can not leave their dogs in cars unattended, which is a good thing for the dogs, but that seems to have led to more people bringing dogs into places that they do not belong. Like around food.

The worst I’ve seen is a woman bringing her 3 ft. tall dog into Starbucks, and allowing him to sniff and nuzzle the entire food display case, then poke his nose over the counter during the transaction. The staff said nothing. On the way out, a little child and her parent went up to play with the dog, so I’m sure the dog owner believes that not only was she not in the wrong, but people ENJOY this.

In fact, more often than not, I see people walking up and playing with dogs inside grocery stores, restaurants, the HomeGoods store, etc. I have been able to refrain from saying anything but I give a full on snide look and side eye. In one case I had to tell someone in an elevator not to have their dog touch me because I have allergies. Why don’t dog owners realize that not everyone wants to have contact with their dogs? What if I just randomly walked up and pet a person on their arm, it would seem insane, but too many pet owners feel like their dogs can touch anyone and go anywhere. I’m so turned off by these entitled people.

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NostalgicGal February 22, 2017 at 7:49 am

One themed convention I did every year as a vendor; one set of well known locals would show with their Irish Wolfhound. These are Big Dogs. Not so heavy but they are huge. They have big long plume tails. Which when the dog is standing easily goes over the top of a banquet table. Dog wags tail, totals the entire display set up on the table. It was a good dog, but us vendors that got tailed and the dog would destroy many dollars of merchandise (and have to take the people to court, they still didn’t learn after like 8 times) finally made an ultimatum to the organizers that to return they had to ban that dog. So the animal ban went into effect… and that was a long time ago. Before service animals were seen commonly, you might see a seeing eye dog in harness but that was about it…

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Jelly_Rose February 22, 2017 at 8:30 am

Oh man I have seen something like that before, I went into a video rental store (you know back when we had ’em :3 ) and they had a big popcorn machine that allowed the customers to help themselves to free popcorn while browsing. I loved that feature but I stopped enjoying it one day I spotted a lady with a small poodle, holding the dog with one arm and leaning into the machine for the freshest popcorn and the poodle half in the machine as well.

I knew the staff there and kinda pointed out to my friend that the dog must not have been very comfortable sitting the way he was… I didn’t see the result of it but the next day I went in there were signs posted up in four different places that dogs were not allowed in the store.

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Marozia February 22, 2017 at 1:50 am

No, OP, you were not sanctimonious….you were calling it as it was.
We have 2 pit bulls. As restricted breed owners, we know what rules we have to adhere to, and believe me, we have a lot!!
To me, this should apply to all breeds not just restricted. All dogs MUST be kept on a leash.

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Ulla February 22, 2017 at 3:35 am

I’ve recently been annoyed how some dog owners don’t seem to realize their dog takes space by existing and fail to think that even if they alone are not blocking, them+dog is much larger combination.

While ago I was on a light walk in a nearby trail. It’s route around a lake, and the area is slightly swampy, so in some places duckboards are necessary. These are not fancy and wide but usually just two boards next to each other. In most of the places they are quite short, because the path hardens enough then. 10 meters or so, and you can see easily both ends. In few places longer setups are necessary, but with those there often is a “passing place” made by adding few extra boards in one place.

However, this did happen on one of the shorter ones. Generally, as the duckboards are quite narrow and passing is hard, if you see that there already is person on, you just wait. Waiting time is calculated in seconds, because, as said, we are talking usually about 10 meters or so.

So, I had already started on the duckboards when man and his rather large dog (looked like rottweiler, however, no breed bashing here, the dog was well behaved) approached the duckboards. I just was 100% sure that obviously someone with a dog realizes that passing each other on duckboards is very difficult, so they’ll wait. But no. They barge straight forward.

As you might guess, passing was really hard. On the both sides of these duckboards there was about 20-30cm of water and probably soft bottom, so no idea how deep one would end up if you lose your balance and step off the boards. And, which I almost did (prevented by lucky sapling from which I could take support and stop my fall), because passing human is hard, but you can generally do it with one step. Passing human+dog is basically 3 steps you need to balance, dog does not realize what the problem is and cannot “make himself small as possible”. And, you end up being in really uncomfortably close situation with strange dog whose behavior you cannot guess beforehands. I mean, you basically need to step over/right by the dog, touching it all the time.

😀 I know this is really small encounter, but just end up being really annoying, because the cost of thinking others would have been so minimal. Few seconds of standing by when we get off the boards. Instead I almost ended up in the water, and the passing probably took far more time than just waiting. (And this incident was brought in to my mind yesterday, because few dogowners were chatting and blocking rather narrow path, and again, taking zero action to get themselves or their dogs from bloking the whole path when they see other people coming. I mean 😀 Even the inefective scuttling is better than just standing like a statue. Because even small movement often helps a bit and at least you are showing that you don’t try to deliberately be donkeys behind.)

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Marie February 22, 2017 at 7:53 am

My personal annoyance is that some people don’t understand that when they’re invited to a friend’s house, it’s not ok to show up with a dog without asking the hostess if they are ok with it.

I have two cats myself, I love dogs and used to walk dogs as a kid – not for money but because I loved it – but I don’t like strange dogs in my house that upset my cats. When there is a strange dog in the house I immediately have to take action by removing the cat food that is in the kitchen, making sure no chocolate is in range… not to mention checking later if my cats were so upset they were afraid to walk past the dogs go out and they peed in the house out of stress. And then they usually say: just keep your cats out of the living room. Excuse me, my cats live here and your dog doesn’t.
Why do people think it’s ok to bring their pet unannounced? I don’t bring my rabbits when I visit a friend, let them loose in the living room and tell them to lock up their dog for the duration of the visit?

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Redblues February 22, 2017 at 10:56 am

Why do you let them? Next time tell them to just keep the dogs in the car, not your yard, their car. And if it is too hot/col/dangerous/scary, then they can just bring their dogs back home. I agree, it is horribly rude to bring the dogs to your house, but they would not do it if you stopped allowing it. Even if you did not have cats, you have a house with furniture and floors you do not want covered in dog hair or urine, or chewed up, scratched, and destroyed.

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Lerah99 February 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm

I have a friend who takes her dog EVERYWHERE with her.
He’s a very sweet little mix. Probably about 10lbs.

When she gets invited to people’s houses, she will say “I bring Thor with me everywhere. I know some people aren’t prepared to host him. So if you aren’t comfortable with me bringing him over, I’ll just skip the dinner/game night/party/BBQ (whatever she was invited to attend)”

She often hosts at her house so she can hang out with friends and not be parted from her dog.

When invited out to dinner she’ll say “Oh, I can’t bring Thor into that restaurant. Would you be willing to eat at the different restaurant on the other side of the mall? It has a patio so Thor can come.”

If Thor isn’t welcome, she’s not going.
But she’s always upfront about it. And she knows every dog friendly restaurant, hotel, beach, park. mini golf course, coffee shop, drive in movie theater, etc… in the area.

It’s quirky, but she’s a lovely woman. And she’s never huffy or upset if Thor can’t be accommodated. She just declines those invitations.

And I think that’s ok.
Especially since she is clear about it. Doesn’t try to guilt people if they don’t want to include Thor. And NEVER just shows up with him. She has always communicated ahead of time and made sure he’ll be welcome.

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Dee February 22, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I’m confused, Marie – what prevents you from telling people you don’t allow dogs in your house and enforcing that? It seems you are allowing the behaviour and then complaining about it.

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Marie February 23, 2017 at 7:03 am

Don’t worry, I have no problem saying “no” when it comes to my own home! Well, the first time was so flabbergasted I didn’t get it together properly, but since then I’ve made it very clear that pets should be announced and discussed (in summer, when we sit in the garden it’s not a problem if there is a dog, because the cats can go about their business peacefully).

My point here is: I shouldn’t have to say “no”. They shouldn’t have brought their pets unannounced in the first place.

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Pamela Love February 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

Years ago, I was walking my son around the block when a dog came out of its home, off-leash, barking at us. My son cringed and the dog’s owner called to us, “Don’t worry. He never leaves the yard.” Needless to say, the dog then raced out of the yard, across the street, and right up to us.

My son started singing “Happy Birthday to You” while the embarrassed owner retrieved her dog. I asked why, and he said, “If the dog thinks it’s his birthday, he’ll look for his cake and toys instead of biting us.”

Another time, we were at a trail around a nearby lake when a dog ran by, off leash. I called to the owner that dogs had to be on leashes there and he protested, “But if I had him on a leash, I’d be controlling him!” Well, yes. That’s the idea.

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Redblues February 22, 2017 at 10:59 am

This is why I carry pepper spray everywhere with me. Not for people, for dogs. There are a LOT of them where I live. If a strange dog runs up to me, I spray it. The owners never like it, but they are not in any position to complain about the way other people train the animals they themselves have refused to train.

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Cleosia February 22, 2017 at 8:36 am

I have a sweet, loving boxer/pit bull mix. She loves people and gets extremely excited when she meets someone new or someone she hasn’t seen for awhile. She would NEVER hurt anyone…on purpose.

The fact is, she’s a big dog and sometimes in her excitement she can get physical. We do what we can to control her behavior but she’s always had issues. People who visit us know her and can anticipate and prepare for her behavior should she get too excited. People outside don’t know what to expect. I would never trust her outside off leash as any good sense she has will be overcome by her excitement.

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DGS February 22, 2017 at 8:51 am

Our next door neighbor has a little dog. Both my DH and I work full-time and take the children to school early in the morning, so we are typically out of the house early in the morning (around 7:30 am) and don’t return until about 5 pm during the work week. On the weekends, the kids have various activities and sports, and we do a lot with our synagogue, so we are frequently out of the house as well for long stretches of time. For a long time, we noticed that one section of our lawn was comparatively much more wilted than others, and no matter how much fertilizer, mulch, etc. our lawn guy put down (he is fantastic and had nursed the rest of our front and backyard back to health after we bought the house; the previous owners were fairly neglectful), the lawn wasn’t improving. Our lawn guy told my DH that he believes that animal urine and feces have destroyed that section of our lawn. Now, we do have a rule in our development that owners have to keep their pets on a leash at all times and pick up after them; in fact, the HOA is quite particular about spelling that out. One time I became sick with the stomach flu while at work, had to leave my job and came home much earlier in the afternoon than I normally would have. It was around 1 pm. I saw our neighbor with her little dog on a leash in our side yard, with the dog defecating on our lawn. After the dog had finished, the neighbor, cell phone in hand, simply walked across our yard across to her own house, and was about to walk into her garage, when I stopped her. I said, “Excuse me, are you allowing your dog to use our yard as a bathroom and not picking up after it?” To give her credit, she apologized profusely. I asked her to “never do that again on our property”. Since our lawn has improved on that side, I suspect that she has pretty much stuck to avoiding our property, but I have seen her walk her dog up and down our neighborhood and suspect that she has allowed her dog defecate on other people’s lawns without picking up after her. The funny thing is, our next door neighbor is meticulous about her impeccable landscaping. Her house is the biggest on our street, and she easily has tens of thousands of dollars sunk into her lawn with an elaborate and meticulously kept-up hardscape, gorgeous seasonal plants and flowers, etc. I wonder how she would feel if someone were to walk their dogs on her lawn and not pick up after them?

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Outdoor Girl February 22, 2017 at 9:20 am

I used to like dogs the way I like children – somebody else’s so I could hand them back when they were fussy! LOL

I now find myself with 4 sweenies (shih tzu/dachshund crosses). They’re cute, which is fortunate because at least one of them would have been shishkadog for dinner by now… (I jest but some days?)

We walk them regularly and always pick up after them. If we find ourselves without a bag, we either ask a neighbour for one or we go home, get one and come back and pick it up. Nothing annoys us more than finding piles from other dogs that haven’t been picked up. Not least of which is because two of our guys will enjoy that pile as a snack if we aren’t watching like a hawk. The one guy has giardia we can’t get rid of because he keeps getting reinfected. Because it doesn’t seem to be bothering him, our vet has told us not to bother treating him any more. But it means that we can’t take him to an off leash park or to obedience classes. Or rather, we could but we choose to be responsible pet owners and don’t. Somehow, the other guys don’t seem to pick it up, which is fortunate.

They are all other dog aggressive and even somewhat other people aggressive, though it is more fear than anything. We’ve worked really hard with them and they are improving, a lot. But because they are so cute, we often have small children coming to try to pet them and we have to warn them off. If the dogs are acting OK, we’ll take the one guy who is very friendly forward and let them pet him. We also have a lot of loose dogs in the neighbourhood come running out to meet us. ‘Don’t worry; he’s friendly!’ ‘They aren’t!’ Which finally gets them to call their dog back and we can get our guys corrected and moving forward again.

It is the irresponsible and entitled dog owners that ruin things for the rest of us, for sure.

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Heather February 22, 2017 at 9:59 am

Like many who have commented, I am a dog lover. I have two… big ones. They are a part of our family. But for the life of me, I can’t understand why someone would even want to bring their dogs into a store. I don’t see the benefit for the dog: it’s not a park or forest or even backyard where they can roam and sniff to their heart’s content. What do owners think the dogs are getting out of it? And while I love dogs, I am well aware that some people are afraid. And while it may be hard for animal lovers to understand, those who are afraid shouldn’t have to explain themselves to someone who is not obeying the rules in the first place. And when something goes wrong… the animal pays the price. And we all know it can be steep… as in the ultimate price. I believe many owners who say they love animals, don’t really. A pet is a companion. The relationship is a two-way street. But for many pet owners, the love is all about how they feel, not the dog’s comfort or life.

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Redblues February 22, 2017 at 10:34 am

This is what I hate about dog owners. To them, the animal is a member of the family. To everyone else, it’s an annoying, loud, destructive, excrement factory that might be dangerous. Some people are afraid of dogs. (I’m not.) Dog owners routinely dismiss other people’s dog phobias as silly and unreasonable, as if the dog owners have a vote, or control over other people’s fears, but not over their own untrained animals. I hike in a state park. People walk their dogs there and leave piles of excrement right in the middle of the trails. Despite the clear and specific leash laws, few dog owners walk their dogs on a leash. This would be fine if the dogs were trained and supervised. Almost none of them are. I had to pepper spray a growling bulldog one morning to stop it from jumping on my feet and biting my boots. The owners were shocked and offended. I offered to allow them to use my phone to call the police and report me. They stopped arguing and leashed the dog right away. Another day a different dog owner cheerfully shouted “Oh don’t worry, he just jumps!” as her huge sloppy drooling mutt came dashing up to me. I pepper sprayed that one too. Again the owner was shocked and offended and started screaming at me. Now for one thing, I don’t want big muddy paw prints on my clothes. For another, I was healing from breast cancer surgery at the time, and could have been seriously injured. I didn’t bother to tell her that. It was none of her business. Training her animal and obeying the leash laws *was* her business. I just said “I don’t want animals jumping on me.” She sniffed that she didn’t think it was any big deal. I responded “Now you both know better.” In my own neighborhood I have had dog owners argue with me when I chased their animals away when they let the dogs walk into my yard to urinate and defecate. One owner insisted she always picked up after her dog. She didn’t. And if she had, it still would not have mattered. My garden is not a dog park. When she refused to stop, I called the dog pound. She kept it up. I kept calling the dog pound. Eventually, they confiscated the dog. She blames me for the fact that her dog was euthanized. If you can’t be bothered training your animal, don’t have one, and don’t complain if other people train it for you with pepper spray, or reports to the dog pound. Dog owners need to be fined and have their animals confiscated and euthanized more often. They act like smokers did before smoking in public became widely banned. I have a feeling the same thing will happen with dogs.

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Cyberwulf February 22, 2017 at 11:49 am

I have a German Shepherd. He is not vicious. He has not been trained to’sic’ people. Never in my life would I walk him in a public place without a leash and a muzzle. All it takes is one second. People walk up behind you without paying attention, joggers run straight at the fog’s face, children run by without thinking, people refuse to control their little dogs. Just one second for him to get a fright and use his teeth. He can still bark and he can still lunge, but he can’t bite or chase. It’s my responsibility to make this big powerful animal as safe for other people as possible.

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BlindAsABat February 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

I’m actually a blind user of a guide dog and this entitled behavior of pet dog owners to bring their dogs everywhere affects those of us with legitimate service dogs rather acutely.

For example:
– “Fake” service dogs are often unruly, badly behaved and poorly mannered. This sometimes causes issues when people like me with legitimate service dogs try to enter the same establishments – managers and owners may have been put off by the fake ones and give us problems.
– There have been instances, several of them, where “fake” service dogs or off-leash dogs with stupid owners attack/injure legitimate service dogs. Often these legitimate service dogs have to retire due to lingering fears from the attack or injures. At the very least it can take months of retraining to fix if a service dog is traumatized by an attack.
– “Fake” service dogs in a store can cause disruption or general problems for an actual service dog. (Usually my service dog just ignores the yappy “fake” service dogs, but it can cause issues all the same.)

I’m in Canada and we’re allowed to be asked certain questions about our dog, just not about the specific disability it’s trained to help. Unfortunately only one prvonce, not the one I’m in, requires legal IDs for service dogs. Hoping this will change soon, but there’ll need to be some provisions put in place for owner-trained service dogs to be certified. Myself, I have a guide dog from a certified guide dog school and have an ID I was given upon graduation that I can show if anyone questions.

But anyhow – yeah.

It’s disgusting the amount of people that pretend they have service dogs to bring their little Fifi everywhere. There are people like me with a legitimate need for a service dog and there are people like them blatantly lying and making it difficult for people with real disabilities.

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kgg February 22, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Oh my goodness, my precious rescue dog is a spoiled princess (she was abused before we got her, so she gets constant love and affection and is told she is the greatest being on earth on a regular basis), but she wears a leash/harness and her poops are always picked up. At all times. Our family is super obnoxious about showing pictures to strangers of her and singing songs to her and being general weirdos obsessed with our mutt – but we clean up after her at all times and only take her where she’s allowed to go.

I don’t even think this is a dog thing. It’s an entitled people thing. The people that let their dogs run wild and poop on other peoples’ lawns, etc., are the same ones who let their kids wreak havoc in a restaurant and expect the waitstaff to babysit.

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SweetPea February 22, 2017 at 1:38 pm

I cannot stand the Behavior you described, OP. Shame on these people!

However, I admit to being very irritated with the fact that you will allow small dogs (despite the rules applying to all sizes), but not large ones. The belief that just because its small means that it’s harmless is wrong on so many levels, yet it seems to be everywhere. I wouldn’t want furniture that’s been peed on, whether by a mini-poodle or a full sized version!

As a large dog owner myself, I always keep her on the leash when in a public place…despite the fact that I trust her. You never know, and besides, it’s the law (at least here it is)!

Twice now I’ve had two small neighbor dogs, chihuahua mixes of some kind, be out with their owners and off leash that decided they needed to attack my large mix breed. Luckily, my dogs response is to back away while giving them the “whaaaaat is wrong with youuuu???” Look and hide behind me, but can you imagine if the tables turned? One of the dogs even managed to bite mine before I got mine away.

If my dog had attacked back, it would be mine being put down, even through she was only protecting herself. And each time, the owners laugh and say something about them having spunk, but not to worry – their dogs are so small they couldn’t hurt anything!

Recently, I saw one of those dogs (and their owners) again, and once again, they were coming straight at us. My dog was already behind me, and I said loudly enough for their owners to hear “if he comes near us, I will kick him.” Do I condone violence? No. I don’t go around kicking other people’s dogs (and thankfully, they picked up their precious angry dog after that, so it was a non issue), but at some point, people have to know you won’t tolerate their badly behaved dogs, no matter how small!

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Cyberwulf February 23, 2017 at 7:41 am

Oh god the small dog owners who will not at least put themselves between me and my dog and their little dog who is *straining at the leash* to get to my G S D. Or worse, who walk them directly into my dog’s face or arse while I’m picking up poop.

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Ergala February 23, 2017 at 8:03 am

I have a purebred chi, I have to pick him up whenever we go past another dog….not because he is aggressive but because other dogs think he is a squeaky toy or a squirrel. He weighs like 4 lbs. Sweetest little thing ever, he is a rescue from a horrible situation. I have him on a harness and leash and just quickly scoop him up. I have had large dogs jump up on me to get to him to smell him.

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kingsrings February 22, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Today’s society is becoming more and more animal friendly. That is a really great thing! However, It also unfortunately means that too many owners nowadays are allowing their pets to get away with bad behavior. And of a human complains about it, then they’re made out to be the bad guy. I’ve unfortunately experienced this many times when I’ve complained about people’s dogs jumping up on me, trying to steal my food, trying to attack a dog I’m pet sitting, etc.
As far as the nature trails thing, pet owners being careless with their dogs have indeed led to some tragic ends for some dogs, whether it be their dogs being killed by predators or shot by ranch owners for going after their animals. And of course in some of these sad situations the owners have blamed someone else instead of taking responsibility.

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NostalgicGal February 23, 2017 at 7:17 am

City dog park we would take our Kees to so she could socialize with other dogs and run for awhile… one late afternoon a woman showed up with a mixed breed of about 70-80#, and turned it loose. It would corner another dog and next thing you know the other dog is screaming in pain. The other owner would chase that one off and retrieve their dog, and go to talk to her, and she’s going ‘he’s Just PLAYING’ and blow it off. In short order that dog got after about half a dozen, and despite complaints she brushes them off. People start leashing their animals and move them to the side, we called ours in too, and some of the attacked ones went outside the fencing. Calls, several calls were made. Meanwhile ms Oblivious is still yapping to friend and ignoring her dog. We move ours out too. A few people have left. Someone showed with a poodle cross and we told them not to go in, but they did. That dog went after the last one and this time the poodle cross got tore up as it decided to fight back. (the terror dog barely got a mark though). By now the police have arrived, the dogs were separated, she’s still insisted HE’S JUST PLAYING and we started filing the complaints. The other dog survived, she had to pay the vet bill which was pretty staggering, they took her dog and impounded it, and it was put down by court order, and she had to pay several of the others too for attacking their dogs. She just didn’t get it. (circa 2002-2004)

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Noodle February 23, 2017 at 1:08 am

What really makes me crazy is when people walk their dogs in residential areas without leashes on. There are children and, more importantly, cars to look out for. When I was on my way to work on Monday I nearly hit my neighbor’s dog as she let him run back and forth across the street. Yes, she was watching, but there was no way she could have reacted quickly enough to pull him out of the street. She waved a thanks at me and I was polite and waved back, but there was a part of me that wanted to roll my window down and basically give her a lecture. The worst part is that this has happened more than once with different people/dogs in different neighborhoods I’ve lived in throughout the years.

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Ergala February 23, 2017 at 8:00 am

My neighbor has a big pure bred german shepard. Last summer he got loose and I discovered him in the middle of the road next to my house roaming around. I have a 4 lb chihuahua that is often times on his little run in my yard during the summer. I was in my car and stopped to talk to the dog and bring him back to his house, nope….this dog immediately raised his hackles, lowered his head and began growling. I closed my car door, rolled down the window and tried to coax it back away from my house where my kids were playing in the yard. It was so aggressive it actually chased me IN my car. I was backing up slowly down the road and it was trying to jump up at me through the window. I pulled into their dooryard…they had no idea the run had broken and their dog was loose. The owner kept insisting the dog is just protective about new people. Um I have lived here for years and you guys just moved in, I don’t want to feel unsafe walking in my own yard or worry about MY dog being attacked in my yard or my children. There is a difference between protective and a dog lowering it’s head and raising it’s neck hairs and baring teeth.

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Sarah February 23, 2017 at 5:34 pm

What about if people are afaid of dogs and don’t want to see them bounding unleashed on a (human) hiking trail or wandering around a furniture – or other store?

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Kate February 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

I think considerate dog lovers/owners get annoyed at the rude ones because we KNOW how to be respectful of other people’s property and feelings about dogs. We don’t take our dogs into shops, even if it could be convenient to nip into the shop while walking the dog, because it’s rude. We pick up dog poo even when it’s gross, because dog poo left on the footpath is disgusting. And we keep our dogs on leashes, even if they pull and you can’t have a coffee in one hand and phone in the other, because it’s safer for the public and our pets.

I am a very new dog owner (my puppy is six months old and is the first dog I’ve ever had) and am very careful to ensure that my dog doesn’t irritate or frighten others. I’m quite afraid of large or aggressive dogs and I know that, despite the fact that my pug puppy is the cutest thing in my world, not everyone feels the same way or appreciates an unexpected pug hug. Some dog owners really let the rest of us down.

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penguin tummy February 28, 2017 at 9:03 pm

so glad to hear from a responsible dog owner! You’ll be the one with the well behaved and safe dog in the end. And pugs are so gosh darn cute.

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penguin tummy February 28, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Inconsiderate dog owners make the very large assumption that everyone else also loves dogs. This is not the case. I don’t mind dogs but I am afraid of strange dogs that I haven’t been introduced to. Our local park is an inconsiderate owner’s paradise after 5pm on Sundays when they allow “off leash”. To them it means “out of control”. The dogs are all let off the leash while the owners stand around chatting. The dogs run everywhere, stealing food from people, attacking other dogs and generally being a pest. We thought it was a lovely spot for a picnic until the hordes of uncontrolled dogs descended. When I shooed a dog away from our food, the owner screamed at me and told us to f*** off. We had an extremely well behaved and leashed Boxer dog with us, and one of the uncontrolled dogs tried to fight her. When we kicked the dog away the owner came running over screaming at us and saying we should just “chill out”. We have never returned to the park, and the local council seems reluctant to take any action against these inconsiderate boors.

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