Dogs versus People

It’s one of those issues that crops up every now and then with depressing regularity… people unleashing bile at canines. Now, there are a lot of idiots with dogs that do allow their animals to be a nuisance or make a mess, and I appreciate not everyone likes dogs, but the arguments given as to why dogs should be banned from shops in a recent letter I saw in a newspaper made me laugh.

Dogs were accused of the following…

  • Being smelly – Now, I have to say that I cannot ever recall encountering a dog that has had a noticeable smell, but have encountered plenty of humans that have stunk places out.
  • Fighting – The closest I’ve come to seeing dogs fighting are a few occasions when I’ve seen dogs snarl and bark at each other. Yes, dogs do sometimes attack one another, but it’s hardly a common occurrence. Now, people fighting each other… yup, seen a lot of that!
  • Tending to bite if not muzzled – I will agree that owners should not be taking dogs into crowded places (certainly not unmuzzled) where they may become agitated or be accidentally bumped or kicked, causing them to bite, but I have to say that I have never been bitten by a dog or seen anyone be bitten by one. Human violence on the other hand…
  • Attacking children – Not only do such attacks usually involve a family pet rather than a random encounter in a shop or the street, but if you look at the headlines, you see a lot more about adults and other children attacking children than you do dogs.
  • Carrying fleas – Most dogs don’t and it’s not only highly unlikely that they will jump from a passing dog onto you, but they won’t remain long. Again compare humans carrying head-lice and other parasites and diseases.
  • Getting under people’s feet/causing accidents – This is comes close to being a valid point when it comes to small dogs that can run around about your feet trailing a lead as a tripwire. But, again, small children are much more of a nuisance in the getting underfoot stakes and serious accidents are far more likely to involve humans than dogs. When was the last time a drunk dog took a car for a spin? Never?
  • Leaving a mess – Now, this is a valid point. Some owners lack common decency, allowing their dogs foul indiscriminately and failing to clean up after them. Unfortunately, in the mess stakes, humans can be just as bad at times (I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the same people who allow their dogs to make a mess…).

Personally, I find humans a much bigger nuisance and danger than dogs. I certainly agree that there are plenty of dog owners who need to take greater responsibility for their pets and have more respect for other people, but that lack of responsibility and respect is mirrored amongst the behaviour of non-dog-owners and reflects a deeper malaise in society.

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