A great anti-dog article

A man’s best friend is his dog? Are you barking?

This is a fantastic article which sums up most of the reasons why I hate dogs, and in particular, stupid dog owners:

In the country, where I now live, they bag it, but then sling the whole unpleasant package into a hedge where it hangs, immune from the process of natural decay, as an emblem of our disrespect for public space. Children are bowled over by glossy but feckless golden retrievers, which explode out of the back of Range Rovers like furry Exocets, inserting themselves ‘playfully’ into ball games or equally ‘playfully’ jumping up at people who want nothing to do with them.

In my old London haunts, stocky, pit bull-type creatures were towed along by their tracksuited owners as symbols of street credibility. More often than not, the Peckham and Lewisham animals had Class A drugs [i.e. heroin, cocaine etc] secreted under their collars where only the most foolhardy and desperate user, or the bravest police officer, would dare to look. And, years after the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act, banned breeds such as pit bulls still run free in our cities. Last week, a man was charged under the act after his dog killed a five-year-old Merseyside girl.

But for most dog haters, the animals are far more of a nuisance than a danger. ‘Don’t worry, he’s very friendly,’ is the refrain from owners who watch indulgently as Fido thrusts his snout for the fifth time into your crotch. And does anyone else share my revulsion at the sight of an animal that spends large parts of the day with its face buried in its own or other dogs’ nether regions licking the faces of children?

Where I live, the easiest route (if not the shortest) is through a local open space, which is not a park and where there are no “no cycling” signs, but the dog owners apparently think they own the place, letting their stupid animals off leash and, more to the point, out of their sight. This means I often find myself approaching a large or muscular-looking dog and seeing that the owner is several yards ahead with no idea whatsoever off what their stupid pets are doing.

I’ve even had a couple of incidents in which off-leash dogs ran after me - the most recent of those being a couple of weeks ago in that same local open space. On the most recent occasion, I had to fend the wretched thing off by kicking back in its face while trying to pedal fast enough to outrun it. Eventually, its owner managed to call it back. On another occasion, I saw a dog trot up behind a blind woman who was walking along behind her guide dog and poke its nose up her behind.

However, some owners seem to have no clue that their animals are wild and that people have the right to go about their business without being harrassed by out-of-control wild animals - and it’s not just in parks that this happens; I’ve even had to make deliveries to offices where people have let nasty little dogs run around. On one recent occasion, after fending off one such animal, the owner (or, at least, one of the group which was accompanying this and several other dogs) told me, “it’s your reaction, mate”. Uh, no, it’s your dog, mate. It chases after people. It’s out of control and cannot control itself. Why don’t you get yourself an animal you can control?

A few weeks ago, Camden borough council announced that they were going to ban off-leash dog walking except for within certain designated, enclosed areas, and I thought, “great idea - they should do it in Kingston too”. This caused outrage, however, with the TV news featuring an old lady complaining about how she would have to travel a mile or two to the nearest such place. Eventually, and sadly for those of us hoping it would extend elsewhere, Camden backed down.

Why can’t people understand that some of us do not want to be bothered by their dogs? Do they not understand that some people, and particularly children, are actually scared of dogs, particularly those which are much bigger than they are? Why do some people not understand that some of us don’t want them sniffing around us, or licking us or our clothes? These same idiots who let their dogs run around in my area also let them crap on the pathways, and do not bother to clean up after them. I agree with bringing back dog licences, along with laws stating that dogs seen off-leash and out of sight or hassling passers-by are taken away - no ifs or buts.

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