Author: has written 5276 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

188 Responses

  1. TomSims
    TomSims May 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

    Great article Jill and I agree 110%.

  2. Rob in CT
    Rob in CT May 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm |

    Yes. The article is in Slate, and is obviously aimed at getting lots of comments (many indignant). The core point, however, is a fair one.

    I have 2 labs. I love ‘em, but they really don’t belong in public (this would take a while to explain, and I don’t want to bore you), so they are not brought into public. If someone comes into my home, they understand that they will deal with 2 rather unruly labs, one of whom generates an unbelieveable amount of slobber, which he will helpfully get all over you. That’s what the slobber rags in every room are for…

  3. xenu01
    xenu01 May 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

    It is easy to tell which dogs are service animals because they are so well-behaved (and usually wearing a vest or otherwise tagged that they are a dog with a job!). It is clear he is not talking about service animals.

    I love dogs. The world is my dog park! But yes, I agree with him.

    1. xenu01
      xenu01 May 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

      I wasn’t saying what I was saying in response to anything that was said here btw. I just felt that sometimes the distinction needs to be made.

    2. Liz
      Liz May 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |

      You are right about behavior as a strong marker for service dogs, but vests and tags can be a red herring for service animals. Identification is not required, but often used by people who want to pass their dogs off as service animals.

      I don’t know where you live and if it happens there, but I’m in NYC. Earlier this month, I spent the majority of my brunch watching an untrained chihuahua suffer through his owners brunch. He constantly begged for food on his back legs, and after the table was cleared his owner brought him into her lap. He was wearing a bright orange vest covered in “I’m a service dog!” badges.

      It just about ruined my appetite. I’m in the earliest stages of (possibly) getting a service dog of my own. I doubt I’ll go for a chihuahua, but it will most likely be a smaller breed, and it will help me with “invisible” disabilities. I’m exactly the service dog demographic that this woman was preying on and disrespecting, presumably because she doesn’t think (explicitly or implicitly) people like me “really need” service dogs. She is taking advantage of the fact that you don’t have to register or certify your service dog, which means I don’t have to register or certify myself as someone with an invisible psychological condition and potentially disclose that information to whoever owns the establishment I wish to enter with my dog.

      She may have only spent a few minutes and $45 so that she could break the law, whereas people in situations closer to mine will spend much more time, money, and effort to be accused of doing the same thing. That is much more insidious than bringing your dog somewhere that people, or even the law, might feel he does not belong.

      As an aside, did you know that miniature horses are an alternative to dogs as service animals?

  4. Chris Campbell
    Chris Campbell May 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm |

    I lived in Germany for several years, and it is very common and accepted there to take dogs into restaurants, on public transportation, etc. People are just used to different things – over there most people are cool with it. Not saying that makes one or the other right, but an interesting comparison.

    As for restaurants, I would rather see a well-behaved dog there than a small child – many times I have seen a small child at a buffett stick a finger in his or her nose and then rummage around the crab legs. In all the times I’ve seen dogs at restaurants, I’ve never seen one do that.

    I should probably also, in the interest of full disclosure, state that I own two dogs and my wife and I are also (happily) childless.

    1. Kirelia
      Kirelia May 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm |

      Yeah, the dog culture in Germany is very different from in the US. Dogs are much more welcome in public spaces in Germany. This is probably because Germans seem to have much higher standards for dog training and behavior than most Americans do. I personally prefer the German way of doing things- your dog is welcome in most places, but it goes without saying that it will remain quietly at its owners side at all times and not bother anyone.

      1. Mariucel
        Mariucel May 11, 2013 at 6:41 am |

        Huh. I’ve lived in Germany all my life and have NEVER seen a dog in a restaurant. Maybe it’s a local thing?

      2. PrettyAmiable
        PrettyAmiable May 11, 2013 at 9:00 am |

        So to this point – I’ve visited the south of France and Thailand, and I’ve never seen a dog on a leash there. In France, it looked like people walked with their dogs, whereas in Thailand, the dogs were strays that the locals kept fed – I don’t think anyone actually owned them – they were wandering alone on the streets and beaches.

        The weird thing is that all of these dogs were really well-behaved. They didn’t really come up to you, and they definitely didn’t jump on you. They were much less hyperactive than dogs I see in the US. I thought that was strange. A dog should be a dog, right? So what’s the difference here?

        1. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable May 11, 2013 at 9:01 am |

          Sorry – in the interest of the points about Germany and Canada below, this was in Nice and Phuket, respectively.

        2. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 10:31 am |

          Is it a breed thing at all? I’m told that some breeds are more tightly wound than others.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |

          The weird thing is that all of these dogs were really well-behaved. They didn’t really come up to you, and they definitely didn’t jump on you.

          IMHO half the reason badly-trained dogs get all jumpy at people is that they’ve been conditioned to think of humans as Affection Dispensers. Or, conversely, they’re craving affection from humans, but their owners don’t give them enough. These dogs aren’t socialised that way.

          Also, there’s the fact that they tend to be as far from purebred as you can get. That definitely helps. (It’s also why my next dog is going to be the scruffiest stray I can get at a shelter. Guaranteed less anxious.)

        4. Alexandra
          Alexandra May 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm |

          I’m totally unsurprised. I used to take riding lessons when I was a kid, and there were always half a dozen ‘barn dogs’ around – belonged to the riding instructor, the barn manager, and so on. These were dogs who were outside, off leash, and not strictly supervised for as much as 12 hours a day. They were calm, well-behaved, well-socialized animals, and they had a kind of independence and dignity you don’t see in most American dogs. I guess I mean by that, since these are dogs who can go for a walk any damn time they please, they don’t have to get wound up by the approach of another human or dog.

          There are a lot of good reasons why dogs being allowed to wander off leash every day isn’t the norm any longer, but we did give up some things when we gave up on that – in order to protect against the nuisances and dangers of loose dogs, we gave up the fact that for many dogs, they’re a lot happier and better adjusted psychologically when they’re free to roam.

        5. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable May 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

          Doesn’t it kind of make you wonder if you can tell anything about a society based on what dog culture is like? Obviously, it’s complicated, but it’s fascinating to me how that was one of the biggest things that stuck out and gave me culture shock.

    2. kaija24
      kaija24 May 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm |

      Same in Canada, in the major city where I live. Dogs are not allowed in restaurants and hospitals and certain other such places but DO go into stores and pubs, ride the subway, etc. However, they are much better behaved because they are polite and self-effacing and just so polite and Canadian ;)

      1. Becky
        Becky May 11, 2013 at 1:14 am |

        Huh. I live in Canada and have never seen a dog in a store or pub! Obviously it varies from city to city.

    3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help May 11, 2013 at 4:23 am |

      I agree. I’d much rather a dog at a cafe or at work than a small child. It’s the parents who don’t see a problem with letting their kid go into the private office areas of a shop that irk me. Do they let them wander into other people’s houses?

      My boss once had to babysit his daughter’s dogs at work. One was a small black indeterminate breed, and the other a Great Dane-Mastiff cross. He had the height of a GD and the bulk of a Mastiff and there was hardly room for him in our little office! Loved having him there, though.

      Come to think of it there was probably some Clydesdale in his ancestry, too.

  5. Julian
    Julian May 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

    I remember one time when i was walking, i heard a dog barking. Said dog happened not to be on a leash, which made me a bit scared. Generally if a dog i acting calm around me it won’t bother me, but i agree dog owners should exercise some common sense in setting limits on their pets

  6. A4
    A4 May 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

    I love dogs. I once went to my dance professor’s house and her dog bit my foot. Another time I was at a family friend’s house when their bitey dog nipped my ankle. Both were promptly locked in another room. They should have been locked in there to begin with.

  7. James
    James May 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynophobia

    From there: “According to Dr. Timothy O. Rentz of the Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders at the University of Texas, animal phobias are among the most common of the specific phobias and 36% of patients who seek treatment report being afraid of dogs or cats.”

    Friendly dogs off leashes that run up to me in public make me nauseous. If there’s a dog (leashed or not) in public, I generally cross the street to avoid it.

    1. Meera
      Meera May 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

      I was scared of dogs growing up, and uncomfortable around them into adulthood. Now that I’ve spent more time around them, I’ve come to quite like them. I still am kind of shocked to find myself smiling back and chatting with them when I encounter them.

      Years ago, I was shocked when a friend came over and wouldn’t pet my cats, in spite of my reassurance, and she finally admitted that she was uncomfortable around them because of some past incident involving a cat. I think that was the first time I realized a person could have a cat-oriented phobia. Growing up in a family where EVERYONE was a passionate “cat person”, it was hard for me to even imagine living long-term without a cat, let alone being afraid of them!

  8. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

    Replace “dog” with “child”. Same problems, but instead you get a 600+ comments wankfest of people calling you evil instead of calmly agreeing.

    1. EG
      EG May 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm |

      So true. When will the epidemic of adults who are allergic to children be recognized? How is an adult to know if an unleashed child is safe or likely to attack? To say nothing of the paralyzing phobia of children suffered by many, many adults. When will we as a society recognize that small, immature humans are basically the same as domesticated animals and relieve the sufferings of adults with allergies and phobias, or who fear attack by child?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

        I for one believe that the only good child is one that’s leashed, collared, and preferably muzzled. And then shot in a basement for possibly carrying rabies.

        1. EG
          EG May 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |

          Personally, when I have a kid, I’m going to be sure to get it fixed. I hear it makes them more manageable later on, and, of course, it’ll help prevent strays.

        2. shfree
          shfree May 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm |

          Sheesh, EG, what are you, some sort of breeder? If you are going to get a kid, you should get one from a shelter.

        3. Librarygoose
          Librarygoose May 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |

          I find all of this hilarious, and by extension, all of you hilarious.

          *polite golf clap of approval*

        4. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

          Yeah EG, that’s why Donna apologized when she called me “Mr. or Mrs”.

          Oh wait? She didn’t? Yeah. If I had misgendered someone I know damn well I would have been all over apologizing to them. I wouldn’t have just gone “oh you’re not a man or woman? doesn’t change the fact that you’re an asshole”. Which… pretty much shows that a person doensn’t give a fuck that they just misgendered someone.

          And I quote:

          Neutrois or otherwise, you come across as an extraordinarily clueless and mercilessly judgmental person — whether it’s because of privilege or otherwise — who pontificates on subjects about which you know nothing.

          So, EG, that’s what you consider the appropriate response when you learn that you’ve called a trans person by the wrong pronouns or honorifics?

          Why am I not surprised.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L May 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

          Barnacle Strumpet, are you saying you identify as trans? Because you’ve never, ever said that before, to my knowledge. And being neutrois is not being trans. To make that claim is an appropriation. Genderqueer people aren’t trans; it’s something different, and the genderqueer people I know don’t claim to be trans. And the same is true of neutrois people. You don’t get to put yourself under the trans umbrella just by saying so. It’s broad, but not infinite, and does have a meaning. So, stop it.

          Now that you mention the Mr. or Mrs. discussion, of course I remember it. I certainly didn’t remember it at the time I referred to you in passing as “non-trans.” Believe it or not, I had other things in mind, including what I wrote about on the weekly open thread (the anniversary of the car accident that caused my mother’s death, and the fact that that anniversary is always right around Mother’s Day).

          But even though the reference to you as non-trans was accurate, had I remembered the whole neutrois thing , I wouldn’t have included the reference. It was hardly crucial to my point, which was that I don’t need someone who isn’t Jewish lecturing me about how it’s supposedly inappropriate for me to bring up the long history of equating marginalized groups with animals. I saw your apology for that, and, assuming that it was sincere, I accept it, but it’s still completely shocking to me that anyone could be that ignorant.

          And no, I don’t feel that I was obligated to apologize to you about the Mr. or Mrs. mistake — which derived from an attempt to be inclusive, not from any motive to misgender anybody — when it was made in the middle of a discussion in which you were, as usual, being a judgmental jerk.

      2. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

        You do realize there are people out there that actually have phobias of children?

        Making fun of people with mental disabilities–wow, your humor is hitting a whole new level of hilarity today, EG.

        1. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers May 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm |

          I have just as much respect for people who have phobias of children as I do people who have phobias of black people, or phobias of Teh Gays, or phobias of woman. Gynophobia is a thing. It’s just not a thing I have any respect for. Ditto phobias of children.

          Since children are much, much less likely to do anyone physical harm than dogs (well, unless the person they’re harming is another child), there isn’t actually any way you can argue that this is a reasonable phobia. And my tolerance of your mental illness ends where your intolerance of other human beings begins. You’re scared of a specific kind of human? I’m sorry for you, but your fear of a fellow human for no good reason doesn’t translate into any good reason that that human’s freedom should be restricted.

          Kids are allowed to go places that are open to the public because they are humans. Arguments that people don’t want to see children in a particular place are othering. Basically if your argument boils down to “I am a real person, so my feelings about the behavior of a specific type of person trumps their rights because they’re not really people”, I do not respect you or your argument. And nearly every argument about why someone doesn’t want to see kids in someplace or another boils down to this. Kids are a class of other, like dogs. Except dogs really are other — dogs can’t talk, so dogs can never express their subjectivity, and dogs frankly aren’t going to get upset that they’re not allowed in the restaurant, and the moment a dog can read the No Dogs Allowed sign and convey the idea “This is some bullshit! Why am I not allowed in here?”, then the dog is sentient and should be allowed. Until then, dogs are not hurt by having their freedom to go in restaurants restricted. Children can be.

          Now, if we lived on a planet with sentient beings covered in fur, maybe we’d have to figure out some way to deal with allergies short of restricting sentient beings from going places other sentients are allowed to go. But humans are not allergic to humans, and if you have a phobia of a particular kind of human and you want me to take it seriously, it had better be because that kind of human has been doing you serious harm many times over the years. You don’t get the right to tell people they can’t come in a restaurant because you’re phobic of them any more than the Orthodox asshats in New York can tell female bikers they can’t come through on the public roads in shorts because Orthodox men aren’t supposed to look at them.

          There are, on fairly rare occasions, good reasons to restrict child humans from going in places that adult humans are allowed to go, either because of their size, their unpredictability, the location being dangerous, or all of the above. This, however, is not true of 90% of public spaces. If the restaurant is so fancy it will throw you out for wearing blue jeans, it can tell you no kids, but it’s really kind of irrelevant how much you would rather see dogs at the Chinese buffet than kids… kids are entitled to be there, because it is a space for humans, and you don’t get to tell humans they can’t come in a particular space because you don’t like their kind.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

          So…okay, granted, there’s people who are genuinely phobic of kids. To go back to your initial point that the arguments against dogs in the article are all applicable to children: because someone’s phobic of kids, we need to…what? Keep kids on a leash? Avoid taking them outdoors to parks, gyms, etc? Force one parent to stay home constantly with the child so that no one ever has to bring their kid to work? What are your suggestions on concretely improving society for people with child-related phobias?

          Oh, there aren’t any real improvements that don’t infringe on human rights to movement and Existing In Public? (You know kids are human, right? Rights don’t magically kick in on 18th birthdays…) Oh, there’s already adult-only spaces in the world, like bars and fancy restaurants and whatnot, where those droves and droves of child-phobic people can find shelter? You just wanted to take a cheap shot at parents? Okie.

        3. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

          I have just as much respect for people who have phobias of children as I do people who have phobias of black people, or phobias of Teh Gays, or phobias of woman. Gynophobia is a thing. It’s just not a thing I have any respect for. Ditto phobias of children.

          QFT

          Apparently it’s my lot in life to follow Alara around and yeah that to everything she says. Honestly, substitute in any other protected class of humans for child (and make no mistake, children are humans) in your phobia scenario and you are absolutely full of fail.

          Being phobic of animals or plants or bugs or even plaid is not the same as being phobic of other people. Society operates on the premise that all live humans are entitled to the same rights of dignity and respect, regardless of their color, size, sexual orientation and identification, religious belief system or whatever. Being a human child does not negate the reality that they are still humans. If you can not accept that and conduct yourself in respect for that reality, that makes you a bigot, not a person with a psychiatric disorder.

        4. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

          Alara, some humans can’t read. In fact, for most of history, the majority of humans couldn’t read. So a creature being unable to read something is a pretty poor reason to discriminate against them.

          Oh, there aren’t any real improvements that don’t infringe on human rights to movement and Existing In Public? (You know kids are human, right? Rights don’t magically kick in on 18th birthdays…)

          Mac, you have me all wrong on this one. I don’t think we should infringe on children’s human rights. I just think dogs and other socialized animals deserve the same rights.

          I made the initial analogy not to stir up some point that children shouldn’t be allowed in stores, but rather that dogs should be as well.

          There is no good reason to exclude them (that doesn’t also apply to humans). Allergies? Humans set off other humans allergies and chemical sensitivities all the time, and they aren’t barred from anywhere over it.

          Even worse, unlike dogs and cats, who’s dander is inherent and not a choice, many humans choose to drench themselves in perfumes, colognes, body sprays, deoderants, and use shampoos, that set off other people’s allergies and respitory problems.

          They wear clothes that are washed in detergent or covered in dyes that when, rubbed against my skin in passing or in a crowd, will cause me to break out in a rash, and possibly cause my hands to swell.

          No one is arguing that such people shouldn’t come in the store.

          Children often negatively affect people with various mental disabilities with their behavior (that is excused because they are children), but it is seen as “taking a shot at parents” if you bring this up.

          In other words, I reiterate, dogs have some effects on people that make some people want them barred. Some groups of humans have many of the same effects or worse. No one is arguing that they should be excluded. Why is that? Why are humans getting a free pass to hurt people and no one cares, but when dogs do it unmaliciously, everyone can agree measures should be taken?

          If they’re logical against dogs, they’re logical against groups of humans. Only anthropocentrism keeps people from enacting fair standards.

          @Lolagirl, you’re pissed at what, that DCFS makes sure you’re not abusing your kids? And what, you don’t think animals’ welfare should be looked after as well?

        5. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm |

          @Lolagirl, you’re pissed at what, that DCFS makes sure you’re not abusing your kids? And what, you don’t think animals’ welfare should be looked after as well?

          Pissed? I never said I was pissed off or angry in any way. And knock it the fuck off with the jabs at my parenting, first my cooking probably sucks and now you’re implying that I abuse my kids and am pissed that I can’t get away with it because of the long arm of the law?

          What I am is annoyed with you and others like you insisting that dogs and children are just exactly and totally the same. They are not, period, the end, and no amount of magical thinking is going to change that.

          I don’t give a flying fuck how much you baby your dog, or not. And I already expressly agreed with Alara’s statement that dogs should be treated kindly and humanely. Stop implying that I disagree with such a sentiment, it’s incredibly disingenuous, as is the rest of your premise that dogs and children are identical in every possible relevant way.

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm |

          I just think dogs and other socialized animals deserve the same rights.

          That…really isn’t how your initial post came off, which is probably why you’re getting all this pushback. Also, I’ve never heard someone describe wanting the same rights for dogs as “evil”. Ridiculous, ass-backward, whatever, but never “evil”. Your initial statement seemed very clearly to me to say that you wanted children excluded, not dogs included. But I’ll take your word for it.

          There is no good reason to exclude them (that doesn’t also apply to humans).

          Eh, Barnacle, I dunno, I think shfree’s point below on dogs being less likely to understand “stay away from the free samples” is an excellent argument for not letting dogs into some places. I don’t think dogs belong in, say, hospitals, where they would behave substantially worse than children. I can make similar arguments for, let’s say, crowded shopping malls (anyone who says dogs absolutely won’t flip out in crowds is lying their ass off, or only exposed to stoner dogs), schools, etc.

          Why are humans getting a free pass to hurt people and no one cares, but when dogs do it unmaliciously, everyone can agree measures should be taken?

          Okay, so, taking this back to the original contexts of gyms, restaurants and parks: Because humans use gyms and dogs don’t need them? Because humans eat in restaurants and dogs don’t? Because even badly-socialised humans aren’t in the habit of jumping all over strange new people at the park and licking their faces and affectionately nipping their hands and shoving their noses into people’s butts and sniffing? I mean, that’s… really obvious. Most humans are socialised not to be space-invading, face-licking assbags. Badly trained dogs aren’t. This isn’t their fault by a long shot, but dogs wouldn’t be reviled like this if owners would train them decently (and it doesn’t take much more work than colouring the damn thing’s hair, ffs).

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

          @Lolagirl, you’re pissed at what, that DCFS makes sure you’re not abusing your kids? And what, you don’t think animals’ welfare should be looked after as well?

          Barnacle, that’s really over the line. She said nothing of the sort.

        8. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

          I just think dogs and other socialized animals deserve the same rights.

          Are you seriously saying that animals like dogs should have the same rights as humans? So dogs and cats get to drive, and vote, and serve in the military, attend public schools, hold public office, pay taxes, own real property, have rights of inheritance and the right to pass on inheritance, and so on? Do you not see the inherent shortcomings that exist with regard to granting the exact same rights we grant humans to animals like dogs and cats?

        9. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm |

          Do you not see the inherent shortcomings that exist with regard to granting the exact same rights we grant humans to animals like dogs and cats?

          Not really, no. Dogs already inherit property and money, as a few eccentric millionaires wills have shown.

          As for the rest, there are few shortcomings. Giving a dog the right to drive won’t have a shortcoming because dogs aren’t typically interesting in driving. Besides, driving tests and licenses are required to drive in most countries, and most dogs cannot pass them. So there is unlikely to be dogs behind the wheel even if they were given equal status to humans.

          Also, dogs have already served in the military, and have for quite some time. I know I recall reading about some that served during one of the world wars (probably WWI), as medicine and ammunition carriers.

          You know, an interesting thing about all those things you listed is that in most countries, human children aren’t allowed to do any of those things, and other groups of humans are excluded from doing them on some basis (felons cannot vote; the blind cannot drive, age, criminal background, national origin, etc can keep one from public office).

        10. A4
          A4 May 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm |

          dogs can’t talk, so dogs can never express their subjectivity, and dogs frankly aren’t going to get upset that they’re not allowed in the restaurant, and the moment a dog can read the No Dogs Allowed sign and convey the idea “This is some bullshit! Why am I not allowed in here?”, then the dog is sentient and should be allowed.

          Well Alara, if it wasn’t for the anti-canine political system you are championing then maybe we would have an effective dog education system and we could stop the oppressive practices of suppressing literacy in these social animals.

          Perhaps they would do very well with a pawprint alphabet similar to the dinosaur letters in the Dinotopia series.

          Until we institute comprehensive educational reform based on liberatory anti-anthropocentric concepts of canine rights, we are only acting as apologists for the oppressive class system that privileges the rights of human children over dogs.

          /sarcasm

        11. Willard
          Willard May 11, 2013 at 1:05 am |

          I’m behind this 100%. My rats are well socialized and should I want to take them to a restaurant I should be allowed to. Of course if one of your dogs kills one of my darlings I’ll need to file a report of murder, so keep that in mind. I’d imagine the civil suit would at least cover my student loans.

          There’ll be a huge jump in canine assault incarcerations for all those jumpers, I don’t speak canine, but I imagine incessant barking after being asked to stop could constitute harassment, and we’ll need to find some way to cover up those bits in the back since we can’t have genitalia a flippin and floppin all over. Bob Barker will have to give back his garden shears and take down all those “Spay and Neuter” posters he had such fun putting up.

          Just wait till those assholes who complain about handicap-accessible ramps and doors see a horse accessible building. It’ll be a brave new world.

        12. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 11, 2013 at 8:08 am |

          I just can’t let this go, because you clearly don’t truly get it.

          Dogs already inherit property and money, as a few eccentric millionaires wills have shown.

          Dogs may inherit from benevolent humans, but they don’t have the right to do so as humans do. Humans, parents, children, siblings and spouses have written legal rights to inherit from one another depending on their legal relationship to one another. Those rights, to some extent, can be overridden by written instruments like wills, but the rights themselves will still always stand. Also, dogs still do not technically have ownership rights to either personal or real property. Therefore, if you leave your house and money to your dog, you will have to set up a trust in order to make that happen. If you don’t, the state will step in after your death to either set up a trust in your absence or negate your bequest to Fido and let your children, spouse, sibling, parents, 10th cousin 25 times removed or whomever relation inherit your stuff.

          As for the rest, there are few shortcomings.

          Right, because they are dogs. It’s not just that they might not be interested in driving or voting or holding public office, it’s that they do not have the intellectual, cognitive, or physical capabilities to do so. Babies may not have those capabilities yet, but barring special circumstances they will soon grow to the point where they will have those capabilities. And that happens sooner than most adults are willing to admit. Which is why society has debated such things as voting rights, alcohol consumption rights, driving rights, rights to join military service, to be sexually active, and so on so hotly in the past. Some agree that the capacity to do these things starts younger than others. Nobody disagrees in good faith that the capacity to do these things will never develop.

        13. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 8:57 am |

          Besides, driving tests and licenses are required to drive in most countries, and most dogs cannot pass them

          Most dogs cannot pass driving tests? Most? Implying that some can? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound, B.S.?

          Also, do you have any idea how cluelessly and grossly offensive it is to equate dogs (or other animals) to human children or any other humans in terms of rights of access to public accommodations (among other things), given the long and unpleasant history of racist and otherwise bigoted attempts to dehumanize marginalized groups by equating them to animals, including specific comparisons to dogs, in terms of allegedly uncontrollable behavior and otherwise? But I guess your answer to old signs like “No Dogs or Jews Allowed” or “No Dogs Negros Mexicans” (see the image at http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/no.jpg), or the ones that led Johnny Rotten to title his autobiography “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs,” is hey, let them all in, they’re all the same, right?

          Shame on you for your absymal ignorance of history. I don’t remember your being so thoroughly unpleasant when you were Lasciel.

        14. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 9:46 am |

          Never mind the link; it’s a photo of a modern, mass-produced reproduction (which I should have realized, given the sans-serif, probably Helvetica font, which didn’t come into common use until relatively recently). But that doesn’t change the fact that such signs existed, for restaurants and housing, or change the offensiveness of equating dogs with humans in terms of allowing access.

        15. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 10:50 am |

          Donna, you know what I really don’t ever need? A white person lecturing me about the history of racism. Thank you.

          That said, the offensiveness in being compared to an animal? Is only offensive because people think of animals as worth less than humans, as inferior to humans.

          I don’t hold that anthropocentric belief, so I don’t accept the comparison itself as insulting or demeaning. I find the racist intent insulting, as well as the racist’s attempt to use another species to demean as offensive.

          I am offended for myself, as well as for the animals that are having their very being, their inherent natures, used as insults and attempts at marginalization.

          Yes, bigoted people use animals to insult and marginalize groups of people. Big suprise they hold such anthropocentric lines of reasoning as valid. They shouldn’t hold water for anyone else. If someone compares me to a dog; to me that is not a valid reason to me to deny me my rights.

        16. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 11:15 am |

          Barnacle, you are so out of touch with reality (including the reality and necessity of drawing lines in this world, a line that I notice you draw yourself at socialized vs. non-socialized animals, thereby discriminating against animals who are socially awkward) that we have nothing to discuss. And remember, I’m someone who specifically said that I get as upset when someone hits a dog as I do when they hit a child.

          I think you’d have better luck in succeeding in a campaign to allow dogs to be admitted to movie theatres with a children’s discount, or allowing dogs in children’s playgrounds so they can take dumps in the sandbox, than you would in persuading anyone here that what you say makes any sense.

          “Most” dogs can’t pass driving tests. I rest my case.

          PS: The last thing I need is a non-Jewish (never mind non-trans) person acting like I don’t have a right to “lecture” people who pontificate about dogs being the same as children, without even suggesting that they’re aware of the relevant history.

        17. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |

          Wow, this thread exploded.

          You know, an interesting thing about all those things you listed is that in most countries, human children aren’t allowed to do any of those things,

          Highlighting because I’m just amused at the wide-eyed naivete required in saying children haven’t been dragged into wars in “most” countries, over the vast majority of time.

        18. Ledasmom
          Ledasmom May 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

          a line that I notice you draw yourself at socialized vs. non-socialized animals, thereby discriminating against animals who are socially awkward

          Remember, that Lab that just jumped on you and tore your clothes didn’t mean to invade your space. He’s probably just socially awkward and doesn’t understand how not to come across as all jumpy and aggressive and stuff, and he certainly shouldn’t be blamed for his behavior. We just need to be more understanding instead of expecting him to understand all those rules for dog behavior.
          Nobody ever thinks about the dogs with Asperger’s

          (writ heavily sarcastic, as if there were any doubt, and by someone with Asperger’s)

        19. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

          Giraffe. I’m calling for one.

          I’m sick of having my gender identity erased by you Donna. First you specifically bring up the old female username I used to go by, and then you refer to me as non-trans, when I have made clear my gender identity multiple times as well as the fact that I am not cisgendered.

          There is no excuse for your behavior. None.

        20. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

          when I have made clear my gender identity multiple times as well as the fact that I am not cisgendered.

          You…have? Because “strumpet” is a word for a woman, so isn’t your current name also female? I’ve never heard of your old name in any context but this one, so I’ll take your word for its femininity.

          Still, I love the idea that saying kids are the same as dogs is no big, but now we need a giraffe. Erasing children’s humanity is fine, I guess. It’s not like they’ve ever been subject to violent abuse or anything.

        21. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm |

          Plus, if I recall correctly (and I do), you have already attacked Lolagirl’s parenting (including suggesting that she resents not being able to abuse her children, and tried to erase Donna’s family’s and ethnic group’s history of being targeted by murderous racists.

          So…don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

        22. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

          EG, I never suggested Lolagirl resented “not being able to abuse her children”. I suggested she might resent DCFS checking on her, which is…

          What, you think everyone that’s been investigated by DCFS is an abuser? The neighbors used to call DCFS on my mother constantly, for letting us play outside barefoot in the rain. Any good parent would have a reason to resent that.

          Even though I didn’t say that, you still think that that would be a good excuse to misgender me. Guess what? There is no good excuse for willfully misgendering a person.

        23. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

          IIRC Barnacle said they were neutrois on another thread. I wasn’t under the impression that meant they were trans, I thought neutrois was on the genderqueer spectrum?

          But either way, Barnacle is definitely not identifying as female, EG, I’m not very cool with the misgendering (if neutrois = / = trans, which again, I’m not sure it is?) either.

        24. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

          That said, Barnacle, your words were: “you’re pissed at what, that DCFS makes sure you’re not abusing your kids”

          which is so not in the sense that you’re trying to make it out to be, now. If you’d really not meant what you said, you’d have apologised to Lola or at least corrected her, way upthread. Own your shit or can it.

        25. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm |

          EG, I never suggested Lolagirl resented “not being able to abuse her children”. I suggested she might resent DCFS checking on her, which is…

          Seriously? Come on, you were getting your dig in because you didn’t like my opinions or my disagreeing with you.

          The whole line of DCFS logic was to point out the logical inconsistencies in your own premise. I was specifically pointing out how the needs and care requirements for human children are far higher than those for dogs or other animals. Society recognizes that and sets higher standards to insure that human children are treated with at least a minimum level of care for their well-being by their parents or guardians.

          That’s not anthropocentrism at work, either, it’s simply the reality of what human children need in comparison to animals like dogs, cats, etc.

        26. yes
          yes May 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

          We all sound like barnacle to some people, sometimes a lot of people. That doesn’t make barnacle any less absurd, but it’s always nice to remember.

        27. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm |

          But either way, Barnacle is definitely not identifying as female, EG, I’m not very cool with the misgendering (if neutrois = / = trans, which again, I’m not sure it is?) either.

          I wasn’t calling BarnacleStrumpet female; I was trying to point out that zir claim to have made zir gender identity clear multiple times is questionable (similarly, the claim that zir previous name was somehow obviously feminine…well, not to me). I don’t hang on zir every word, but I’m a very regular commenter, and I had no damn idea that ze identified in any way but the way suggested by zir name (if I read it somewhere, I forgot; I certainly haven’t read it multiple times; I have a vague memory of ze starting off some open thread by announcing that ze was an old commenter under a new name, but ze didn’t say what the old name was, so I didn’t think about it any further). Ze just might want to consider the possibility that similarly, Donna was not willfully misgendering zir.

          That said, what Donna said was that Barnacle Strumpet was not trans, not that ze was cis. And Barnacle Strumpet certainly did try to erase Donna’s family’s experience with racism. I’m not sure why ze thinks that’s OK but Donna’s error isn’t.

          Actually, I have a guess. Isn’t the best defense supposed to be a good offense? Or, you know, “good.”

        28. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm |

          @EG Oh, I see. If that’s how you read it, that’s totally different. And I wasn’t sure if either of you were misgendering them, because googling “neutrois” got me two or three distinct definitions and now I’m basically just confused :-/

          And yeah, no, the shit they pulled with Donna and Lola was seven kinds of uncool.

        29. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm |

          “Willfully misgendering”? Barnacle Strumpet, that makes even less sense than most of the other things you’ve said here.

          In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t go around willfully misgendering people. I’ve never deliberately misgendered anybody, and very much doubt that I ever would. I’d have to be a pretty awful person to do that to others, when it’s been done to me. As I’ve mentioned here. But instead of taking into account who I am, and what I think I’ve shown about myself (and how I treat other trans or non-cis people) in the time I’ve been here, and instead of assuming a good faith mistake, or a good faith failure to remember what you might have said in the past about how you identify your gender, you went right to an assumption that I did something on purpose. No matter how illogical and counterintuitive your assumption was. Do you really, seriously believe that I would deliberately go out of my way — by means of nothing more than a parenthetical, passing comment that consisted solely of the words “(never mind non-trans)” — to “erase your gender identity”?

          In fact, all I remembered about what you had previously said about your identity is that you’ve said you identify as being asexual. Which obviously has little or nothing to do with whether someone identifies as cis or non-cis, trans or non-trans. I certainly had, and have, no recollection that you’ve ever said you identify as trans, and very much doubt that that’s the case. If you can point to someplace you’ve said that, I’ll apologize, even though any mistake I made was very obviously unintentional. If anything is inexcusable here, it’s your adding 2 + 2 and getting 15.

          Now, Mac has reminded me that you’ve said you identify as neutrois. A Google search of the words “neutrois” and “Feministe” yields exactly one result for a comment of yours, in which you’ve said you identify as “non-binary,” which I assume is basically what neutrois means (it isn’t a term I’ve come across much, if at all.) But I’m supposed to remember that you said that? Even if it really was more than once? And I’m supposed to have pulled that out of my memory in order to willfully misgender you?

          Believe me, I don’t think about you that much, or remember that much about you, other than the fact that I generally don’t get your comments — which is the reason I googled your name some time ago and came across your blog mentioning your former name, which doesn’t signify any gender at all to me — unlike Barnacle Strumpet, which clearly signals “female” to me, as it happens. So, as EG has pointed out, there’s nothing about changing from your old name to Barnacle Strumpet which remotely indicates, on its face, a change from female to gender-neutral.

          Finally, even if I had remembered what you had said about your identity, there still isn’t anything wrong whatsoever with the fact that I referred to you in passing, consistently with whatever I remembered about you, as “non-trans.” As I’m sure you know, being non-cis does not necessarily make someone trans, and being neutrois or gender-neutral clearly doesn’t make someone trans. So unless and until you say that you identify as trans, you shouldn’t be appropriating that term by objecting to someone referring to you as non-trans. Let alone making the ludicrous accusation you did, that I was willfully misgendering you.

          Frankly, I’m skeptical that you actually believed that I did any such thing. It’s too absurd. I think you were angry at me for making fun of your refusal to rule out the possibility that there are some dogs who could pass a driving test, and decided to go on the offensive. And I do mean offensive. As much so as certain other comments you’ve directed towards both me and Lolagirl. And you dare to suggest that a giraffe is justified for me? GFY.

        30. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm |

          Short version of a long comment in moderation: the accusation that I engaged in “willful misgendering” is both entirely false and highly offensive. And even if I had remembered how Barnacle Strumpet identifies, other than as asexual (which has nothing to do with gender identity), there would still be nothing wrong with my passing reference to hir as (so far as I then recalled) non-trans. I do not believe that zie has ever said that zie identifies as trans.

        31. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm |

          EG: Your claim that I have been unclear about my gender identity doesn’t mean much when both Donna and Mac can remember that I identify as neutrois. It has been said in multiple posts, why would you doubt that if I said that? Do I really have to dig up links for you to what, not think I’m fucking lying about having stated my gender identity?

          (And Donna has made reference to me being neutrois in other posts before, and has even stated that she remembers my old posting habits, so I would find it a bit disingenuous if she suddenly forgot that).

          Furthermore, my current username doesn’t suggest anything definitive about my gender. “Strumpet” may be a female reading term, but “Barnacle” refers to creatures that aren’t often unisexual.

          Mac, EG: No where have I erased Donna’s family history. If you can show me where THAT happened, I’ll eat my hat. As far as I can remember, Donna has identified as white.

          As a PoC, I think I have the right to want to speak in a feminist space without being lectured and ‘splained on race by white people. I don’t have to make some disclaimer like “Oh but if your family has experienced racism, you can lecture me” because No.

          There is no disclaimer. PoC should be able to talk in feminist spaces without being lectured to about race from white women. Fullstop. Their family history is not the issue. The discussion of race is always dominated by white people; their views are always heard. And now I’m being “erasing” for wanting one or two spaces where I don’t have to endure that shit?

          You wonder why so many black women stopped posting here? Really? You’re looking at it.

        32. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm |

          Your claim that I have been unclear about my gender identity doesn’t mean much when both Donna and Mac can remember that I identify as neutrois.

          Eh, just because I remember doesn’t mean EG remembers. I forget lots of things about the users here; I only remembered you were neutrois because I couldn’t find a generally agreed upon definition.

          Mac, EG: No where have I erased Donna’s family history. If you can show me where THAT happened, I’ll eat my hat. As far as I can remember, Donna has identified as white.

          Barnacle, Jewish people being read as white is really recent. Like, almost within Donna’s lifetime recent. That was informing my views, since Donna was talkign about historic racism.

          Also, because I’m confused by the neutrois thing: how do you define your gender? I’d rather not fuck it up by assuming the wrong definition.

        33. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm |

          both Donna and Mac can remember that I identify as neutrois.

          No. This is from my comment still in moderation:

          In fact, all I remembered about what you had previously said about your identity is that you’ve said you identify as being asexual. Which obviously has little or nothing to do with whether someone identifies as cis or non-cis, trans or non-trans. I certainly had, and have, no recollection that you’ve ever said you identify as trans, and very much doubt that that’s the case. If you can point to someplace you’ve said that, I’ll apologize, even though any mistake I made was very obviously unintentional. If anything is inexcusable here, it’s your adding 2 + 2 and getting 15.

          Now, Mac has reminded me that you’ve said you identify as neutrois. A Google search of the words “neutrois” and “Feministe” yields exactly one result for a comment of yours, in which you’ve said you identify as “non-binary,” which I assume is basically what neutrois means (it isn’t a term I’ve come across much, if at all.) But I’m supposed to remember that you said that? Even if it really was more than once? And I’m supposed to have pulled that out of my memory in order to willfully misgender you?

          Believe me, I don’t think about you that much, or remember that much about you, other than the fact that I generally don’t get your comments — which is the reason I googled your name some time ago and came across your blog mentioning your former name, which doesn’t signify any gender at all to me — unlike Barnacle Strumpet, which clearly signals “female” to me, as it happens. So, as EG has pointed out, there’s nothing about changing from your old name to Barnacle Strumpet which remotely indicates, on its face, a change from female to gender-neutral.

          All I said about your prior posting habits is that I didn’t remember your being as unpleasant under your prior user name. Which is quite true, since I remember virtually nothing other than the name itself.

        34. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm |

          My “claim,” Barnacle Strumpet?

          Yes, that’s right. You are so very important to me that I concoct fiendish lies in order to legitimate misgendering you. Of course the reality is that I keep a card catalog right next to my computer (two catalogs, one at home and one at work, and a spare portable one in my purse) of everybody who’s ever commented, zir gender identification, and any relevant personal history/background. I consult this catalog whenever somebody comments, in order to be sure to get all the facts correctly. However, in this case, I deliberately and with malice aforethought ignored my catalog information in order to insult you.

          You can dig up links or not, as you wish. It won’t change the reality of the situation, which is that you are not as memorable as you seem to wish you were.

          It’s true; the reason black women don’t comment here is because their voices are drowned out by those of Jewish children of Holocaust survivors. That is so tragic. I mean, what could the family members of Holocaust survivors possibly have to say about historical racism that could be relevant to a discussion about equating people and animals?

          Bullshit, Barnacle Strumpet. The fact is that you are being called out on your patently ridiculous statements (“Most” dogs couldn’t pass a driving test? Aside from every other anatomical and cognitive issue, dogs can’t see the colors red and green, so I’m going to have to go ahead and say that no dogs can pass a driving test.) and you are responding in a spectacularly offensive fashion, first by attacking Lolagirl’s parenting, and then by trying to erase the voice of a Holocaust survivor’s daughter regarding racism.

          Rather than taking responsibility for that, you decided a simple error made in passing was no-fairsies and time for a giraffe. Because it’s all about you, isn’t it?

        35. Donna L
          Donna L May 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

          As far as your other point is concerned, if you’ve said before that you’re a POC, I certainly didn’t remember it.

          And you’re entirely missing the point anyway. My reference to the history of racist equations of marginalized people with animals (and, specifically, dogs) very expressly encompassed the long history of racist equations of Jews with animals. Dogs, pigs (the Judensau was a standard feature of medieval churches in Europe), rats, other vermin, anything you can imagine. A history that goes back 1,000 years and more. I’ve mentioned all too many times here the recent history of my family in particular, including my being the child of a Holocaust survivor who lost 11 members of her immediate family to being murdered in a variety of ways, from starvation to machine guns to gas chambers. As a result of a very clearly and explicitly racist form of anti-Semitism. (Go educate yourself by reading some issues of Der Stürmer, or look at the illustrations, if you don’t believe me.) That history of racism has always been, and I’m sure always will be, at the center of my life, perhaps more than anything else.

          The fact that the official stamp of whiteness, as a sociopolitical construct, has been conferred upon Jews in the United States, and that (most) people in the USA now view (most) Ashkenazi and quite a few Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews as white — unless they’re “too dark” and their hair is too curly, of course! (like a number of relatives of mine as they appear in old photographs) — is entirely irrelevant to that history.

          Which is why your dismissal of me as supposedly just another clueless white person lecturing a POC (not that I knew that you identify as such) about matters concerning which only presently self-identified POC are entitled to speak, was very much an erasure, based (to give you the benefit of the doubt) upon extraordinary ignorance. So just because the equation of people with animals is OK with you, doesn’t give you any right to dismiss its grotesque offensiveness for anyone else whose family and people have suffered for centuries from that very equation. Like me.

        36. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |

          Aside from every other anatomical and cognitive issue, dogs can’t see the colors red and green, so I’m going to have to go ahead and say that no dogs can pass a driving test.)

          More horrible speciesism! All cars should henceforth be constructed to be maneuvered by tongues and traffic signals should emit subtle scents rather than lights in order to loosen the horrible driving oppression we’ve perpetrated on dogs.

        37. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm |

          The list of improvements that will be undertaken after the canine revolution is a long one…

        38. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |

          Donna, I apologize for dismissing you and erasing you and your family’s history. I’m not going to say much more than that, which people may perceive as insincerity, but is not. I don’t make excuses because they minimize.

          As far as where I’ve said I ID as neutrois, I made that clear several times in the LGBT soup post, and in another post where I specifically pointed out to you that I did not want to be called “Mr or Mrs Barnacle” because I identify as neutrois and such a thing is erasing.

          EG, macavitykitsune, I suggest you read what pheeno said earlier. Dogs often have much higher intelligence than people think. Don’t dismiss something’s intelligence just because it’s not human–some species, like octopuses, are actually now being considered truly sentient by scientists.

          Mac, as for what neutrois is (which I guess is what you’re asking?) I’ll answer that over in the spillover thread, in case anyone else wants to weigh in.

          Oh, and EG, Bullshit to you on your stoplight example. You don’t have to perceive color to perceive light changes, and you can tell ‘stop’ ‘go’ ‘caution’ by place order. If you bothered to think of the experiences of colorblind humans, you’d know that. But what can we expect, you always have canine welfare on the brain I guess.

        39. Donna L
          Donna L May 12, 2013 at 12:27 am |

          By the way, Barnacle, when will you be posting the video showing you eating your hat?

        40. EG
          EG May 12, 2013 at 11:31 am |

          I’m getting tired of telling you not to be absurd, Barnacle Strumpet. Yes, dogs and octopuses are both intelligent–for non-human animals. That does not put their intelligence anywhere near ours. It does not mean they can drive or recognize light placement or use any of the number of ways that actual human beings like my father can compensate for color-blindness in situations where distinguishing between colors is necessary.

          I just did a CTRL+F for your name on the LGBT soup post and found one footnote mention of your identity as neutrois taking place in a threaded discussion with mac and Li. One. In a discussion with other people. So you’re going to have to do a little better if you want to argue you were in my card catalog or on Donna’s radar. Again, I know it’s hard to accept, but not all of us breathlessly follow every conversational strand you take part in, hanging faithfully on your every word.

        41. EG
          EG May 12, 2013 at 11:41 am |

          As a follow-up to a comment in mod, I can assure you, Barnacle Strumpet, that neither Donna nor I would need to resort to purposefully misgendering you as an insult, as you provide so much excellent ammunition for insult every time you comment.

      3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help May 11, 2013 at 4:26 am |

        EG, does it occur to you that not everyone wants to make a fuss of someone else’s kid, or have it crawl into their lap on the train, or have its sticky fingers on their clothes, or listen to it screeching at a cafe or treat their office like a toystore? I’ve witnessed and experienced all of the above and believe me, I’ll take dogs any day.

        1. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 6:56 am |

          What are you talking about? Has anybody here suggested mandatory fusses over other people’s children (how would that work, anyway?) ? Or suggested that it’s OK to be grabbed or crawled on? Or that it’s a good idea for small children to be in other people’s offices? Why don’t you try responding to what’s being said, instead of your fevered imaginings?

          As for cafes, they’re public spaces. You don’t want to deal with other people, stay out of them. Personally, I don’t like it when businessmen talk loudly on their cell phones and try to shoulder ahead of me in line because of their Important Business, but that doesn’t actually mean that it’s unspeakably rude for businessmen to exist in public. And I don’t get to demand that they stay out of public places.

          Regardless of your preferences, the issue is that children are not dogs, the concerns are not the same, and neither are the solutions.

        2. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 10:53 am |

          So, EG, why do you get to demand that dogs stay out of those public places?

          Because the concerns, for the most part, ARE the same, and really, so are the solutions. You’re just not willing to treat offending humans in the same way you do animals.

        3. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm |

          The concerns are not the same. I have literally never had a strange child come over to me and lick me. Not once. I have literally never heard of an adult being attacked and injured by an unleashed child. Not once. And I have never heard of a human being with an allergy to any class of humans. Not once.

          Being annoyed by children is not the same thing as being endangered medically or threatened physically.

          And neither are the rights the same. Children are immature humans. Therefore, they get to go into spaces that are open to humans. You keep insisting that there are no differences between human beings and other animals. That’s an absurd proposition, and until you produce some actual evidence for it, I won’t entertain it.

        4. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm |

          Because the concerns, for the most part, ARE the same, and really, so are the solutions. You’re just not willing to treat offending humans in the same way you do animals.

          No, they are not the same concerns or the same solutions.

          Really and truly, I have owned dogs and cats for more than half of my life and have parented human children for 8 years now. Teaching and disciplining children and dogs is not done in the same way, not if it’s going to be done effectively, compassionately and ethically. BS, you are so showing your ass at this point, because you clearly have zero knowledge or experience as to human pediatric cognitive development.

          I can give my dog or cat a verbal explication of why they should not do something all day long and it will have absolutely zero impact on their behavior. Because they do not, nor never will have, the advanced intellectual capacity to understand my long-winded statements. Nor do the have the capacity to converse back to me in any meaningful manner, nor will they ever develop this capacity regardless of how hard I attempt to teach them or how long I attempt to impart that knowledge to them.

          But human children become quite capable of understanding complicated commands and words strung together into sentences at a very early age. By age 18 months, a human child should be able to understand more than just the word no, and they begin to acquire vocabulary words to communicate with their fellow humans around this age as well. My 3 year old now understands that we don’t go out into the street because there are cars there and can tell general you all about how the cars can hurt you very badly if he gets hit by one. I can tell my dog this all damn day long (and have tried for over 10 years now) and she does not comprehend what I am saying to her. She gets NO! and usually understands to follow that command, but that still has not stopped her running out into the street even at the age of 11 years old.

          Conversely, potty training the dog was ridiculously easy while potty training the kids is a whole lot more complicated. What with not being able to leave the human children out in the yard to eliminate and having to deal with their having those pesky opinions and ability to argue with me about what they don’t want to do. Also? Putting a diaper on a baby is the compassionate thing to do, while putting a diaper on a dog or cat makes (general) you an asshole.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm |

          Because the concerns, for the most part, ARE the same

          Again, see my note upthread re: the unlikelihood of a five-year-old human sticking its nose against my butt and taking deep loving whiffs.

        6. Ledasmom
          Ledasmom May 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

          macavitykitsune, I have just belly-laughed – thank you.

    2. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

      So, waitaminute, you’re telling me that dogs are just like kids? What a revelation! So I guess that means I can totally chill out about that whole parenting thing, cuz this will totally take the difficulty level down a couple hundred notches or so. Only having to feed them twice a day, and letting them out into the backyard to do their business, and I bet I can totally stop bothering with sending them to school and signing them up for extra-curriculars, and even buying them all those clothes to wear! No if I could just get them to take the dry dog food instead of that canned stuff, I could save myself a fortune!

      Hold on a sec, there’s someone at the door. Hold up everyone, it’s DCFS, they say this whole kids are totally the same thing as dogs thing won’t fly. What a drag, huh?

      Seriously, I think I just developed bilateral eyeball strain from rolling them so hard. Just no, kids are not analogous to dogs, not at all. It’s not just the bipedal thing that sets children apart from dogs, it’s a whole lot of stuff, what with children being humans and dogs being, well, dogs.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

        As much as I appreciate your attempting to stretch the metaphor with a few sarcastic analogies, it doesn’t much good when said supposedly outlandish analogies actually do apply to dogs.

        Many people buy and dress their dogs in clothing. Many take their dogs to training classes.

        And many people prepare their own pet food for their animals, from scratch, and probably spend more time at it then you do for your kids.

        Feel free to try again.

        1. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers May 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

          And many people get arrested by the Humane Society for animal cruelty when they don’t do these things.

          Oh, wait, they don’t.

          You can treat your dog exactly like it is a human child. That won’t do it any harm. But if you treat your human child exactly like it is a dog, you are going to jail for child abuse. People can *choose* to dress up their dogs and spend time making them meals. People *must* do these things for children.

          Also, dogs cannot feel humiliated and excluded because they can read the sign on the door that says “No Dogs Allowed” and understand that that means that no matter how good a dog they are, someone just does not want to see their kind in the store. Children can. I could read No Dogs Allowed when I was three. If there had been No Kids Allowed, you bet I would have been able to read it, and get outraged over it. At three.

          I’m all in favor of treating animals better, and treating them more like humans. But the moment you cross the line into declaring that they are identical to a certain category of human, a category of human that is frequently othered and treated badly, you are on really dangerous turf. We treat children differently than animals because *children are human*. When the furry canis sapiens land in their spaceships I will be willing to discuss how it is that sentient dogs are just like human beings. Until then… they are not. They deserve respect, they deserve rights, but they do not deserve every single right we are willing to grant a human, and no human should ever be denied a right on the grounds that we wouldn’t generally give it to a dog.

        2. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

          Many people buy and dress their dogs in clothing.

          People can feel free to clothe their dogs or not. If the legal parent/guardian of a human child does not dress them sufficiently in clothing, the state can step in and terminate their rights to parent that child. The same is not true of a dog.

          Many take their dogs to training classes.

          A person can choose to take their dogs to classes or not. If a legal parent/guardian does not arrange for the care and education of their child (especially if they are going to be leaving the premises for any period of time) the state can step in and terminate their rights to parent that child. The same is not true of a dog.

          And many people prepare their own pet food for their animals, from scratch, and probably spend more time at it then you do for your kids.

          Thanks for the swipe at my food preparation efforts, did you seriously feel the need to go there?

          But really, a dog owner can feel free to prepare gourmet, cooked from scratch meals for their dog or not. If a parent does not feed their child sufficiently, or attempts to feed them dog food, the state can step in and terminate their rights to parent that child. The same is not true of a dog.

          Feel free to try again.

          So…you’re actually serious about this? I’m gobsmacked, truly, that you refuse to acknowledge the very real intellectual and physical differences between a human being (albeit in miniature form) and a dog. I mean, I can agree with Alara about treating dogs better than most people do and encouraging that, but that you can baby your dog all day long and it still will not make that dog a human being.

        3. EG
          EG May 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

          Is anybody else reminded of the time A4 tried to claim that fetuses are organs?

          Children are not dogs; dogs are not children. Owning a dog and raising a child are not analogous. Claiming otherwise is an absurd proposition, and it’s on Barnacle Strumpet to defend it, not on us to negate it.

          Also, fuck that shit about people with child phobias. Clowns freak me out, but they’re not banned from appearing in public. This is real life, not The Bad Seed or The Omen. If you have a crippling fear of children, it’s on you to deal with it, not on children to refrain from appearing in the world.

          This is all such nonsense.

        4. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm |

          This is all such nonsense.

          EG, ilu!

        5. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet May 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm |

          So, EG, you think people with dog phobias should “just deal with it” as well?

          Either way, I’m out. You don’t have to worry about me defending anything, and making you feel guilty about your anthropocentrism.

          My comments are being put in moderation, because apparently saying that animals should have expanded rights is abusive? IDK. Either way it makes too much of a pain in the ass to conversate about anything.

        6. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

          anthropocentrism

          What the what?

          Starting from the premise that dogs are neither intellectually nor physically the equal of humans is not anthropocentrism. It just isn’t. It’s acknowledging the intellectual and physical shortcomings of an animal in comparison to humans, that’s all. Humans can talk, and reason, and read and write, they have opposable thumbs, and are bipedal.

          Dogs don’t, and can not, certainly not at the advanced level that humans can and do. Sure, there are some humans that are lacking in these various capacities (except for maybe the opposable thumb thing) but they are the exceptions to what is otherwise the status quo. That isn’t anthropocentrism, because it isn’t a value judgment, it’s just stating the reality of how things exist here on earth.

        7. A4
          A4 May 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm |

          Please EG, I remember your contribution to that thread was to loudly proclaim that the debate was irrelevant. I don’t think that is the case here, and I don’t think it’s very analogous. (Here’s your comment, just for fun)

          I was saying that I thought it was useful and reasonable to classify a fetus as a type of organ since it resides inside the body of a human being. I never said a fetus and liver are both organs and therefore require similar treatment and consideration. That, I think, would be closer to what is being by Barnacle Strumpet with regards to children and dogs.

        8. A4
          A4 May 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm |

          And I wouldn’t even bring it up again, because like you said yourself, it doesn’t really matter! But all the mentions of it are starting to venture down the lane and into the mace.

        9. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm |

          Just a small nitpick, but dogs are thought to be as intelligent as young human children, and given the fact we start off with a bias on how to determine intelligence not to mention we have, across the board, discovered we underestimated just about every animal’s intelligence we’ve bothered to measure, no one is in a real position to claim our intelligence is superior. We have no real way of knowing.

        10. EG
          EG May 10, 2013 at 11:29 pm |

          Please EG, I remember your contribution to that thread was to loudly proclaim that the debate was irrelevant.

          Yes, it was irrelevant to the subject at hand, which was abortion. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a stupid and absurd debate to be having in the first place. What’s your point, precisely?

          I suspect that we vastly underestimate the intelligence of preverbal infants as well as non-human animals.

        11. EG
          EG May 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

          So, EG, you think people with dog phobias should “just deal with it” as well?

          Depends. Is their fear of dogs impinging on their ability to comfortably live their lives? If so, then yes, they should find a way of coping with it, just like the rest of us with mental/emotional issues. If not, they have no need to. I have not argued against the rather reasonable demands that dog-owners keep their dogs from approaching strangers who may or may not have phobias, so I’m not sure what your point is.

          My point, however, is that children are not dogs. And just as somebody with a phobia of old people does not get to demand that old people not go out in public, so too does somebody with a phobia of children not get to demand that children not go out in public.

          Either way, I’m out. You don’t have to worry about me defending anything, and making you feel guilty about your anthropocentrism.

          Oh, I wasn’t worried. It’s not something I feel guilty about. Not getting any work done today, yes. Anthropocentrism? Nope.

        12. A4
          A4 May 11, 2013 at 10:33 am |

          given the fact we start off with a bias on how to determine intelligence not to mention we have, across the board, discovered we underestimated just about every animal’s intelligence we’ve bothered to measure, no one is in a real position to claim our intelligence is superior.

          Wow! Pheeno, you’re making pretty much the same argument I made above in response to Alara except I was being sarcastic. Is intelligence an anthropocentric concept that values forms of human intelligence of that of other animals? Totally, but that’s the concept we need when we’re talking about creating rules for dogs in human society. We can’t measure absolute intelligence because it’s not a concept that is tightly coupled with specific empirical phenomena like height or hair length.

          I really do value the intelligence of animals. I’ve got a little parrot who delights me often with his clever ways and his feisty chirpiness. I’ve learned so much about my own body language and eye contact from interacting with him and figuring out what makes him comfortable and what makes him defensive. The way he expresses affection with preening and flying to visit me while I’m doing my hair in the kitchen is adorable. I greatly admire his self possessed attitude and also his trusting behavior. I don’t really have a point for this part, I just am one of those people who loves to talk about their bird.

        13. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

          Totally, but that’s the concept we need when we’re talking about creating rules for dogs in human society.

          That’s a concept we need when talking about rules for anyone/thing in society. An unruly dog and an unruly child aren’t that different in that the unruliness is the issue, not who or what is being unruly. The failure doesn’t lie with the dog anymore than it does the child. An adult, at some point, failed to teach or observe and react when situations became overwhelming.

          I have had a strangers child run up to me in public and bite me on the fucking knee. It fucking hurt, and I had to go get a tetanus shot, because the little shithead drew blood. His parents “apologized” by way of telling me little precious was in a biting phase. Yeah. No shit. He was also evidently in a shriek in ear splitting decibels for no goddamn reason phase because he did that running around in the waiting room for about 10 minutes before he decided to try and eat my knee. At no point during that experience did I think ” well thank fuck it wasn’t a dog”. And though I did think some rather choice thoughts about The Biter, I didn’t think he was stupid or couldn’t be taught how to behave. He had morons for parents. Some dogs have morons for owners. The result is usually the same.

        14. Natalia
          Natalia May 12, 2013 at 6:57 am |

          Thanks for the swipe at my food preparation efforts, did you seriously feel the need to go there?

          I bet you’re just saying that because you feed your kids battery acid for breakfast. I mean, I wouldn’t expect any less from a person who practices disgusting discriminatory techniques and insists that dogs can’t even drive.

          Anyway, stop being so suspiciously defensive, Lolagirl, or we will have to call child services.

        15. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 12, 2013 at 8:44 am |

          I bet you’re just saying that because you feed your kids battery acid for breakfast.

          Only on birthdays and special occasions, Natalia, battery acid breakfast is a total pia to prepare!

          I mean, I wouldn’t expect any less from a person who practices disgusting discriminatory techniques and insists that dogs can’t even drive.

          This whole back and forth over dogs driving is just ludicrous. Everyone knows that it is cats that can drive, not dogs.

        16. matlun
          matlun May 12, 2013 at 10:06 am |

          This whole back and forth over dogs driving is just ludicrous

          True, but that does not mean it is not amusing.

          Just as funny reference, SPCA in Auckland have been teaching dogs to drive for PR.

          (And no, not even those dogs would be able to get a driver’s license ;) )

        17. Natalia
          Natalia May 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |

          This is real life, not The Bad Seed or The Omen.

          I think for some people it really is The Bad Seed. And The Omen. A bit of The Good Son. And possibly a dash of Airbud, just to stir things up a little bit.

        18. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl May 12, 2013 at 10:29 am |

          True, but that does not mean it is not amusing.

          But, but, but, it’s was amusing, hilariously so! Toonces the Driving Cat, everyone!

          Uh oh, my Usianism is showing. Why, why can’t I just be funny this one time!!!!

  9. olympia
    olympia May 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

    The article, cute and funny as it was, definitely made some worthwhile points. I’m lucky, in that I have neither dog allergies nor phobias to contend with, and mostly my interactions with beasts while out and about are strictly enjoyable. My chiropractor’s dog knocking electrotherapy pads off my back, though? That wasn’t cool.

    Question for you all: what would your response be if you the parents of the child you were watching suddenly added a puppy to your responsibilities? This happened to me a couple years back, and I have to say, I was more than a little miffed. The puppy, I swear, wound up being more work than the kid!

    1. EG
      EG May 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm |

      I would not be pleased, especially if they sprang it on me. Puppies require a different kind of work. I’ve had pretty close relationships with the families whose kids I’ve taken care of, so I can’t imagine them doing that without making sure it was completely OK with me. When I sat for a baby girl whose family did have a dog, the mother went out of her way to make sure I understood that if the dog had any accidents or anything, it was not my responsibility to clean them up (I usually did anyway, because we were close, and I liked the mom, and I liked the dog, and didn’t mind much). But just saying “Oh, we’ve gotten a new puppy, so now you have to do x, y, and z, too”? Not without an increase in my hourly rate, for one thing.

      It’s funny where people’s boundaries are. I have no problem dealing with any bodily substance that has ever come out of any baby I have known, but I draw the line at cat vomit and at cleaning litter boxes. I just Do Not Do Cat Leavings.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L May 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

        I have no problem dealing with any bodily substance that has ever come out of any baby I have known, but I draw the line at cat vomit and at cleaning litter boxes. I just Do Not Do Cat Leavings.

        When you have a cat, you get used to it. My Ziggy is essentially a small vomit machine (he especially likes to do it where I might step on it barefoot on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night), and I’m so used to it that I no longer find it any more repulsive to deal with than my son’s, once upon a time.

      2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help May 11, 2013 at 4:29 am |

        “It’s funny where people’s boundaries are. I have no problem dealing with any bodily substance that has ever come out of any baby I have known, but I draw the line at cat vomit and at cleaning litter boxes. I just Do Not Do Cat Leavings.”

        I’m the opposite. Cat and dog puke and poo don’t worry me in the least. I can’t abide babies’ body fluids. Not wild about adult ones, either!

        1. Chataya
          Chataya May 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm |

          This! I’d rather clean a dozen litter boxes than change one diaper.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

          Yep. Reason #12491256 I’m glad I got my kid pre-cooked.

        3. EG
          EG May 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

          Yeah, I don’t know what the difference is for me. I know that rationally it makes no sense. It’s totally a weird visceral thing.

          I suspect it has to do with affection. I didn’t used to mind looking after our family dog, but I find cleaning up after mother’s small yappy dog very gross indeed.

      3. Meera
        Meera May 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm |

        “I have no problem dealing with any bodily substance that has ever come out of any baby I have known, but I draw the line at cat vomit and at cleaning litter boxes. I just Do Not Do Cat Leavings.”

        I’ve dealt with almost every possible feline bodily substance, and don’t particularly object to them.
        I have had babies and small children touch me with a saliva covered finger and have had to leave the room to wash immediately and to keep myself from freaking out completely. It’s part of the reason I can’t understand why a person would ever have/raise a human child! I don’t even like physical contact with babies’ skin. Arghhhhhh!

        1. Chataya
          Chataya May 13, 2013 at 10:41 am |

          Cat sitting on my lap licking his butt? No problem. Rats crawling all over me pee-marking? Adorable! Inexplicably sticky toddler touches me? Oh god what is that get it off.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |

      Surprise!Dog-care is not remotely cool. Especially if they weren’t raising your pay appropriately. And I say this as someone who adores puppies.

    3. matlun
      matlun May 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

      If they added a puppy to the family it seems that whoever is doing the babysitting would also by necessity have to take care of a dog.

      But it is just common courtesy (as well as common sense) to discuss this well in advance and work out exactly what should be included in your duties. And an increase in pay would be reasonable.

    4. olympia
      olympia May 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm |

      Yeah, they definitely didn’t raise my pay! I was babysitting for family, whom I kind of felt had done me a favor by giving me a job- hence my strategy of sucking it up and just allowing my resentment to fester. I don’t know if they’d realized just how much extra work it was going to be, especially since they didn’t have a fenced in yard. I’ve noticed that people tend to lose their minds when it comes to getting a puppy. :)

  10. de Pizan
    de Pizan May 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

    Absolutely agree with him on the workplace issue. I worked for a small chiropractic clinic, and both of the doctors adored dogs. They would often encourage patients to bring their dogs in from the car so they could look at them; one doctor would sometimes bring her dog from home during her shift; a patient regularly brought in her very large lab (again, it was a very small clinic with small rooms and narrow hallways) and they said nothing to her about it, even though said dog was not well-behaved and going after other patients to jump on them, lick them, etc. It really bothered me. Mostly because it felt incredibly unhygienic (I freely admit I’m one of those canine/animal resistant people who finds most animals in close proximity gross and I do not want to pet your dog ever, but regardless, this is a medical office where dog hair/fleas/ticks/etc shouldn’t be introduced), and also because we had a lot of patients who were sick or had multiple allergies. So much so that we were a scent-free clinic because of those allergy issues. Yet the idea that patients might also be allergic to pet dander was a complete blind-spot to the doctors, and they refused to listen to me about it.

    1. miga
      miga May 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm |

      Yeah…even the most polite, well-behaved dog will think nothing of licking his/her ass and then your face. This is something most human doctors and patients would never do.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve May 11, 2013 at 11:37 am |

        Yeah…even the most polite, well-behaved dog will think nothing of licking his/her ass and then your face. This is something most human doctors and patients would never do.

        Yes, well, you clearly don’t remember what things were like pre-Obamacare.

        1. catfood
          catfood May 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

          +1

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra May 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

      Dogs in medical settings is a really interesting issue. I got my dog after being visited by an emotional support/therapy dog while in the hospital. I had never owned a dog before, but it was such a positive experience for me to be visited by a dog in the hospital that I got a dog when I was well enough to leave.

      On the other hand, I have no idea how you’re supposed to deal with the hygiene issues… I know exactly how many disgusting things my dog eats every day, and he loves to give people kisses. I have no qualms about this and am healthy as a horse, but a lot of people who are in hospitals or doctors’ offices may have suppressed immune systems. I’ve never quite figured out how that works.

      1. Meera
        Meera May 11, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

        Plenty of bacteria and viruses are specific to hosts of one or another species, though; touching “clean” humans (handshakes, etc) is usually much riskier.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra May 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

          There are documented cases of human beings getting salmonella from dogs shedding the bacteria due to contaminated pet foods, which I think would be my chief concern.

  11. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

    Your know, I’ve had dogs all my life until I moved, and I think there’s a special place in hell for dog owners who don’t train their dogs to not approach strangers for the lolz. Aside from all the valid points raised in this post and comments (allergies, threats, phobias, just not wanting to deal with large slobbery animals if that’s okay by everyone), don’t these asshole owners realise what danger they’re putting their dogs in by doing this? Dogs can get poisoned, or attacked, or beaten by people they approach. And if someone isn’t training their dog not to leap at random passersby, they’re probably doing a bad job training their dog not to beg for food/attack other pets/Be Affectionate(TM) with small children, etc. Which, again, is a massive danger to the dog. And please don’t tell me dogs can’t be trained not to do those things; I owned the world’s cuddliest, friendliest golden retriever and it took me only a few months to train her not to do any of those. And I was six at the time, ffs.

    You’d think these people who just luuuurve their Little Sweetums too too much to put it on a leash or get it trained properly would at least luuuurve it enough to not get it killed through their irresponsible negligence.

    1. EG
      EG May 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

      Also, if your dog isn’t on a leash, how can you be sure it won’t just run away into traffic chasing a bouncing ball or a squirrel or something? I didn’t keep my family’s dog leashed out of consideration for other people; I kept her leashed because I wanted to take care of her.

      (I mean, also out of consideration for others, but even more so out of fear of losing her.)

      1. Computer Soldier Porygon
        Computer Soldier Porygon May 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

        If I let my dog off-leash, he would be dead in five minutes.

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra May 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm |

        Continuous, intensive, well-thought-out training? I hike with my dog off leash all the time, and I am able to do this because I trained him, and because I carefully manage where I will and will not let him off leash.

        1. EG
          EG May 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

          Hey, you want to take the risk, take the risk. Your dog. If you’re hiking, though, it sounds like you’re probably far from traffic.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

          Eh, EG, risks are minimal in a rural/wilderness area. At that point, if your dog’s trained well, it’s neither at risk nor a risk. My dogs used to run all over our property of several acres, but they never attacked anyone or even approached people most of the time. My main worry was if The Friendly One would try to Be Friends with snakes again…

    2. Ledasmom
      Ledasmom May 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

      Your know, I’ve had dogs all my life until I moved, and I think there’s a special place in hell for dog owners who don’t train their dogs to not approach strangers for the lolz

      Or who don’t train their dogs, period.
      I work at a vet clinic. We had in, today, a lovely shepherd cross who honestly I think would have sat still for a blood draw with no restraint. Delightful dog. Yesterday we had the three-pounds-and-a-bit horrid chihuahua or chihuahua cross (the dog’s origins are murky). Guess which one needed a muzzle. I do not understand why people think any dog, no matter how small or cute, does not need training.

  12. Caperton
    Caperton May 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm | *

    Agree completely. I live in a pretty dog-friendly part of the city and get to see a lot of the contrast between responsible and less-responsible dog owners — out on the patio at a restaurant, two tables with dogs sitting quietly underneath and one dog on a long leash wandering from table to table sticking his nose in everyone’s laps. Three leashed dogs staying right next to their owners at the farmer’s market, and everything’s fine until someone’s unleashed dog runs in and starts picking fights. Yes, I know that Muffin is a good boy and loves everyone and just wants to give kisses… until he isn’t. It’s annoying (and dangerous) to everyone, and it makes responsible dog owner look bad.

    We like our dogs and like having them with us whenever we can, but that requires socialization, and that requires attention. Skip can get kind of domineering around other dogs, so what do we do? We don’t bring Skip out unless one of us can monitor him and correct him before he starts to bow up. Dave is aggressively friendly, so if we want to take him to a restaurant with a patio, we first take him to the dog park and get him so blissfully exhausted that all he wants to do is sit under the table with his head on someone’s foot. It’s perfectly possible for dog people like me and non-dog people like Manjoo to coexist; it just requires that I keep my dog over here by me and not over there by him. He’s not going to make me pet his toddler, I’m not going to make him pet my dog, and life will be happy for everyone.

    And seriously, the gym?

  13. Sid
    Sid May 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

    All very true, far too many people let their dogs climb up onto people and assume the person being climbed up must love it. Also, I thought it was common knowledge that you should never touch another person’s service animal, and many service animals wear vests saying not to pet them.

    But as bad as things are in parts of the US, I don’t think it compares as badly as Spain. I’ve seen people take their dogs with them to restaurants, airports, train stations, any and every public space imaginable.

  14. shfree
    shfree May 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

    Oh my god, I work at a grocery store in the deli department, and everyone and their grandma brings their dogs in, (and I don’t count service animals in here, they are the same as disability devices as far as I am concerned). It drives me up the fucking wall. They are on leashes, off leashes, put in the carts, in arms, given nibbles from the Chinese food. Little dogs, big dogs, quiet dogs, barky dogs, dogs that leave other people and other dogs alone, dogs that MUST SAY HI TO EVERYONE PASSING BY AND GET IN THE WAY OF EVERYONE. I have yet to come across a bitey dog, but I have feel it is just a matter of time.

    I mean, I get that you don’t want to leave the dog tied up outside. Dogs do get stolen. And absolutely you can’t leave them in the car. But why can’t they fucking leave them at home while they go grocery shopping?? I work in a place with open food, for people to eat on site or take home. It is bad enough to deal with people misbehaving, but at least they occasionally wash their hands, and you can mostly count on them to listen to strangers when they tell you to get their fingers out of the salad.

    1. Meaghan
      Meaghan May 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm |

      This blows my mind a little a lot. Maybe it’s because my dog is a great dane, but I would never in a million years even consider bringing him into a store that sold food. The only place I’ll take him inside is the pet food store, and even then it’s more as a training exercise (he used to shoplift) than anything else.

      Sure, I love my dog, but do I want him near people’s food? Hells no.

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl May 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

        The only place I’ll take him inside is the pet food store, and even then it’s more as a training exercise (he used to shoplift) than anything else.

        I just awwwwed over this, because it’s hilariously cute. I love Great Danes, they’re such a wonderfully sweet and gentle breed of dog. Ginormously huge and prone to tons of shedding, but wonderful all the same.

      2. Tyris
        Tyris May 11, 2013 at 6:29 am |

        More surprise over here – we’ve never even seen a dog in a store that wasn’t a guide dog, and only about twice on public transport. Maybe it’s a law in England? It’s not like nobody has dogs, we come across about two dozen* every morning and afternoon cycling to work cross-country. But you don’t see them indoors.

        *Of which, about six strain at the lead like they want to give chase, and one greyhound does give chase because it is off the leash. Daft bugger’s going to break its teeth on our wheels one day. But most of them are fairly well-behaved.

    2. EG
      EG May 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm |

      I don’t get this either. My sister takes my mother’s small yappy dog every damn place she goes. Purposely. Why? Why?

  15. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll May 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

    3 of my 4 dogs won’t approach strangers (and 1 prefers that strangers just disappeared altogether so she wouldn’t have to exert her energy on ignoring them) but my mastiff/bloodhound mix is 100 lbs of pure human love. She adores humans of all ages. I have to keep her leashed (I leash all my dogs anyway unless we are at the dog park) because she WILL leap up and lick any human she sees in the face. And then proceed to bathe them with slobber o love. Even dog lovers tend to dislike 100 lbs of tongue on them.

    My corgi doesn’t care if adult strangers are around, he’ll happily ignore them but if he sees a little girl he is on his back at her feet before you can spit.

    If we’re out in public I make them behave, but if you enter my house, well it’s THEIR house not yours so prepare for dog hair and slobber. They live here, you don’t.

    1. shfree
      shfree May 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

      ….What if I just crouched down really low and wore my hair in pig tails and pretended I was a little girl? Would your corgi roll over on his back for a belly rub for me? Because CORGI.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll May 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm |

        Probably. He’s shameless.

  16. miga
    miga May 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm |

    This post makes me sad :( My 13 year old baby, who was the most mischevious, friendly, intelligent, dumbass, dainty, clutzy mutt you’d ever know is getting put to sleep this week. She’s got cancer, and I’ll miss her misbehaving stanky ass.

    In her youth she was a glorious escape artist-maybe once every few months she’d figure out how to unlatch the gate or slip out of her leash and take herself for a walk. Like the rest of our family she was socially awkward and would try and pounce on other animals in greeting, then act upset when they snapped at her. And she was strong- only 75lbs and two middle schoolers had to walk her at once so she wouldn’t drag us along. Smart enough to catch treats in the air and sneak food from tables but too dumb to understand why the rabbits under the barn didn’t want to play with her.

    We were definitely too lenient when it came to taking her out in public, but when she was in the house she was an angel towards children and the elderly. All the same, when my great aunt said she was afraid of dogs (as many black folk of a certain generation are), we put her in the back room until the guests were gone and the food was secured.

    1. EG
      EG May 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm |

      I just saw this and wanted to give you condolences, miga. It’s hard to lose a beloved dog.

      1. khw
        khw May 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm |

        Me too. I’m so sorry.

        I was so upset when we had to have our dog put to sleep (she was a rescue that we found in the park) that I lost my voice for two weeks.

        Three years later, I still miss her and her absolute intolerance of many things.

        Odd as it may appear, I found her determination to enjoy life to the fullest (she had clearly had a horrible life, and quite possibly had been a puppy mill dog) to be quite inspirational.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L May 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm |

      I’m so sorry, miga.

    3. miga
      miga May 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm |

      Thanks, everyone. It just sucks because you obviously can’t ask a dog how she’d like to live out the rest of her days. I’m sure she knows her time is coming- I can see the sadness in her eyes- but it’s not like I can talk to her about it. You can’t ask her if it’s worth the pain to stay with you until death takes her or to put her out of her misery. You have to make that call on her behalf.
      It’s especially hard because cancer has affected our family so much already. My dad survived, my mom’s sister didn’t, and now our dog (I don’t think it’s fair- dog’s shouldn’t be allowed to get cancer). I talked to my dad and he was talking about her in terms of “good days” and “bad days” and my little sister is spoon feeding her cat food and taking her for walks that she loves but is almost too exhausted to complete.

  17. Alexandra
    Alexandra May 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm |

    So I moved from the East Coast, where dog-owning mores are mostly along the lines of, “Keep your dog out of my way/off the beach/out of sight” to a part of California where the dog culture is radically different. There are many beautiful parks around here where dogs are allowed to be off leash, most restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs outside, many stores allow dogs inside the stores (I actually had a sales lady invite me into a pricy boutique while I had my dog on a leash – I never spent a more anxious five minutes than looking at cashmere sweaters while trying to control my dog… never again!!).

    So I think a loooot of our standards are cultural. I’ve gone from being amazed by the California attitude toward dogs to just thinking it’s normal that dogs should be off-leash all the time. And what surprised me is that my dog’s off leash manners improved when he got to spend more time off leash… because there are more contexts where we’re able to practice his off leash manners.

    That said, I also think that dog owners have an obligation to be courteous to those who don’t like dogs, even in as dog-friendly a culture as California, and part of that means that you don’t let your dog off leash on the bike path that’s signed on-leash only; you don’t take your dog to the restaurant, even if it’s dog friendly, if your dog won’t sit nicely under the table.

    Also I don’t get why people would enjoy taking their dog everywhere? If I have my dog with me in public at the farmer’s market, say, I can’t enjoy the experience, because I’m spending all of my time managing the dog.

  18. Karak
    Karak May 11, 2013 at 7:25 am |

    The truth is that you shouldn’t bring your dogs out because of people like me–yeah, I have allergies and whatnot, but I mainly fucking hate dogs, and I’ve been around them long enough to see what damage they can do to a person when they do decide to bite. A dog-behaving non-aggressively might garner a slightly tight-lipped remark, but if a dog approaches me even acting slightly agressive–moving towards me, looking at me specifically and barking–that dog is getting a kick in the throat. My neighbor’s dog escaped their yard and came at me in a way I didn’t like, and I’ve seen dog bites before. I was fully prepared to hurt the violent-seeming animal I barely knew. Luckily, his human mom came out, got him in, and we talked about his behaviors.

    I’m not going around kicking dogs for fun, but seriously you don’t know who out there is hostile or actually over the edge violent.

    Any nonhuman animal has unique thinking patterns. There are always cases of a wonderful animal pet suddenly savaging someone for “no reason”. There’s always a reason, we just don’t get it because we don’t have doggy brains. My mom’s rescue that she’d had over a year, around me, around my toddler niece, who was gentle and loving, turned and mauled our little beagle’s face. She needed stitches. Why she did it? Who knows. It happens. Keep your dog on a leash and out of places dogs shouldn’t be.

    1. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |

      I’m not going around kicking dogs for fun, but seriously you don’t know who out there is hostile or actually over the edge violent.

      True. You don’t. And I can tell you right now if someone ever kicked my dog in the throat, I’d burn their fucking house down while they slept. I don’t and won’t care what they thought. Especially if they’d already made it clear they fucking hate dogs. They could tell me the dog scared them and I wouldn’t believe one damn word out of their mouths, and kicking my dog would be the last thing they ever did.

      Because you don’t know, do you?

      1. yes
        yes May 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

        You are the problem.

      2. yes
        yes May 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

        Actually, scratch that. Let me say two things:

        1) Whoa, we got a badass here.

        2) I hope you get cancer.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

          Okay, between Karak threatening violence to dogs, pheeno’s reply and Yes wishing cancer on pheeno: We need a giraffe here.

          [Thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ Mods]

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

          Between women who pepper spray Karak/faithless/kersplat/mattsmith/whatevernamehecomesupwithnext for no reason at all and dogs who attack him for no reason at all, I think it’s become pretty clear he’s the problem in all fake scenarios he comes up with. He doesn’t like women or dogs and they’re both smart enough to notice.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

          Pheeno, you’re thinking of klaymore, not karak. Karak’s been around a while and iirc she’s female.

        4. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

          Pheeno, you’re thinking of klaymore, not karak. Karak’s been around a while and iirc she’s female.

          Well shit.

          I’m very sorry karak, I mistook you for a troll that frequently shows up and has all these fantastic scenarios of crap, so I just played along with what I thought was his amazing life of people/animals attacking him for no reason at all.

        5. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve May 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

          Actually, scratch that. Let me say two things:

          1) Whoa, we got a badass here.

          2) I hope you get cancer.

          Not acceptable. Not in the slightest. And that’s coming from someone who has burst into tears due to one of pheeno’s past comments.

        6. Willard
          Willard May 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm |

          pepper spray Karak/faithless/kersplat/mattsmith/whatevernamehecomesupwithnext

          Karak isn’t klaymore? Pretty sure she’s referred to herself as “we” regarding women.

        7. yes
          yes May 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

          Steve-

          Neither is bragging about/threatening to burn people alive. I’ll shut my mouth now, though.

      3. Alexandra
        Alexandra May 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

        Pheeno, when I was ten years old I kicked a german shepherd in the face because it charged me from a hundred yards away. It was off-leash at a rest stop, and saw me and came after me. I started to run, then stood my ground against it, and was lucky enough not to get bitten; its owners did eventually reclaim it.

        I love dogs, but if a strange dog moved toward me aggressively, I would use physical force to defend myself, my pets, and anyone around me.

    2. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

      we just don’t get it because we don’t have doggy brains

      By the way, you don’t get it because you’re not paying attention to the signs. Dogs tell you about 7 ways from Sunday, before they ever bite. You either didn’t pay attention or never bothered to learn the body language.

      If a dog is barking at you specifically, and walking towards you specifically, it’s because that dog believes you are a threat and is trying to make you go away. Given your words, the dog is pretty fucking justified in feeling that.

      1. catfood
        catfood May 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

        “Never bothered” is part of the problem.

        I don’t particularly like dogs, and I realize they’re pretty high-maintenance pets. So no, I haven’t bothered to learn the language. Why should that be my job?

        I just want to be left to go about my business in public. Expecting me to go learn dog body language to be allowed to do that is totally unreasonable.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

          Um, because if you encounter a dog it’s in your best interest to know what it’s communicating, and no one can do that for you if you encounter a dog that’s not with it’s owner.

          Dogs can escape yards. Assholes can purposely open gates so dogs get out and get lost (this has been a big problem where I live. People are purposely opening gates and letting dogs out.)and can run into you on the street or while you’re in front of your house. Knowing how to react and read the dogs body language can prevent you from being bitten. No one is expecting you to do one little fucking thing, what I’m telling you flat the fuck out is you may want to know so you can avoid being bitten by some dog that’s off leash and unsupervised, or terrified and lost. Or injured and may be bitey because of pain. It’s not always a case of rude people just being mean to YOU and putting unreasonable expectations on poor little you.

          Sometimes, its just fucking common damn sense.

      2. yes
        yes May 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

        Yes, and then you have to carefully retreat from an animal that’s hardwired to chase things that run. And can kill/mutilate human beings pretty easily.

      3. Karak
        Karak May 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

        Next time I’m in my yard, playing with my cats, and a dog chews through the fence to head towards me barking threateningly, I’ll remember that I’m not allowed to exist and I’m doing something wrong, not the dog threatening me in *my* territory. If I was another dog, that dog would be savaged. As was, I stood my ground because it was between me and my door and prepared for attack.

        I’m glad his human mom came out and dealt with the situation, but I’m not sorry I treated an unknown, aggressive animal like a threat.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

          Uh huh. First it escaped the yard, now it bloodthirstily cujo chewed it’s way through a fence to get at you.

          What next? Did it also pepper spray you in the face?

      4. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm |

        Re-posts this here as well so Karak can see it-

        I’m very sorry karak, I mistook you for a troll that frequently shows up and has all these fantastic scenarios of crap, so I just played along with what I thought was his amazing life of people/animals attacking him for no reason at all.

        1. karak
          karak May 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm |

          I see, and let me back up:

          the neighbor’s dog didn’t know me. I had recently moved in with my parents, and the dog thought I was “stranger on near territory” and that’s why he came at me aggressively. Now, I still would have defended myself, but the dog did have a coherent reason. The dog chews through the fence out of boredom, (it was a little trellis fence, not a “real” fence) and me and his doggy mom had me introduce myself, we bought him a ball, and put some cinderblocks down.

          The rescue had been used as a warm-up in dogfighting–her ears had been chewed off. We think something about our beagle’s cries triggered her to an almost PTSD-like flashback and she attacked. She seemed honestly remorseful and she and our beagle were friends that ate out of the same food bowl. It was… awful because she was a pit mix that had attacked another dog (NOTHING WRONG WITH PITS but they do have an incredible bite, so we were very concerned about her ability to cause damage). We tried to wait her out to see if it was a one-off and she went for the beagle again about two weeks later. It was really a tragic, tragic thing, luckily the beagle is OK.

          When I say “comes at me aggressively” I do mean aggressive, not tail-wagging, trotting, tongue out, jumping, or happy behavior. I live with my parents and their dogs and trust me, my mom would have my butt on the street if I was mean to her little beagle or terrier. And I would deserve it.

          But after seeing what the rescue did to my mom’s beagle, and a few other bites, I’m prepared to fight off a dog if I must. Part of being a doggy parent is knowing that stranger/dog interaction can go very, very poorly.

          I don’t go to dog parks, and if there were doggy cafes around here, I’d avoid those too. But if I see a dog I don’t know with no human handler acting like it’s going to harm a human, it puts me in a position I don’t want to be in.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

          I believe you, Karak. I just thought you were that guy who never fails to have some crazy situation of minding his own business when BAM!! hysterical woman pepper sprays him. Because women are so very dangerous and speaking to them will end in his death, or something.

          Like I said, I am so very sorry. I sincerely thought you were him, I got the names mixed up.

      5. matlun
        matlun May 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

        By the way, you don’t get it because you’re not paying attention to the signs. Dogs tell you about 7 ways from Sunday, before they ever bite.

        This is true in 95%+ of all cases.

        But the point is, many people are not used to interacting with dogs. They do not get those signals because they have not learned to perceive them.

        I am most definitely a dog person who would normally be able to handle this interaction, but I understand that you can not assume that everyone is able to do this.

      6. Tyris
        Tyris May 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm |

        If a dog is barking at you specifically, and walking towards you specifically, it’s because that dog believes you are a threat and is trying to make you go away.

        We are now going to ramble anecdotally (standard disclaimers about relevance apply) about two of the dogs we encounter on the morning journey to work. We can’t tell the difference between an Alsatian and a Husky, but these particular two are both about the same shape and size, and both will bark at us and walk towards us as we cycle past them. Both are defending their territory (unlike the greyhound mentioned above, who as far as we can fathom sees us as really big prey).

        However, they have very different ideas about what this territory is. One lives very close to us, with a family with a paraplegic child, which has probably been a factor in the quality of its training. Either way, it has been very clearly trained to know that it does not cross from the lawn to the pavement unless it’s on a lead, and the minute it does so it’s docile as anything. If it looks like we’re veering too close to said lawn, it’ll do the “scare you off” act, and we have no doubt that if we were to cross that line a mighty and well-deserved biting would ensue. And it would be our fault, because we’d have encroached on its righteous territory.

        The other carries its territory with it. Wherever it is, you shouldn’t be. Interloper! Defiler! Wearer of fluorescent jackets! We usually encounter this one going over the motorway bridge in the morning (talk about clockwork schedules, eh? It’s only a few dozen yards long) so there really isn’t a lot of choice about positioning: the dog and its owner on the only pavement, which happens to be the same side as we’re cycling up on the road proper, and us both going in opposite directions. And from the second it sees us start to approach, to the second we’re hidden from sight by the arc of the bridge, it’s straining at the very edge of the lead, barking and snarling, trying to break free and go for the kill.

        Are we approaching it? Yes. In a threatening manner? Quite possibly. We’re big and imposing when you’re only two and a half feet tall. Do we have any choice in the matter? Well, we could stop, let it pass us instead of approaching it. And we tried that one morning. It failed entirely to have any effect. (Also we nearly got run down by a sewage tanker, but that wasn’t really the dog’s fault.)

        One of these dogs is in the right. One isn’t.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll May 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

          One of these dogs is in the right. One isn’t.

          Dogs don’t have the moral capability to be either in the right or the wrong.

          One dog is mistaken about your threat level. Yet….it barks, snarls and lunges and you do what? You go away. To that dog, his action worked. And his “territory” is at the end of his leash, failing to properly teach this dog how to react to cyclists.

          So essentially, this dog has been taught that flipping out at cyclists makes them go away, except that one time when they stopped and he had to up the ante to get the desired effect.

          He can’t learn until he’s taught, and his owner sounds like someone who won’t bother.

          And that greyhound probably does indeed see you as prey. They were bred to run down deer, before hare coursing came about.

  19. Andie
    Andie May 11, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    I think with both dogs and kids, it comes down to the individual case and courtesy.. Knowing the environment, knowing your dog or knowing your kid.

    I work in an office. One of the guys used to bring his dog all the time, but this was the most ridiculously well-behaved dog you’d ever meet. Most of the time she’d on a chair, watching him work, occasionally getting up and going for a stroll. She wouldn’t approach people, and when people approached her, she would calmly allow them to pet her.

    Overall, her presence was not disruptive or putting anyone at risk. However, when everyone else started bringing their dogs in as well, some younger and not as well trained, then it became a problem and dogs were not allowed, unless it was for a brief visit.

    I bring my kids to work once in a while, because I know that they are not going to disturb others and they know enough to stay in my office and not go around bugging people. When they were younger, I didn’t bring them in because they were less able to occupy themselves and it wasn’t fair to them or my co-workers.

    If my kids were not capable of behaving themselves, I would not bring them in.

    If I worked somewhere other than an office, I would be far more hesitant about bringing dogs or kids in, because chances are I’d be dealing either with environments that are not safe for either, or I’d be working a lot more with people who are adverse to kids or dogs.

    (Not to say they’re the same thing though, just that some of the etiquette involved overlaps)

    1. Andie
      Andie May 11, 2013 at 10:37 am |

      And by once in a while I mean maybe a couple times a year.

    2. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve May 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm |

      I think with both dogs and kids, it comes down to the individual case…

      Even with adults who were bitten as kids. I was bitten as a teenager and dogs don’t frighten me at all but barking petrifies me. A huge dog could come running at me and I wouldn’t flinch but a tiny fog yapping can freeze me in my spots…it’s weird.

      1. Andie
        Andie May 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm |

        My daughter is similar.. She got bit on the face as a toddler by a terrier. For a long time she was fine around big dogs but nervous around little ones.

        She’s pretty much fine with all dogs now though.

  20. A4
    A4 May 11, 2013 at 10:58 am |

    All of the comparisons between dogs and children remind me strongly of one of the Trunchbull’s lines from the Matilda movie:

    “They’re all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one!”

    Everyone was little once. Everyone didn’t know the rules and said weird things to strangers and had a tantrum in public. Being a child is really hard! You have to try hard to do stuff all the time! You don’t get to make up the rules and you have to follow everyone else’s and you don’t understand them but people think you should and pretty much everyone is bigger than you! Your emotions are often uncontainable and inexplicable and that is very confusing. People touch you all the time without asking and they say shitty things to and about you because you’re just a child and you maybe don’t understand fully even if you feel like it wasn’t nice or fair or you do understand but you don’t know what to do about it.

    They’re not like dogs. Dogs want to know where-da-ball-go!?!? and SQUIRREL! and they are to be congratulated for not eating poop.

    So statements like “I’ve never seen a dog do bad things X but I saw children doing it all the time!” do not matter! Children are literally a fact of life. They MUST interact with society and they WILL break the rules. That how you grew up, and that’s how they grow up, but it ISN’T how dogs grow up because dogs. don’t. become. human. adults.

    Sheesh.

    1. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet May 11, 2013 at 11:11 am |

      Children are literally a fact of life.

      Sounds like someone has never heard of the VHEMT :3

      1. A4
        A4 May 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |

        Actually I totally have heard of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. It’s a total failure of a movement and not to be taken seriously.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 11, 2013 at 11:47 am |

          One might go so far as to call it impotent.

        2. Willard
          Willard May 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm |

          You have just made me hurt from laughing mac. Bravo.

        3. A4
          A4 May 12, 2013 at 3:34 am |

          bravo indeed

  21. tigtog
    tigtog May 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm | *

    I’m putting this post into full automoderation for all comments because we received a giraffe alert.

    1. tigtog
      tigtog May 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm | *

      BTW, apologies for the delay in dealing with the giraffe alert. It’s been a very busy weekend for me with hardly any time spent online, and I can only assume also for the other moderators.

  22. woman
    woman May 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |

    // My mom’s rescue that she’d had over a year, around me, around my toddler niece, who was gentle and loving, turned and mauled our little beagle’s face. She needed stitches. Why she did it? Who knows. It happens.

    Karak, pitbulls don’t fight because of being abused or triggered into PTSD or whatever. They do it for the same reason collies nip to herd. It’s genetic after hundreds of years of selective breeding.

    Read real animal specialists, not pitbull propaganda, and you’ll see that *any* excitement, including being near a bitch in heat for a male dog, can trigger the attack. Other people from animal shelters described pitbulls being so excited of being pet that they attacked the people petting them.

    Also, being w/o ears doesn’t mean the dog was used as a bait. Often it simply means it was a fighter, only a bad one, so got thrown away.

    Pitbulls aren’t to blame, people who created them are. But it doesn’t make pits any less dangerous. Next time your other dog won’t be alive. Even pitbull advocates tell “never trust your pitbull not to fight.” Your other dog will pay a price of your ignorance. Let’s hope it won’t be a person, at least.

    1. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla May 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

      At no time did Karak give the breed of dog who attacked. Your making an assumption. Not all rescues are pit bulls.

      1. GallingGalla
        GallingGalla May 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm |

        Oh god, I just embarrassed myself by not thoroughly reading ALL the comments. Karak did specify the dot was a pit. I’m sorry.

  23. woman
    woman May 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

    Sorry, I missed the most important part. You have a dog of a fighting breed AND with history of violence. I am 100% sure it wanted to fight before being adopted by your family and it will attack the other dog again, if given a chance.

    Letting this dog near your toddler niece is dangerous. Pits are number one killers and maulers of people, more than any other dog breed. Every ~ 8 days a person is killed by pits in US. Many of them are children of the dog having family. The usual refrain is “the dog was so sweet before, so loving on the child.” Google the stories, the breed’s history, become educated what breed you have.

    Being in the same room isn’t enough. The attack is silent (for pits, not for normal breeds, which usually warn loudly), fast and hard. Since pits are partly from bulldogs, they don’t let go. Google “break stick”, read yourself about it on the breed advocates’ sites themselves. If the dog decides to attack a child, your parents won’t be able to stop till too late.

    Other, not bred for dog fighting, breeds don’t usually maul their social partners, whether canine or human. People, who bred and still breed pits for dog fighting, as your dog was bred, don’t care about dog being human aggressive either. Read the breed’s history to see the refutation of “man biters were culled” myth. On the contrary, having also human aggressive dog is the point for drug dealers and numerous other lowlifes.

  24. woman
    woman May 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    Last comment on the topic:

    Family dog attacks 5-year-old boy and babysitter

    Neighbor Nikki Hagen shared pictures of Oreo when he was a puppy.

    “I was heartbroken, because the dog is very sweet, I just couldn’t see the dog doing that,” said Hagen.

    She hopes the attack doesn’t count against other pit-bulls or the owners.

    “I sure hope not, because they’re good people and they’re good dog owners and that dog had a great personality,” said Hagen.
    http://www.nbc12.com/story/22226288/family-dog-attacks-5-year-old-boy-and-babysitter

    A great personality of almost killing a child. Not a newborn, but a 5-year-old, so it wasn’t attack on the new to the dog family member.

    This case is typical. People think that if a dog wags its’ tail today, it’s safe. Or if it likes to give kisses. Or … . There is truth in that for usual breeds, but pits were bred for explosive unpredictable aggression, when their genetic code (like pointing for a pointer or herding for a collie) gets triggered.

    Yes, pits are often social, 99% of time friendly dogs, which love people. The other 1% of time they’ll try to kill. It’s very hard for many people to accept that. Ted Bundy was friendly 99% of time too, but you wouldn’t want him in your neighborhood.

    With the amount of anthropomorphizing here – “give dogs the same rights as to children”, I don’t expect to be heard by all. But hopefully, at least some will research a bit before spouting nonsense like “all dog breeds are equally dangerous”, “genetics work in collies, but not in pitties”, “you can love the genetic aggression out of the pit”. Re the latter, after you love the pointing instinct out of a well bred pointer (there are rare exceptions to the rule in every breed, like “cold” pits or not water loving labs), tell people and get a Nobel prize for your scientific breakthrough.

    1. matlun
      matlun May 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm |

      You are oversimplifying the issue when it comes to the relative danger of different breeds.

      Any large dog can be dangerous. While pit bulls and rottweilers are currently high in the statistics on fatal bites, it is a difference of degree. (And obviously, they do not attack 1% of the time. The figure is much, much smaller than that).

      The pro and con of breed specific legislation is a very contentious issue, but we should be able to agree that it would be no silver bullet. As long as there is a large population of larger dogs, there will be continued fatalities and serious bites. And even small dogs can be a danger for smaller children.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra May 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

        I would be more afraid of a cocker spaniel around toddlers than a pit bull, frankly, because of the utter unpredictability of “cocker rage.”

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra May 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm |

      I absolutely agree that pit bulls are genetically predisposed toward being aggressive toward other dogs. However, you’re making it sound as if pit bulls are little robots, and the right stimulus will turn all pit bulls into slavering killing machines. People will talk about animals (and people) as being “hard-wired” to certain behaviors, and this irritates me. Most of the time, what we’re talking about are complex behaviors that are condition-dependent and subject to modification through early socialization, training, and learning. Making a pit bull into a dog that will love and tolerate all other dogs is going to be an uphill process, and for some pits, even perfect socialization and training may never overcome a predisposition toward dog aggression/reactivity. However, pit bulls were never bred for human aggression, and are not typically human-aggressive unless socialized to be so. The issue with pits tends to be that they’re extremely powerful, mid-sized terriers with high reactivity – and all dogs like that can be holy terrors if not raised right (I’ve met many a labrador or boxer with similar issues due to owners not understanding the exercise requirements and training needs of the breed).

      Unfortunately, a lot of people think that “socializing” a pit bull means taking it to the dog park a lot for unstructured play, which isn’t the best of ideas a lot of the time. Instead, a lot of pit type dogs would do well from a structured group training class and supervised play sessions with similarly sized dogs of similar breeds, ages, and play styles. And again, a lot of people think that dog training with a pit bull means you have to break out heavy-duty correction equipment like choke chains, shock collars, and so on – which in many dogs will simply increase reactivity and/or fear response, not something you want to do.

      Second, the “pit bull” is less a breed than a type. Most dogs referred to as pit bulls in the US are not pit bull terriers, american staffordshire bull terriers, or staffordshire bull terriers, but are instead some mix of any one of those breeds and another breed, or even american bulldogs, boxers, cane corsos, bull dog mixes, mastiff mixes, rhodesian ridgeback mixes… depending on what’s common in the area. Thus, the breeding of any given pit bull involved in an attack on a human or dog is often unknown, and speculating about the genetics of the dog is a little difficult.

      It’s worth noting that common breeds will necessarily cause a lot of bites, because there are more of that type of dog to do the biting. Golden Retrievers have a high bite incidence not because the breed was bred for human aggression (far from it!) but because there are an awful lot of Golden Retrievers out there, many of whom are badly bred and socialized as puppies. Heck, Cocker Spaniels are actually known to go into “rage syndrome” and have blackout violent rages, but we don’t tend to talk about the need to keep all children away from Cockers.

      Finally, those who are aware of the history of dog bite reporting will know that the identification of the pit bull as the scary breed du jour is a fairly recent event, and has a lot to do with the kind of people seen as being pit bull owners. In the 1970s and 1980s, doberman pinschers, german shepherds, and rottweilers were the scary breeds; now it’s pits. It’s worth noting that a lot of the people who defend pit bulls will do so by making vague references to race — “It’s not the breed, it’s how they’re raised” is a dog-whistle (no pun intended) for the stereotypical black gangbanger with his scary aggressive pitbull on a chain.

      I say all this not because I think you are wrong to be concerned, but because I think it is wise to be careful and precise with the sort of judgments we make about millions and millions of animals, many of whom have never done anything other than be exemplary family pets.

  25. FMAiscool
    FMAiscool May 13, 2013 at 7:09 am |

    I wonder if, with this logic, we should ban perfumes for people who suffer severe asthma attacks? Or maybe evacuate people from restaurants when someone spots a fly because of health reasons. I’m not sure where the common sense comes into play.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune May 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

      FMAiscool,

      Nobody’s banning dogs. Asking people to keep them on a leash in public places (that aren’t specifically off-leash parks or something like that) is really quite damn reasonable. I’m not sure where your common sense comes into play, but it certainly wasn’t in this comment.

  26. roro80
    roro80 May 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

    I had a number of scary experiences with dogs as a kid, and was fearful of dogs for a long time. My husband finally convinced me to get one by sending me a picture of a puppy every day for numerous years. So I became a “dog person”, and I’m super enthusiastic about it. However, I remember the dogs who chased me and the dogs who annoyed me and that terrible one who bit me, and I try to act with that knowledge whenever I’m with my dog in public places. There are people who are generally scared of dogs (like I was!), and many who are allergic, and even with people who aren’t either, I always make sure that monitoring my dog’s behavior is the #1 priority. Even in my own home, we keep a super close eye on her when there are other people — especially kids — around.

    Because my dog can be aggressive around other dogs, and nippy with kids (she’s a hearding breed), I am particularly careful to talk to the kid’s parents or other dog’s owners, and let them know that she’s afraid of kids and can get aggressive with other dogs. I put it all on my dog — I don’t try to blame the kid or the other dog at all — and the only times I get really scared is when the parents or owners don’t listen to me. So: even if your kid loves dogs, or your dog is super friendly, please make sure that you ASK before you let your dog come up to mine, always use a leash, and instruct your kids to always ask a dog’s owner if it’s ok to pet. I can keep good control of my dog, but if your dog is off leash and comes up to my dog, there’s not a lot I can do. If your kid shoves her hand in my dog’s face, my dog very well might get nervous.

  27. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps May 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm |

    I thought this was going to be about dog owners tired of random people coming up to their dogs. Any fuzz creature makes me day.

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.