Posted on July 15, 2009
RULES WE CAN ALL LIVE BY
As a recent dog owner, what becomes quite clear is not only the division between those who own dogs and those who don’t, but also the division between dog owners themselves. However, whether we find ourselves with a canine companion or not, there are some unspoken rules that we can all benefit from. That is, of course, in my humble opinion (which you’re all entitled to).
In no particular order…
10. Jordy and I recently came across a man with his two dogs, one of which was a dachshund. Without warning, the dachshund lurched at Jordy, sending him into a tailspin and leaving me to quickly get my balance to avoid crushing Jordy after being tripped by the dachshund’s leash. Point being: keep your dog(s) under your control at all times for everyone’s safety.
9. If my 12-pound furball trots onto the elevator and you scream like a school girl, guess who looks like the moron. If you’re not fond of dogs, then believe me, there are plenty of apartment buildings in Vancouver that don’t allow them at all.
8. Get your dog spayed or neutered! All points of the globe are already over-run with a severely swollen population problem, so please don’t contribute to it by breeding your dog for a quick buck. You have zero control over what will happen to those puppies, and half will most likely end up dead or in shelters due to your irresponsibility.
7. Like humans, dogs have allergies and can be intolerant to some foods. Never give a dog treats or food without explicit permission of the owner first. The last thing we dog owners need is a $100 vet bill because you thought it would be cute to feed our dogs a bite of your lunch.
6. Invite good karma into your life and buy me this t-shirt. Size small, please.
5. Dogs will positively thrive when you provide a structured, disciplined and loving environment for them. Not only will it encourage their emotional health and well-being, it will also instill confidence in them for the times you’re not around.
4. Both Vancouver and Vancouver Island are full of terrific off-leash spots for your dog. However, being off-leash is a privilege, not a right. If your dog’s misbehaving, show her who’s boss.
3. Ask first, pet later. I’d never walk up to your child and give him or her a hug, so please refrain from walking up to my dog and nuzzling or petting him without asking first. It’s intrusive and inappropriate. This is, of course, negated at dog parks where dog piles are an inevitability.
2. In the same vein, when walking your dog, make sure it’s okay to approach another dog before doing so. When an owner is trying to work with and train his or her dog to obey and “walk nicely,” your playful dog can be a huge distraction and derail the entire process.
1. Pick up the poop! Do I need to say it again? Pick up the poop! Leaving your dog’s poop on the sidewalk to smear, squish and rot in the sun is both disgusting from the standpoint of human decency, but also contravenes City of Vancouver by-laws. Pick up the poop!
To all of you responsible dog owners out there, thank you! Both dogs and people are a part of every community, so it’s important to have an understanding both ways. If you have something else to contribute, please feel free to do so in the comments.
And lastly, if you’re considering bringing a dog into your home, remember the rule of thumb: Adopt, Don’t Shop!