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Dog people versus non-dog people…

… I fall into the latter group.

Disclaimer – the following should not be considered to be blanket statements about all dogs and dog people. I address this specifically to friends and family who for some reason, that is completely a mystery to me, think dogs are just super.

It’s not that I hate ’em or anything… and I would never harm one… I just don’t see the point in willingly keeping company with a drooling, stinky, annoying, high maintenance critter. I’d rather have kids. Which are equally drooling, stinky, annoying and high maintenance – but at least they are human.

Public parks are where dog people and people like me don’t mix well. Many dog people think they have the right let their mutts run amok wherever they please – and don’t tell me about dog people respecting off-leash rules… from what I have observed in parks around my neck of the woods, these rules are largely ignored.

This issue is coming to a head in Vancouver where dog peeps are demanding more off-leash areas and peeps like yours truly aren’t so keen.

The fight over dogs in parks is long-running, but it’s one fought on many fronts. There is the familiar face-off between those who want more space for their dogs in the parks and those who want stricter limits on where the pets can be taken. And then there are people like Ms. LeBorgne, who are caught between those two camps, wanting the troublesome dogs to be under control, while resenting the ever-shrinking urban space allocated to their own canine companions.

Celena Benndorf, part of a group called iCare Vancouver, is pushing hard to bring what she sees as the problem of canine chaos to heel, lobbying for more restrictions on dogs in parks and more enforcement of current bylaws. She says she is tired of watching what seems like a never-ending stream of pets running unleashed all over Kitsilano Beach, near where she lives.

Dogs scare and attack other dogs and sometimes, even kids, she says. Some of them have run up and licked her, which gives Ms. Benndorf, who is allergic to dogs, a rash. And “aggressive, entitled” owners are just as irritating, she says, especially when she asks them to leash their dogs, or go to off-leash areas. “Someone threw hot coffee on me once when I did that. Another one said, ‘Do you want to die?’”

I grew up in a household with dogs (and cats, chickens, cows, pigs, ducks.. etc., etc.) and know that canines need space to run – being the hyperactive critters that they are. BUT, I don’t want to share that running space with them. And I don’t want my kids playing in a park where Rottweilers et al are burning off steam.

Solution: Why don’t dog people do what most people do when a group finds that there is a common interest that they share – form an association of dog people! Call it – Association of Free Pooches, or something.

Approach the municipality about fencing off a good-sized section of an existing park, or find land for a new space. Raise funds to build fences and make the space dog-suitable. Approach dog food manufacturers about sponsorship in return for advertising rights on the space. Get creative!

That way, we non-dog people and you dog people can peacefully coexist.

You’re welcome!


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  1. I love dogs, but I completely agree with you. Just like I have a deep-seated loathing of “cat people” who think their stinking, murderous, little predatory furballs should be allowed to roam free to kill wild birds and damage property, I have similar feelings about “dog people” who can’t control their animals in public.

    I think a dog park is a great idea, much like we do here with the Conroy pit.

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