Setting Boundaries with Dogs

DogsI was in a business not long ago and brought one of my dogs in. She was on a leash, even though she didn’t need it, and happily and politely went up and said hi to everyone who approached her. As I was leaving, a young guy walked in with a puppy. “Here!” he holler, the puppy was trying to smell my girls butt. The puppy wasn’t on a leash and pushed his way through everything and anything. The man followed hollering, changing the entire experience – I remember thinking we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Yesterday I saw they had posted a No Dogs (except trained service dogs) sign on the door.

Great! Thanks for that buddy. How often is it that one or two people ruin it for the rest of us? And other than his laziness about putting a leash on his dog he also stunk at training. Teaching a dog should not be similar to sending a kid into a candy store and screaming the entire time they’re just being a kid. That dog should have been on a leash, so that he could have learned the correct way to behave, but also so he doesn’t insert himself into places he shouldn’t.

Durango is a dog town. Actually many towns consider themselves dog towns and open to our best friends. But with dogs growing popularity, how long will that go on? When I see a dog has lifted a leg at a thrift store, home depot or tractor supply – do you really think they’ll continue to let them come in? When we can’t even be bothered to leash our dogs so their noses don’t get the best of them, or clean up their poop when it’s in a neighbor’s yard? When bicyclists would rather risk fast, large trucks rather than our river trail….we have a problem.

As dog lovers, it is up to us to be sure our dogs are ambassadors. To be sure our dogs act in a way that is appropriate – this is our job as their caregivers. If they cannot, it is our job to manage them to be sure they don’t impact anyone else. After all, if we truly love dogs then we need to make sure we give them every opportunity possible – not just for the dog you have today, but the one you’re going to have tomorrow. Like it or not….there’s always going to be a percentage of people that are the problem, we have to shine to make up for them….not stoop to their level – for the sake of all dogs.

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