Hi, it’s Beau. So I was out walking around the neighborhood with JP and Pepper. I was on the lookout for squirrels, which can be quite dangerous. I mean, I’ve seen them come right up to you and take peanuts out of your hands, and then chirp (which is really how they laugh). The nerves on these guys and peanuts do taste good (hmmm…food). But I digress.
So out we were, strolling around the neighborhood, when I noticed another dog walking his owner. As I watched, my brother … well, let’s just say he went to the little puppy room. Now, you’d think his owner would pick up like a good neighbor, but no… he just moved on. Hmmmm…rather rude I thought. Then, I saw another dog with her owner. When she saw us, she just started barking and pulling at the leash like she was a Husky intent on winning the Iditerod. Now, I do that because I’m actually nervous and I want to make sure JP is safe. When that happens, JP bends down and calms me so I don’t bother the neighbors (I do have a loud bark, but it is beautiful). But this particular person was busy furiously yanking on the leash and screaming at her dog, which only made the dog more nervous as she picked up on her owner’s emotions, which made her bark even louder.
This got me thinking that these people just didn’t know proper dog walking etiquette. But their lack of action reflected poorly on us all. So, in a 3-part series, I will share with you proper dog walking etiquette. After all, this makes for good neighbors, and that is just as important to us as it is to you.
First, most cities have enacted ordinances that regulate dog walking. Most require us to be on leash (some of them even dictate the maximum length of the leash) and licensed, and for our owners to clean-up. These ordinances can be found on your city’s website or by visiting your local city hall.
So, on to Part I. The first rule might be the hardest to approach (pun intended): picking up after us. Well, we can’t do it (something about a missing thumb), and it sure ruins someone else’s day when they step in it! When we poop, pick it up! That’s it: no options. Pick it up, tie it up, and dispose of it either in a public trash can or in your own, not in your neighbor’s unless you have their permission. Not everyone likes to open their garbage can to the odiferous emanations from our … left-overs! If you don’t pick up, you’ll inevitably ruin someone else’s day. Everyone has stepped in our left-overs at some time in their life. I doubt anyone ever thought that it was the best thing that had happened to them since sliced bread. Yeah, I know, it’s no fun to do it. But when you took us in you knew we’d poop. So, unless it’s in your yard, please pick up. And while you’re at it, tie the bag to control odor and flies before disposing of it. Also, why not pick up after someone who was not a good neighbor? I know JP picks up after other dogs because he doesn’t want anyone stepping in it and cursing us. But he also does it because it’s the right thing to do. Sure, you could just walk by and moan about “those people”. But, how will that help? Be considerate. Diseases and parasites are spread through feces and can pose a risk to other dogs and even children in your community. Sort of on the same subject, while I love reading peemail, not everyone appreciates it on their garbage cans, flower beds or lawns. It is best if we are taught to leave our peemail in gutters or on solid surfaces, such as lampposts or hydrants, etc. Avoid trees and flowerbeds as our peemail will cause harm. In subsequent parts to Part I, we will discuss proper leash etiquette and how to avoid potential trouble. Until then, may you find plenty of squirrels to chase.