Letter: People, not dogs, are the problem

I live in JP, have for many years, and have lived with dogs for many years. I am writing in response to being referred to as one of “these people.” (“Editorial: Dogs as vandalism,” July 20.) I agree that people should pick up after their dogs, but how do you know it is just the people with the off-leash dogs who do not pick up after their dogs? I have always picked up, as it is the right thing to do and get quite annoyed when others do not. It is especially bad when it snows.

As for quality of life, I am tired of hearing people complain about the dogs. I have walked in the Arboretum for many years and have encountered hundreds of dogs and their people. I will never say all dogs are perfect, but most are friendly and as far as I know that is not a crime. I find that I am much more affected by the actions of people. Every park and wooded area I go into has trash. There are plastic bags, food containers, bottles and cans that drinkers have left around, sometimes smashed to pieces. I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned up those bottles and cans. I do not like having to see trash when I am walking, but that is considered more acceptable because it is done by people. I have been almost hit by bicycles going through and many speed down the hill and around the curve.

I have to listen to loud music everywhere I go and again see trash. I have people beeping at me because I have not gone through the light the second it turns green. Yes, I am tired of hearing about dogs having fun. Yes, I know there is a leash law, but dogs need to run and they certainly do not do all the annoying things that people do. I know I wouldn’t want to walk on a leash all the time, and the problem is that there are people who just don’t like dogs. Well, I’m not overly fond of many of the people who exist, but because they are people I have to put up with the noise, the trash and the rudeness. Look at and read the news and tell me who really causes the problems in the world. I can promise you it is not the dogs.

Kate Kenner

Jamaica Plain

3 comments for “Letter: People, not dogs, are the problem

  1. Dan
    September 4, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for your letter Kate – someone had to say it.

    As for unfortunate cases like Paola’s previously-abused pup, we need to recognize that the analogy still stands. If a human were not friendly with other humans, regardless of his upbringing, this would not be acceptable. If a man had an abusive upbringing which caused him to become an aggressive adult, he may already be on probation (a leash), but if he still attacks when approached by other people (an off-leash dog) in a park, he would be sent to jail. If in jail he got into more fights, he would be sent to solitary confinement.

    Likewise, if the dog is not safe, it should not be brought where it can get other dogs into danger. If another dog honestly started the “attack” on your leashed dog, then that particular individual dog needs to be leashed as well – not every dog in the park. Given that you say this happens all the time, however, the likelihood is that the other dog is simply coming over to your leashed dog to say hello, and then, being met by your attacking dog, he responds in kind. That’s not the fault of the off-leash dog. That’s the fault of your ill-behaved dog.

    I’m sorry that the circumstances of his upbringing laid the groundwork for his current state, but it is your responsibility to correct the behavior or keep the dog away from other dogs – and, as you say, little children in particular. It is indeed a sad state of affairs, but not a situation which should be cause for the punishment of all dogs living in Boston.

    PS: I clean up after my dogs all the time as well.

  2. Ken Poe
    August 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Well said Kate! Over the past few years I’ve been to many places abroad and have always been happily surprised by the openness of their views towards animals. Well behaved animals are allowed to sit next to a patron while drinking their coffee, or eating their lunch. America, on the other hand, seems to be moving harshly the other direction – and editorials such as the one you’re commenting on do nothing other than divide a community. Shame on the Gazette!

    • Paola
      August 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      I am a dog owner and lover. I also have lived and traveled in many other countries. I think that pets and wildlife receive more respect, care and attention in the USA . My dog was severely abused and as a result she is not friendly with other dogs. There are many dogs that are not really social (and I know a few). Dog owners like us are always attacked by off leash dogs while walking them in the parks. I walk scared and when I see a dog off leash my heart races, I have to practically restrain my dog and she is chocked and suffers as well. This is the reason why there are these laws. I do not go where dogs are free to run, but i walk in the arboretum almost everyday and I am tired of seeing people that think they own the park letting their dogs off leash especially after hours. The park is for everyone. Little children are often scared of dogs, for example. Thank you for the respect. I am part of the community and all I am asking is to respect the laws. There are there for a reason.PS I pick up after my dog all the time.

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