Before you continue reading, let me offer this disclaimer: Dogs are my favorite kind of pet. I had dogs when I was a boy, and have one now. There’s nothing that feels as good as petting a dog’s head or seeing a dog’s tail wag.
Still, dogs belong at home, not in markets, restaurants, or hotels.
I don’t quite understand why there has been such an explosion in the past few years of people bringing their dogs with them to the mall and elsewhere as if the dog were a person. It used to be long-standing that the only dogs allowed in public places were service dogs. What happened to that rule?
Let’s be clear: a dog isn’t human. You don’t have your dog with you all the time as you would a toddler. And it is the height of selfishness and insensitivity to feel that everyone around you in public should accept that you and your dog are a couple. Just as with second-hand smoke, not everyone likes to smell it and not everyone likes seeing dogs as they eat their dinner in a fine restaurant.
Interesting that there is such an effort to inform people that nuts are in food products, but what about those with allergies to dogs? Three million have peanut allergies, yet 15% of the total population have an allergy to either dogs or cats. In other words, over 45 million people, or five times as many people. That means for every person with a nut allergy, there are 15 people with an animal allergy.
So please, leave your dog where he or she belongs — at home.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher. He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.