Dogs suffer at the hands of politicians when controversy arises, lead to unclear and unfair rules about what they can and cannot do being forced on them and their owners. Some rules seem genuinely in the best interest of society while others seem arbitrary and unnecessary. A few shared concerns amongst owners of “fur babies” is that rules can seem ambiguous or unclear, and at times communication from others is not assertive but rather critical, misguided or plainly rude.
The first and most common controversy for families is pooches at restaurants. For the sake of health regulations, canines have been kept out of restaurants until Jan. 1, 2015 when all doggies are allowed to accompany their owners. This is as long as the owner is sitting at a patio table, the pet is leashed, well-behaved, and is not present where food is being prepared. The law allows for business discretion, as well as city and county ordinances to be enacted at the discretion of local decision makers. If the law has no dominance, then perhaps it continues to be unfair to Fido. Additionally, what is missing is the rationale behind the rules. If an animal can be table-side, what makes it so they are not allowed to walk through farmers markets? By leaving pets at home on a Sunday stroll, or for any evening meal because of arbitrary policies, dogs suffer at the hands of cruel politicians.
The second and most frustrating controversy is that of summer hounds at beaches and parks. It seems odd and unfortunate that there is such an inconsistency of rules among various parks and beaches within one city, let alone within various jurisdictions. Dog unfriendly beaches and parks make it difficult to plan family vacations and outings when families are able to enjoy the company of their loved ones including their tail-wagging, ball-chasing friends. Adding to the difficulty of keeping track of which beaches and parks allow mutts, some locations include seasonal and hourly restrictions that make planning an outing with the entire family that much more difficult. Perhaps dog lovers would be placed at ease if a single set of criteria was set for all parks and beaches, possibly including access for all canines, as well as fees for not picking up doggie-doo and for reports of unruly behavior.
While there are no laws about handling noise and dogs, there is plenty of controversy about how to handle noisy four-legged neighbors. Suggestions online, as well as those shared as common knowledge, include to discuss the concern with the owner of the noisy-hound during daytime hours; however, never at night-time in order to avoid aggressive confrontations. Next, it is recommended to help inform the neighbor about training techniques and tools that can be used to silent the incessant barking. Lastly, and only as a final option when the owner has proven incompetent of training or uncaring of neighbor complaints, the police can be called to stop nuisance barking, via a noise violation.
Owners believe there is no reason to be mean to their dogs and a recent Japanese study from the Kyoto University has found that mutts do not support others being mean to their owners. A test was conducted with three sets of people to test the psychology of dogs. They found that man’s best friend was happy to take a treat from individuals who helped out their owners, when the owner asked for help. Conversely, when an individual denied help to Fido’s owner, dogs repeatedly declined treats from the mean-spirited stranger. This evidence suggests that canines are perceptive and responsive to how their owners are treated and will respond accordingly.
Many controversies involving pets and their owners can easily be solved with a bit of patience and diligence. Although they do not understand why, dogs suffer at the hands of cruel politicians and cannot for themselves mediate fair rules. For the sake of mutual peace, controversy about dogs, which are man’s best friend, should be put to rest.
Opinion By Olivia Uribe-Mutal
Edited By Leigh Haugh
San Jose Mercury News–New California Law Allows Canines to Dine on Restaurant Patios
TIME–Dogs Can Tell When You’re Not Nice to Their Owners, Study Finds
Barking Dogs–How to Persuade Your Neighbors to Quiet Their Chronically Barking Dogs
Image Courtesy of Céline’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License