Dog Etiquette

You might think you have control of your dog, but you don't. You might think everyone else loves your dog, but they don't. You might think everyone wants to be licked and loved by your panting, begging, shedding, whining, crapping-all-over-the-neighborhood mutt, but they don't.

For the love of G-O-D, please keep your D-O-G to yourself. Don't just let it take off after people and wait to see if they enjoy a good crotch sniffing or not. Owning a pet means being responsible for it. That means you should restrain your dog instead of just apologizing after every mauling and pretending like it's never happened before.

Obviously you want your dog to jump all over people to find out if they are "dog people," like you. If you find another dog person, the two of you can blabber about how awesome dogs are for an entire afternoon. Apparently it's no big loss to you if a crotch sniffing happens to a non-dog person because you didn't sniff the crotch, the dog did.

If a human were to go around sniffing crotches, there would be violent consequences. It's socially unacceptable, however, to dropkick a dog for being playful. So, people have to act like they're not bothered at all, while waiting for you to finally perform the major favor of calling off Sheba.

Another important duty you have been neglecting as a dog owner is muzzling that barking little bitch. If your dog spends a large part of the day sitting by the screen door waiting for someone to walk by, or worse yet, runs at the end of a chain or along the inside of a fence, following passersby from one end of the yard to another just barking, barking, barking -- you have a nuisance animal. You need to either 1) move to the country, 2) give the dog away to someone who lives in the country, or 3) never leave your dog alone and unattended for one second. Don't just come out yelling at the dog, acting like this hasn't happened nine times in the past hour. We all know better.

Most importantly, if you have a little rat dog that does nothing but yap yap yap, though it has no ability to be legitimately ferocious, you have an animal that needs to be set free in the woods so it can finally go extinct.

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.