Philly is a dog-friendly city. From sunrise to sunset, the streets and parks are filled with Philadelphians and their pooches. Most of the dog guardians (owner implies ownership and dogs aren’t property) are good, decent, considerate people. However, as you know, every group has its share of people who buck the trend. Yes, dog guardians are no different. Unfortunately, there are annoying and inconsiderate dog guardians.
Without further adieu, here are the 5 Most Annoying Dog Guardians.
5. The “He or She’s Friendly” Guardian.
You know the type, particularly if you are guardian to a dog with social issues. You see a dog and its guardian approaching so you take your special needs buddy and create some space—a buffer zone if you will. The guardian approaching is oblivious. They want their dog to say hello. So you they move closer in your direction. You move further away. They continue to approach. Your dog gives obvious signs that he’s not looking to say hello such as stiff upright tail, pulling, breathing heavy, growling. You move further. They continue. You say, “Please, I need space.” Then, being the narcissists they are, they say “it’s okay, he’s friendly.”Good for them, right? Yours isn’t and if they get any closer there’s a good chance one of these dogs will be bitten fairly quickly and it’s probably gonna be your golden retriever. So you say, “Mine isn’t. Please stop.” AND, for what it’s worth, who would think their golden retriever isn’t friendly. These people need to take ten minutes and read up on dog body language. Please, do us all a favor. These people are clueless and dangerous. If you are one of these people, “he/she’s friendly” isn’t what you want to say. What you want to ask, at a safe distance, is something along the lines of “Can they say hello.”
4. The Public Space is Our Space Guardian.
Throughout this great city there are dozens of green public spaces where you can safely walk your pooch and they can take in the smells of grass, weeds, trees, other dogs, hypodermic needles, and used condoms. Then, comes along the guardian and his/her dog with a lacrosse stick or one of these:
They turn a nice public patch of grass into their back yard. I’ve seen this at Penn Treaty in Fishtown, FDR in South Philly, and along Front Street near South Street. These guardians launch the ball with this or a similar device. Their dog chases and returns it. Repeat. Again, narcissism at its best. They are oblivious how this affects other dogs. Other dogs, having a calm walk, are now excited and lunging/pulling trying to chase after the ball, which probably isn’t the best idea. There is no telling how the original dog would react to a strange dog taking its ball. Dogs who are leash reactive start to bug out because there is a strange dog barreling towards them while it chases after its ball. Dogs who have been abused in the past, maybe in dog fighting rings, are now frightened because there is a strange down barreling towards them.
These guardians need to do one of three things if they want to partake in this activity. 1. Move to a place where they have their own yard to play fetch. 2. Take it to a dog park. This won’t happen because they know other dogs will chase after the ball and interfere with their game of fetch. They just don’t give sh*t about how their game of fetch interferes with the other dogs in the public spaces. 3. Move to a city that doesn’t have a 6-foot leash law. Yes, Philly has a leash law. 6 feet or less. It’s there for a reason: to provide safety and basic consideration.
3. The Leash Law Don’t Apply to My Dog Guardian
Speaking of leash laws. There are privately owned green spaces throughout town that permit people and their pooches to enjoy their space. Some function as leash-free dog runs and some do not. The ones that DO NOT are kind of enough to let guardians know by posting signs indicating that leashes are required such as this one:
There is a theme here. Many of the annoying dog guardians don’t see the world from anyone else’s perspective but their own. They can’t imagine that some guardians may have chosen this spot BECAUSE OF THOSE LEASH REQUIREMENTS. Those guardians’ dogs may be aggressive, leash reactive, or fearful of other dogs due to any number of bad past experiences as a stray, in abusive circumstances, or from life at the shelter. Those dogs are not able enjoy the benefits of a dog park or run. So, they come to “safe zones” such as this to spend some quality times outdoors and in some of the best nature city life affords.
These “Leash Laws Don’t Apply To My Dog” guardians allow their leash-free dogs to run wild like it’s a dog run causing distress to other dogs who are probably there because of the fact that leashes are required. AND, 9 times out of 10 these “leash-free” guardians cannot get their dogs to return to them without yelling COME 47 times and raising their voices, which can also stress out dogs with a variety of social issues.
2. The Leave a Poop Bag Behind Guardians
These people are just plain weird. They bring a bag with them on their walks with their dogs. They pick up their dog’s poop in a plastic bag. Then, they discard the bag on the sidewalk. Like this:
These people need their dogs removed from their care and to be committed. They are obvious bat-sh*t crazy. What do they think happens to these bags? They aren’t compostable or biodegradable. They end up getting trampled on or smashed by feet or vehicles and then the poop pops out the sides or a stranger has to come and properly discard your bag of poop—usually the homeowner whose house they left the bag in front of.
1. The I Ain’t Pick Up That Sh*t Guardians.
No surprise here. The most annoying guardians are the all-time legends. They don’t even attempt to be interested in picking up after their pooches.
Who are these people? Probably Dallas Cowboy or New York Yankees fans living in Philly. There is no excuse for this. As as a guardian, I may have been caught off guard without a bag. I take my dogs home, grab a bag, and return to pick the turds up. I suspect these people don’t think poop is something that needs cleaning up after and, therefore, don’t wipe their asses after their own bowel movements. The worst.
IN CONCLUSION: It’s pretty simple if you don’t want to be an annoying guardian. Don’t worry if you are. There is still time. You just need to follow these three rules. 1. Keep your dogs on a leash unless you’re at a dog run/park where everyone entering has the full knowledge and understanding that dogs will be unleashed. 2. Watch for tell-tail (not a typo) signs that other dogs may not want to interact with your precious pooch for whatever reason. 3. If you want your dog to interact with another dog, ask “Can they say hello?” from a clearly safe distance. 4. Clean up after your dogs and properly dispose of said waste.
It’s really that easy and simple. Now, go out there, enjoy the weather, and be a good and considerate dog guardian.