Community View: Be kind to your dogs ... and to the rest of us

I was so grateful to read the Community View piece in the June 16 edition, “Think twice about where you take your dog.” I’ve been asking myself for a while now, “When did it become OK to take dogs everywhere?!”

Dogs and more dogs, leaving their assorted DNA and other less microscopic essence behind where I and — ick! — my food, clothes, papers and person get exposed to them. Dogs in shopping carts at the grocery store; dogs in banks; dogs in clothing stores; dogs on (in whole or in part) the cashier counter where I’m next in line to do business and perhaps need to lay my items.

According to an article in the June 8, 2008 issue of "O" magazine, more than 200,000 Americans get stomach flu every year after ingesting a common bacterium found on the tail ends of dogs called campylobacter. Another easily transmitted bacterium is salmonella, which causes diarrhea and fever in humans. And ringworm spores can lurk on a dog's coat or muzzle.

A dog may be the most precious creature in the world to the owner who has brought it into a place of business, but to someone else, it may actually be the source of a breath-choking allergic reaction, or a cause for very real fear. And why do these owners believe their dogs would rather be in a noisy, indoor, unnatural environment than at their own homes or in their own yards? If they think Fido can’t live without them for an hour or so, there is something more amiss than just bad manners and judgment.

Please … consider the world at large and the businesses in it, and the homes of all your new acquaintances, and ask yourself the question before packing up your dog for an outing he/she probably doesn’t want to make anyway.

Jan Barnes

La Jolla



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