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Friday, July 11, 2008

No Dogs Allowed, or are they?

No Dogs Allowed
Except Seeing Eye Dogs
or Service Dogs

These signs are posted on restaurants, stores, most places of business. They are posted so prevalently that most people don't even see them anymore. Yesterday I walked into my local grocery store and passed this sign hanging on the front door. I immediately spotted a woman holding a dog in her arms. The dog was a cute little Shitzu type dog, but, he was still a dog. I spotted an employee and made the comment to her - "Have you changed your policy and are allowing dogs in the store now?" She looked at me and looked at the woman and said to me - "Oh it is okay, she is holding the dog in her arms." I was incredulous......and that is when my diatribe started.

I suggested to her that maybe she should change the sign on the door to say "except for service dogs and dogs in arms and dogs in purses". Her response - "would you like to speak to our manager?" Oh yes, please.

Let me clarify my position here. I am a dog lover and dog proponent. I love dogs of all shapes and sizes. I have always had at least one dog, usually more as a pet. Our dogs are part of our family, they live in our home, and are treated with love and respect. A dog is a living creature, not an accessory. I don't wear my dogs as a necklace or bracelet. I don't carry my dog in my purse. I don't take my dog into establishments where they are not allowed, especially a grocery store or a restaurant. I do take my dog to dog parks and daily walks. I do clean up his messes in public. My dog is current on vaccinations, he is neutered and licensed. I am a responsible pet owner and a responsible citizen. I follow the rules.

The store manager was summoned, and unfortunately by this time the woman with the dog had left the store. I calmly told him my concerns. I asked him what he would do if I brought my dog, who weighs 100 pounds, into the store. I would be asked to leave, he told me. Why would I be asked to leave but the under 10 pound dog accessory was not? A dog is a dog. They all poop and pee, some are just bigger than others. When I stated it that way, he paused for thought. He agreed with me. I also stated that the store was in violation of the health code when dogs are allowed to enter. He agreed again and he will institute a policy for the employees.

I did my shopping, but my mind kept churning over this matter. When did our society start changing? Why do people blatantly ignore posted signs and feel they are above the rules or laws? This is anarchy at its finest. When small, seemingly insignificant rules are ignored it is only a matter of time when larger and more significant rules are broken. I could not help but ponder these thoughts. Our society is becoming a selfish, self serving society. A people who think it is OK to make their own rules, or only follow the ones that are convenient to them. I am frightened for my children and grandchildren.

While I cannot change society's thinking, I can teach my children to be respectful and responsible members of society. I know there are other parents like me in this world. My only hope is that our children will be our leaders when they are adults.....and I am sure they will not wear their dogs as accessories while grocery shopping.


Jennifer said...

Oh I love a good diatribe!! There are so many people who think the rules apply to everyone else!! I get a lot of that as a girl scout leader! It's hard to be a rule follower in a world of rule breakers!!

Anonymous said...

Service dogs are one thing, but accessory dogs are quite another in the realm of "no dogs allowed", in my estimation, however a sign saying "only service dogs allowed" would be helpful. :)


ChrisB said...

Good for you. When you think of the bad example the more prominent people (pop stars etc) are in society it's no wonder the idiots try to emulate them. I think we can only continue to show our children and grandchildren the correct way to behave and hope it has an impact.

storyteller said...

I’m so with you on this one Alison! It reminds me of a personal experience I had a couple of years ago. As I walked through Bloomingdale's, a department store in Fashion Island (in Newport Beach, CA) a couple of summers ago with a friend, I was dismayed to find I had stepped in ‘Dog pooh’ right in front of the expensive jewelry counter … wearing brand new Keen sandals with deep grooves in the souls no less.

Rather than track the stuph through the store, I took the shoes off and walked toward the restroom barefooted to clean them and noticed a woman with the stuph all over her behind and back ... immediately grateful it was just on my shoes. Apparently she had slipped and fallen in the dog pooh.

No one apologized to me for the inconvenience … and to my knowledge, the person who owned the dog didn’t even attempt to clean up after it … but why they were allowed in the store in the first place is beyond me! This had to be a dog bigger than Molly to have left the deposit on the floor …

Like you, I don’t understand the mentality of people who behave with such insensitivity and selfishness … and a good rant now and again just might help readjust the rules back to some sense of sanity.
Hugs and blessings,

Heather said...

Good for you! I hate when people think rules don't apply to them. And a dog in a grocery store, yuck!

Besides the food and health issues, what about someone with an allergy?

I have to agree with you, people today are very selfish and self-serving. I shudder to think what would happen if people were asked to conserve or cut back like they were during World War II and rationing. I'm not sure most of the people in this country could do it, or would do it.

lisaschaos said...

I agree with that. I hate it when the rules are ignored, it just irks me. I obey the rules and IF I broke one I would be the one caught and punished.

It carries over into rules of the road, if the sign says 30 and I'm going 30 get off my butt, I can't go any faster legally even though the cops around here wouldn't stop you until you were going 36 or so. Hubby says there's a few mph leeway and I think then why don't they change the sign to 32 or whatever. So they aren't putting the speed they want up to obey, they are going a little under because they know. . .We all speed.

Sorry for my rant. :( I agree with you.

Alix said...

Oh well done, I'm impressed! I hate rule breakers. I especially hate people who try to get to the front of queues as if their time is somehow more important and they shouldn't have to wait - grrr!

Jan said...

I'm 110% behind you. It's time some of these managers grow some cojones. At the bookstore, because we have a cafe, we frequently have similar situations with the accessory pets. Once, even a rat, that got loose!

Laura McIntyre said...

I am completely behind you to, my biggest pet peeve is people smoking in places like bus shelters (which are non smoking areas) . Its Scotland which means its wet and miserable all the time and my kids and i are forced to stand in it other than breath in there smoke. Sorry away on my own rant there.

karisma said...

I also get annoyed by people breaking the rules however I have to be honest I have done it myself! Our local beach is a NO dog zone. All year round people take their dogs there anyway, sometimes the dogs are not friendly which is a shame and yes the owners of such dogs generally do not clean up after them.

As a rule, we usually take our dogs to the beach they are allowed on but this one day I took Maxi (our small terrier) to the local beach as we were in a hurry and just wanted a quick walk. I figured it was winter, no patrol, pretty much empty so why not? She does not make any mess while out and behaved beautifully. However on the way back a man was jogging towards us and she ran towards him wagging her tail hoping for a pat! I called her back and she did not touch him but he went ballistic anyway! Talk about behaving like a pansy (fair enough my dog should not have been there, but there were also half a dozen big dogs running around that day). I was more shocked by his behavior than anything. I pointed out to him that she went nowhere near him but he insisted she may have bitten him! And basically carried on like a moron.

After that I never took my dogs there again. Others still do. I think its a shame that they are not welcome in an outdoors environment like that but I can understand why. In a case like mine, if my dog had not have been used to strangers and was subjected to this mans tirade, she just may well have bitten him! His aggressive behavior toward me would have warranted it! There are a lot of people who are scared of dogs and don't behave in a confident manner around them. In a lot of cases where people are bitten it is because of their own behavior and fear affecting the dog.

Funnily enough, the dogs that get carried around and pampered like the one in your story have in my experience been the ones more likely to display anti-social behavior towards others.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I have NEVER seen a dog in a grocery store. Unless it was a guide dog. Wow! This is common where you live??

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Wait a sec.. My dog stays on a leash and travels all of the time.. But not to places she shouldn't go into; she stays outside buildings and goes all over the country with my horses and my kid! She is 7 pounds and is pampered.. but EVERYONE LOVES HER and she is EVERYONE'S friend.... Not a spoiled, "problem" dog. Just spoiled. **big grin**

Just saying after readiing the above comment! ;-)

Mother Goose said...

CHEERS to you! Have you seen the children these days? Parents do not hold them accountable for their own actions. It is always someone else's fault. I am so glad you brought this attention to management. Rules are rules people. If a 10lb dog is allowed than you will be seeing my 180 lb dog as well, or enforce the RULE!

Pamela said...

I'll sign the petition. heh heh.
I walked into a restaurant the other day and met someone walking with dog in arm.

I was just like you -- appalled.

You are right -- people all think the rules apply to all but them.

Irene Latham said...

You know what? The good will win out over the bad. Just keep teaching your kids the way you're teaching them... I believe that's the most important thing we can give the world... loving, responsible children. Keep it up!