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Isn't my dog cute? No!

I used to dislike dogs; now I realize who I really dislike are some dog owners!
Happy day, new dog Izzy and family

Happy day, new dog Izzy and family /Sam and Jessica Lemmon

Ever since I was a child, I have disliked dogs. It goes back a long way, and I am not sure how it originated, but as anyone who knows me will attest, it’s not just a dislike, it's a passion. I have many reasons for my negative opinion of dogs (none of which I am sure particularly matter to the 44 percent of people who own dogs), but I do want to speak to that 44 percent, or at least a small portion of them. I have finally realized it’s not the dogs that I dislike, it’s some dog owners! 

Now, before the dog lovers of the world come after me, let me explain! The past couple weeks while walking around ArtPrize Nine, I witnessed hundreds of well-mannered dogs with their owners walking the outside art venues. However, no less than eight times during ArtPrize Nine, I was subjected to a series of unwanted dog licks, drools, and jumps. I was sniffed in areas of my body that generally I prefer not to be sniffed, tripped from a leash that wrapped around my legs, snipped at when stepping over a dog trying to enter a coffee shop, and stepped in dog "doo" while enjoying the grassy meadows of Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

In nearly every interaction, the dogs' owners were unsympathetic, and almost universally the owners response was, “Isn’t he/she cute.” NO they were not cute; in fact, a few were simply downright ugly (more than a few actually). Another common response was, “Don’t worry, he/she doesn't bite – most of the time,” thinking the last part was funny. NO, it was not funny! In fact, a couple times, I swear the dog’s teeth were larger than my foot and its growl made me think it was looking at me as its next meal.

Those comments were almost always followed by, “You can pet her/him if you like.” NO, I do not want to pet your dog! Do you think I won the dog lottery here? That is not a reward to me; he/she is your dog. You pet the damn thing and get it away from me. Oh yes, and I especially like, “Oh, that mess he/she made on your clothes! Don’t worry, that will come out in the wash.” Of course, I really appreciated the advice – NOT! I was on my way to meet people and now looked like I was dragged through the mud and smelled like something died in my pocket.

Even more impressive is what I call the "Small Dog Tap Dance." This is reserved for the little fluffy dog about the size of my fist being carried through ArtPrize in the arms of a charming white-haired older woman. The dog sees me, our eyes connected, it wiggles free, jumps down to the pavement into a muddy mess of a puddle, runs like a deer toward me, jumps up on my lap, prances around in a circle for 15 seconds, and jumps down runs back and jumps in its owner’s arms. I look down, and I have no less than 40 dog prints on my slacks and shirt plus a mixture of mud and water. I stand up and look at the dog, then the white-haired woman, and she says, “You could be entered in ArtPrize," and they turned and walked away. Later, by the way, my wife saw me, and made the same statement. NOT FUNNY!

I try to be reasonable about things, think through the issues, be compassionate, and I completely understand the attachment a person can have to a dog, but I am at a total loss here as to why dogs act up and invade the space of others! Let me rephrase that, please! Why do some dog owners allow their dogs to invade the space of others without an inkling of remorse or at least an attempt to control their dogs' habits? There are 56 percent of us who do not have dogs for a reason!

I have stopped disliking dogs! But some of you dog owners are another thing!

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