Friday, July 27, 2012

The Backlash Against Barking and Dogs

Time wasn't too long ago when uncontrolled barking was considered something that we would have to live with.

In other words, forget about your right to the quiet use and peaceful enjoyment of your home. The neighbor's barking dog has many more rights than you do.

Well, that was then. This is now.

In recent weeks, this blog has visitors with very interesting names. For example, there is the creator of the Dog Haters Unite website. Let's just say that this individual is not terribly fond of barking.

Also out there in the anti-dogosphere is Why I Hate Dogs. You'll find this blog's recent post on the pet industry's efforts to equate animals with children to be quite interesting. Quoting from that post, "The propaganda spewed by the pet industry has succeeded in turning otherwise sane people into besotted 'pet parents' who feel guilty if their dog doesn’t have the latest fashions, the brightest teeth, the coziest bed, the best food and medicine, or the most sturdy baby stroller."

A baby stroller? For dogs? When did they stop being able to walk on their own?

The backlash doesn't stop there. A few years ago, Carole Wade wrote a book that asked the question Is Pet Ownership Destroying the Lives of Americans? Her answer: Yes it is. She occasionally contributes articles to The American Partisan, and I highly recommend these two:
  1. Study Proves Dog Owners are Lonely People
  2. A Baby Boomer's Best Friend or a Worst Enemy
The second article has an especially poignant passage, even as it shows heavy overuse of quotation marks:
In effect, dogs lock "seniors" in their homes. Dogs restrict "“baby boomers"” from interacting with friends. Dogs restrict active women and men from the old activities of playing bridge or golf. Why? How does a senior leave the "dog" at home alone? Dogs and the new computer age have actually increased a senior's time to "stay-at-home" and become a "lonely-person." Interestingly, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association promotes products that are in the worse interests of seniors. Their association is not a "medical" society. They are in the business of selling multi-million-dollars a year of "pet" supplies.
Do you know anyone who fits the above description? I sure do. And I can't help thinking that they would have much happier, more enriching lives if they weren't so immersed in their dogs. But that would mean less money for the pet industry, and we can't have that, now can we?

Truth be told, I'm not anti-dog. I take them on a dog-by-dog basis.

That's because some dogs are an absolute joy to be around. Their owners have trained them well. And they have sound temperaments.

Other dogs? Let's just say I'd rather not be on the same planet with them. Same goes for their owners.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Ready to join the backlash? Or do you just wish that your neighbor's dog would shut up? Express your displeasure quietly with the tee shirts and bumper stickers in my QuietBarkingDogs store.


  1. YQN:

    Good post. A few thoughts...

    On the "haters". I was considering writing an essay about that. It appears that a dog hater/dog owner hater movement has exploded out of nowhere very recently, within the last year or so. I figure such a thing was inevitable.

    One of the linked essays mentions the assertion that dogs make us live longer. I would be interested to investigate that further... was there an actual scientific study(ies) done, or is that merely an assertion? I can say one thing for certain... the mutts across the street have certainly NOT extended MY lifespan. In fact, I have had to take time out of my limited life time to deal with the nuisances.

    1. Animal Uncontrol, I hope that you do write an essay about the haters. Matter of fact, I'm looking forward to reading it.

      Reminds me that I need to do one about that dog owner I met yesterday. He didn't have his dog on a leash in a public park because, as he put it, said dog wouldn't poop if he was leashed.

      He also told me that he'd previously been fined for allowing his dog to run loose. That's against our city's leash law.

      Well, he went to court and refused to pay the fine. The nerve of the City of Tucson for fining him! Fie on our city!

      I sure hope that when his dog took care of business, the owner cleaned up the mess. Somehow, I doubt it.

    2. YQN,

      You stated that you take dogs on a case-by-case basis, but then you include links to studies that state "Dog Owners Are Lonely People." And you complain about an unleashed dog pooping in a public park. That sounds like dog-hate to me! More than simply "I only hate some barking dogs" hate, anyway.

      Also, I don't have the luxury of sizing up dogs on an indvidual basis. As a mother of two small children, I have to assume all dogs are potentially dangerous, and therefore I steer clear of them all. I hope that makes sense to you.

  2. YQN,

    Thanks for mentioning my blog "Dog Haters Unite!," even if you don't portray me in such a flattering light. I don't think it's enough to hate only barking dogs. Besides the robo-barking, there's the crapping, the maulings, and the hoarding by dog nuts that puts a huge strain on animal shelters. And there was a case recently in which a woman had to have her hands and feet amputated because she contracted an infection from her dog's saliva. There are so many reasons to hate dogs that I get overwhelmed sometimes. Of course it's dog lovers who are the real problem, but somehow "Dog Owner Haters Unite" doesn't have quite a ring to it.

    Service dogs are the only exception to my "dog-hate" rule, and I'll address that soon on my blog. I think service dog owners/trainers and dog-haters should align because they have a common enemy: dog lovers.

    Thanks again for mentioning me. I read your blog occasionally, and congratulate you on being able to write posts week after week on such a narrowly defined topic.

    I have readers in 8 countries now, so this "dog-hate" phenomenon is not isolated to a select few.

  3. A backlash is inevitable. Until I quietly put it up with it, but my dislike has been simmering for years. I moved from a building because it had only two non dog owners: me and an airline pilot. It was an area loaded with yuppies. I'm glad to see the backlash finally starting to rev up!