Friday, August 18, 2017

Epidemic Level of Barking Dogs

This post goes out to my college student neighbors with the LOUD dog. I do hope that you undertake the challenging task of opening the door and letting your dog back into the house. If your parents can afford to pay out-of-state tuition, I think they can also finance some etiquette training. Because subjecting the neighbors to nonstop barking is very rude.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here's an excellent letter to the editor. Quoting from the letter:

"Sometimes the dogs are out barking at 6:30 a.m. and seem to not be under the discipline of any responsible adults. This can go on all day. I suspect the owners put out the dogs then go to work. I believe this to be our right to be protected from this gross audio pollution and neighbors who are inconsiderate. Going for a walk in this part of town is impossible with out groups of fenced dogs snarling and barking through fences wanting to kill you. It is so disturbing; the quiet, the peace and calm of this residential area."

Then came this comment:

"Why not approach your neighbors in a calm, adult, and civilized way and work together to find a solution?"

Which was followed by another commenter's perspective:

"All too often -- maybe alarmingly often -- the person on the other side of that door (the dog-owning neighbor) isn't a calm, civilized adult who's interested in working together to find a solution.

"All too often, the person raising the issue is painted as the bad guy, and then targeted, for simply raising a valid complaint in a "calm, adult, and civilized way."

"What then?"

Exactly. This is why I no longer talk to my neighbors about their barking dogs. 

I've found that talking to neighbors is about as useful as talking to a brick wall. And I've been there and done that on the painted-as-the-bad-guy thing.

What do I do instead? I report owners of barking dogs to animal control, which sends a Sternly Worded Letter. Personally, I think that the initial contact should have more oomph, but my last two reports have resulted in the departure of the dogs -- and their owners. Perhaps that forthcoming animal control letter will have the same effect on those overprivileged college kiddies.

One can only hope. And blog.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Peak Fido, indeed!

Last summer, the Animal Uncontrol blog offered a post with this prediction:

"[E]verything I am reading about and experiencing first hand gives me a gut feeling that the 'dog bubble' is deflating, and may be doing so at a rapid pace. I am going 'Bearish' on dog mania!"

That "Peak Fido" post has become one the AU blog's most popular.

And it seems that Peak Fido is spreading beyond the dog-blogosphere. Note this just-published article in the highly influential British newspaper, The Guardian:

Should we stop keeping pets? Why more and more ethicists say yes

The article features the research of Jessica Pierce, author of the book, Run, Spot, Run. It offers a long-overdue critique of our country's obsession with pets.

Quoting from The Guardian, and I'm using boldface to emphasize what I believe is the key point:

"From the animals that become dog and cat food and the puppy farms churning out increasingly unhealthy purebred canines, to the goldfish sold by the bag and the crickets by the box, pet ownership is problematic because it denies animals the right of self-determination. Ultimately, we bring them into our lives because we want them, then we dictate what they eat, where they live, how they behave, how they look, even whether they get to keep their sex organs."

And the hits just keep on coming. Here's another article from the Hollywood Patch:

Fido And Fluffy Are Ruining The Environment, UCLA Study Says

If you love that headline, then you'll adore the subhead: "America's beloved dogs and cats play a significant role in causing global warming, according to a new study by UCLA."

Thank you, UCLA, for pointing out what I've long thought was a blind spot in the environmental movement. I see way too many people who ride bicycles while taking their own bags to the organic foods store, and they own several dogs or cats. In many cases, they love to call attention to themselves by proclaiming that their pets are RESCUES!

I've tangled with more than a few of these people. For some reason, they don't seem to like it when I point out that their precious little fur babies are nonstop barkers that cause noise pollution.

As for these pet-questioning news stories, I hope they continue to increase. Because it's time to face the truth, even if it makes the doggie and kitty worshipers uncomfortable.