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[at-l] Re: Dogs

Ok, before this turns into a love dogs vs. hate dogs festival of abuse, let=
s take a step back.  The campfire is just getting good again.

Yes there are people who are afraid of dogs, and there are also dogs who ar=
e afraid of people
Yes there are dogs who are inconsiderate and are bothersome to other trail =
users, and there are people like that too.

Dogs and their owners, as well as non-dog trail users can be rude, inconsid=
erate, smell bad, behave poorly in towns, behave poorly on the trail, leave=
 their shit where you can find it, etc.

There are also dogs and people who are considerate, conscientious, friendly=
, well behaved, groom themselves, and respect others.

We all enjoy meeting those who do it well, and would rather not have to sha=
re a shelter with the others.

It is incumbent upon dog owners to GUARANTEE the security and control of th=
eir dogs.  If you take a dog on the trail, you must be aware that many peop=
le harbor both rational and irrational feelings about your pet.  Simply say=
ing "(S)he won't bite" is not enough.  If your dog is trained to be aggress=
ive, you must be able to control that aggression.  A snarling, snapping, te=
eth baring dog is unpleasant even to dog lovers.

I completely sympathize with people who have had bad dog experiences, as we=
ll as those who have had bad experiences with obnoxious kids.  My kids aren=
't rude, and neither are my dogs, and I take great pride in knowing that I =
can trust both my kids and my dogs out in public without fear of annoying o=
thers or of prosecution.

Hopefully, us dog owners who's dogs like to hike with us, all realize that =
it's our responsibility to ensure that our dogs have good manners, and thos=
e hikers who have had bad experiences with dogs will give us a chance to sh=
ow you how well our dogs behave on the trail, and we can all try hard not t=
o project our issues onto other trail users.

Thanks for listening,

(off soapbox again)