MSNBC.com's story on party-crashing pets sure got some readers barking mad.
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Hundreds wrote in to share their run-ins with pooches in inappropriate places, even Grandma's funeral!
Others defended their right to bring their four-legged "children" wherever they go. "Love me, love my dog!," one doggie-defender wrote in. Others responded: Forget you, and your dog!
An "ex-friend" took their small dog, "Doodles", uninvited to another friend’s cocktail party. After letting themselves in, they put the dog down and let him romp. Unfortunately, the host and his kids are extremely allergic to dogs. Our ex-friend was shocked when they were forced to pay a $3,500 professional cleaning bill for bringing their pet uninvited and unannounced to the party. The problem was repeated a few weeks later when they brought the dog to our house unannounced. Unknown to me, my son let them in with the dog. They put the dog down and it acted like it owned the place. Unfortunately for "Doodles," this didn't go over well with our shepherd-retriever mix. After "Doodles" attempted to stand his ground while helping himself to our dog's food bowl, the fight was on. Before we could intervene, our dog dispatched "Doodles" like he was an overstuffed chew toy. It was horrible. Worse still, they actually blamed us. Now we're no longer friends and from what I've heard they're still bringing the new "Mr. Doodles" with them wherever they go. Go figure.
— Bill, O’Fallon, Ill.
We went to a performance of the local symphony, where love of music trumps just about everything, even missed notes and faulty conducting. But the smelly owner accompanied by his smelly Dachshund was too much. My boss was seated right behind him before intermission, and after intermission my boss and everybody else within a three-seat radius had moved to empty seats downstairs. I love my little 20-pound doggie and wish I could take her everywhere, but I do not want that particular door opened. If she's there, some mutt that could eat her in two gulps will be there too and will probably try it.
—Jean, Durango, Colo.
My dogs are like my kids, and my feeling is, anywhere kids are allowed, dogs should be allowed. However, it is vital that they be well-behaved. Rowdy and disruptive behavior is not acceptable in public, be it from dogs or children (or adults for that matter!!) I volunteer for a nonprofit organization that trains and certifies Assistance Dogs (http://www.circletail.org/), and it is very concerning when I hear of people trying to pass off their pets as assistance dogs. But my feeling is — as long as companion animals are well-mannered, they should be allowed access to many more places than they are now. One solution may be for establishments to only allow dogs and owners who have passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test (http://www.akc.org/).
— Jen, Cincinnati, Ohio
Hell no, it's bad enough when people bring kids to a restaurant, they scream in your ears, throw food and ruin your meal. If someone brought their dog to my home without asking first, they wouldn't ever be allowed in my home again, even family.
—Danny, Modesto, Calif.
I take my two large dogs everywhere I can. They love it, and I love it. The only difference is that mine are well-behaved, obedience-trained, and almost always welcomed back to any event. This is the difference between a reasonable dog-lover, and an outlandish one. If your dog is going to clean up the snack table, perhaps he/she needs more training before being let off-leash at parties. My dogs behave well; they don't jump on guests or steal objects. People that are uninterested in them hardly notice they are there. Another important idea is to ask permission to bring your canine companion. Many people are willing to invite your four-legged friend, if they know how much it means to you, and that the dog will behave. Those are the most significant differences between responsible and irresponsible canine companionship.
These people are part of the "new age" that thinks it is cruel to discipline their pets and lets them run amuck at other peoples expenses most of the larger pets will end up in already over crowded shelters when the owners become to scared of the animal to be willing to keep it. I would not let any misbehaving animal run loose, there are leash laws and property owners should be able to enforce them on there own property too.
—Sara, Washougal, Wash.
Love me, love my dog! My dogs are expected to stay home while I am at work and non- dog social functions. The dogs are part of our lives and if you come to my house you had better be prepared to be greeted by a Newfie and have some dog hair on your clothes. If you can't handle that, then don't bother coming over. My mother-in-law showed up at my door unexpectedly. I was working with my Newfie, who was puppy at the time, so she was on the leash. When I opened the door, I thought mother-in-law was going to mess her pants. This was in my own home. I was polite and kept the dog on a leash and under control while she was there. My dog stayed by my side the entire time, either in a sit or a down stay. I could tell mother-in-law was uncomfortable. She has not spent the night at our house since. It was my house, my rules, and offensive to me that she was afraid of my well-trained dog.
—Cindy, Portland, Ore.
I am a huge dog (and cat) lover, and I have the BEST dog, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier named “Elvis” (a 45-lb lap-dog-wannabe). While he is extremely well behaved and respectful of other two-leggers around him, I do not and would not bring him everywhere — separation anxiety or not. I've found, particularly through my local post office, that there are a HUGE number of non-dog lovers out there, up to and including people that are scared to death of even the smallest dog. While Elvis obeys nearly every command given him, I still do not take him everywhere with me, and would certainly not bring him uninvited anywhere. I personally think it's rude for people to bring their dogs absolutely everywhere, invited or not, especially if they are not controlling the dog. It's one thing to go to a picnic or outdoor party when the invitation specifically includes the canine, but to bring them uninvited and to allow them to run amok, that shows lack of respect to the host, hostess, other guests, and is downright rude.
— Stacy,Spring Grove, Penn.
I have a chocolate lab, Harley, who is 9. I have trained my dog very well so that I CAN bring him to certain places and he is always well-behaved. I have people who always love having him over because he is well-trained. I even use to take him to work with me. Like children, if they are not well-behaved in public, who wants to be around it? I believe if you train your dog well enough, society will have more welcome arms.
— Paula, Ill.
I'm FED up with folks who tote OR take their pooches with them to inappropriate locations. Emotional security is just so much nonsense and much more indicative of the entitlement mentality. I was stunned to observe a young woman relative arrive at her grandma's funeral with her "precious poochie" nestled in the designer bag. Grandma didn't particularly care for dogs and the family was stunned. It felt like the puppy was attending church. Fortunately, the puppy showed better manners and more respect than the granddaughter.
— Anonymous, Dallas
They have gone too far. It is one thing to have a well-behaved dog on a lead at a place/event where they are invited. I have a wonderful dog who is trained however I would never just take her to someone home or a business uninvited or if I am not sure they are welcome. These people are giving responsible owners and well-behaved dogs a bad name. Service dogs are highly trained and certified not just someone's pet (although many are beloved pets as well). It is insulting to those who have spent time and effort to train and certify their dogs to be compared to people who just want to bring their dog along.
I adore all four of my dogs and love having them around me...at home. It would never occur to me to bring my beloved dogs to someone else's house. I would be mortified if they acted up and would never risk offending my host or hostess. Also, I am appalled at the thought of people bringing their dogs to restaurants and other public places. Are you kidding me? Also, I think it beyond rude to assume that just because I love animals that it would be okay to bring yours to my house No, Lucy, Zach, Jackson and Emily are best left in their own home, with their own toys, food and beds...and if they decide they have to misbehave (as all good dogs will from time to time), then it is MY home that they have messed up...as it should be. In fact, often the best part of my day is coming home to four loud, happy dogs that are so happy to see me and my family...talk about emotional support!
—Lisa, Savannah, Ga.
Dogs were meant to roam and I’d imagine staring at the same section of fence day after day has to be bad. I also think that’s got a lot to do with the dog biting incidents and such. The dogs go psycho. I think all the places they do have pets banned is fairly ridiculous, parks and such. There ought to be a way to take dogs to all parks and such and just learn how to fine the ones who don’t clean up after them. Furthermore, a lot of places cite not bringing dogs because they’re dirty. LOL! I’ve seen thousands of people that are a whole lot grosser and dirtier then my dog.
— Kaytlan, Shasta Lake, Calif.
My child “Momma the Kat” goes everywhere I go. When I got together with my boyfriend he knew we were a package deal! In fact, when we get married my child will walk down the aisle with our wedding rings! Momma is not an animal; she is my little girl – my child! Everyone knows that. My Mom is Grandma, Sister is Auntie, Brothers are her Uncles. So Momma is the family! I have five insurances out in case something happens to me – each worth more than the next, with instructions to make sure my little girl stays in her queen-sized bed. So yes my child goes where I go …. Doesn’t yours?
—Tigress, Flushing, N.Y.
I love my Golden Retriever but there is a time and a place for him. Like Sunday rides to get the newspaper and trips to the dog beach and the dog park. That is WHY these places exist. I don't think it is necessary nor appropriate to bring your dog anywhere it is not invited (unless of course they are legitimate guide dogs)! I always ask first and if the answer is no then it is no! My dog is a beggar and to have him in a restaurant with me when I can't command him to go out of the room when he is begging is out of the question! PERIOD!
—Ria, Port Charlotte, Fla.
I want to say that I'm fed up with people who think they can bring their dogs everywhere with them. I own three dogs myself, but I don't feel entitled to bring them with me wherever I go. Not even the small 10 lb. dog that I own. I used to work at an orchard which sold its produce in an outdoor market. For some reason, people thought it was OK to have their dogs running around beside them while they were purchasing fruit and vegetables. You try to tell people that it’s a federal violation to have animals around food and our store could get fined thousands of dollars and they just ignore you! Meanwhile their dog decides he needs pee on that bin of fruit to leave his mark. Again, the people laugh it off and ignore you when you tell them. (They don't even bother to clean it.) Anymore I see people think they’re entitled to bring their dog in grocery stores, movie theaters, malls, hardware stores, etc. It's just not right; your dog does NOT need to be with you 24/7. If it does, than people need to stay away from places that you just don't bring animals. I mean, if you owned a horse, would it be OK to bring that horse to the grocery store and tie it to your shopping cart?? I think NOT, and I know plenty of people who love horses like others love their dogs; but they just would not do that.
—Fed Up in Boca Raton, Fla.
I can't stand the people who insist their dog "won't bite" when my twin 5-year-olds go running over to pet them. How the hell do they know if their dog will bite? It's an animal, for God's sake, and there's no way to predict what it will or will not do. I'm a cat person and really don't like the fact that all of our neighbors on the cul-de-sac have acquired dogs. Two houses away from us is an enormous German Shepherd and the owners scold my kids for not approaching the dog correctly. I started picking my kids up at school so we wouldn't have to deal with all the dogs the parents brought to the bus stop. Why are dog owners so sure that everyone loves dogs? I also wonder how much pleasure these people really get from their dogs which they have to constantly walk and dutifully pick up huge piles of crap. Yuck. I'll take a kitty over slobbery dog breath any day.
— Anonymous, Md.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good pet like most of us do. Unfortunately, I suffer from severe canine anxiety. A condition most likely formed from multiple accidental dog bites/attacks in my youth. These attacks were unprovoked and considered to be a case of "wrong place - wrong time". However, they have left me scarred in such a way that I will not enter any residence or place of business that has a loose dog about, even if it is a friend’s pet that I have met before. If an owner is walking a dog toward me on the sidewalk, I have to move very clearly out of the way. My point is this, I am seeing a huge increase in the willingness of pet owners to take their beloved creatures everywhere they go and it terrifies me. I need a "service human" along to help me cope with this anxiety. No kidding. Friends have to run interference, gauge the animal's behavior before I enter a residence, etc. Where, then, are my rights??? I thought the current base of pet laws provided owners and their pets with adequate quality time. What's wrong with a dog park? Or keeping crowded public transit pet-free, except service dogs, and I mean the kind that lead visually-impaired people around. They make pills for anxiety, take one!
— Ryan, San Francisco
I must admit that I frequently bring my Italian Greyhound with me whenever I can. Moving to Virginia from Sicily was a culture shock for me and my miniature dog since Europe doesn't have all the pet restrictions that busybody America does. My dog is cleaner, quieter and better behaved than any of the dirty-faced, obnoxious 3-year-old humans I am forced to tolerate in restaurants, movie theatres and galleries. Now, I will agree that not all dogs are appropriate in public settings. Americans seem obsessed with these monstrously huge breeds like retrievers and Rottweilers or with vicious breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers. Sure, people who insist on bringing these behemoths to a tiny sidewalk cafe are rude and just asking for trouble but those of us who have chosen true companion breeds of moderate to small size should be made to pay for the stupidity of people who select their breed based solely on the fashion of the moment.
— Buddy, Portsmouth, Virg.
I love my dog more than I do most of my relatives, but there are boundaries in polite society. I would no more consider bringing uninvited pets somewhere than I would consider showing up with extra, uninvited people. That's just simple courtesy.
— Susan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yes I take my dog (a 3lb. Chihuahua/toy poodle) with me everywhere. She is a service animal. I suffer from severe depression and social anxiety disorders. If it were not for her I would not be able to leave the house. She has this great sense of what to do when I become overwhelmed or about to have an anxiety attack. I have papers for her when asked about the dog in grocery stores/restaurants. She sits quietly next to me in restaurants or in/on my purse while I shop. Many restaurants send out food for her but she's not allowed to eat it there (so she doesn't beg during the meal). I get angry when I see some of these people attempting to take their dogs into places...it makes it harder for those of us who actually need them. I have had one store manager at a local grocery store and a waitress actually start YELLING at me about her. Even though the law states I don't have to disclose my disability — in these situations I am forced to tell them and give them a card with the U.S. Department of Justice ADA division phone number on it so they can educate themselves on the law. I don't go to very many places but I now have my regular stores/restaurants and they welcome us every time. (Kroger’s and CVS in my area seem to have the most educated people about the law so I only shop with them). I was even given a hard time at the Social Security office - a federal office building - about her. Just because I don't wear a physical disability does not mean she does not assist me in having a life. If you’re unsure about the reasons as to why the dog is there - just ask. Those of us who are legal will have the paperwork.
— Service dog owner, Mich.
I bring my Chihuahua absolutely everywhere with me! He flies with me under my seat about once a month. He makes shopping, dinner, swimming, partying, and movie going, etc. more fun. Nobody ever seems to mind...they think he's adorable. The few places I've been told he's not allowed, don't get my business anymore. If the dog is very well behaved, I don't see the problem. Unlike cats, dog allergies are very uncommon. Kids are far more annoying and noisy, and yet, they seem to be allowed everywhere. My dog is my child, and if some people can't accept that, then they won't be a part of my life.
— Alli, San Diego
I have stopped shopping at The Body Shop, which welcomes dogs, after nearly being attacked by a large dog while its owner and the store clerk chatted away at the other end of the store.
— Ardith, San Francisco
I just can't believe how ridiculous this is! If a person is so unbalanced that they can't go to a restaurant without their stupid dog, I don't want to be around them! My safety is at risk! Are these people that self-absorbed that they think their dog is more entitled than a person? Or just that inconsiderate? With all the things going on in this world, this is the best cause they could come up with? I am astounded!
— Elaine, Charlotte, N.C.
Animals, who by and large are better behaved, smell better and are much cuter than most people's children, should be allowed everywhere. Period. I would sooner have a dog running around the theatre while I watch Pirates of the Caribbean than tolerate some yapping child whose parents can't afford a babysitter and hauled the cretin along with them. Animals are equal in dignity to any human animal any day of the week. Enough persecution is visited upon non-human animals on this planet — we should cherish and celebrate the truly divine nature of these beings amongst us and not bar them from anywhere.
— Shane,Manitoba, Canada
My two sister-in-laws bring their (large) dogs everywhere. They will not visit our house because I will not let them bring their pets as I am uncomfortable about having them in my home. We have given up inviting them for a weekend because they complain about spending money for a kennel or pet sitter, so we are the ones who spend the money to drive or fly to visit them — they both live in different states, several hours from us. (By the way, we are the ones who least can afford it.) They act like I am the "bad guy" but in reality, their attitudes are interfering with their family relationships, and it frustrates and saddens me and my family. Sadly, it will probably never change, but thanks for letting me vent!
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