An Open Letter to all the Dog Owners, In my Neighborhood and the World Beyond

I remain in a constant bewildered state at why I have to put up with your dogs running off your lawn and up to me, barking and jumping, and pouncing. I need to inform you that this is:

a) against the law and

b) an inconsiderate infringement on my right to take a peaceful, safe walk down my street.

Please don’t think me an animal-hater. I am well aware this is not an animal problem, it is a people problem.

I regularly see dogs given the free reign of the streets. Such dogs often meander up on other’s lawns and well, you know what dogs do. My trash has been torn apart, my lawn has been “fertilized,” and my little boy has been run on by others’ pets.

I have discussed the matter with you, and while some of you have apologized and are reasonable in trying to understand my position, with others the reaction is one of complete awe and shock: Why, my dog would never hurt anyone.

I gotta tell ya, that’s a difficult thing to believe when your dog, the one the size of a small bear, runs to my child’s stroller barking and growling with no apparent intention of slowing down once he gets there. This is the very reason I have to take walks armed with a can of mace.

I have news for you: it’s not my responsibility to determine whether or not your dog is being playful or aggressive.

And the other ridiculous excuse? My dogs are our children, we don’t keep them fenced up.  Really? So you allow your human children to run around the neighborhood, growling, jumping, and peeing in the grass?

I see.

Let me be clear. I don’t hate your pets. I would, in fact, like to encourage you to treat them with respect:  train them, take them for regular walks, allow them plenty of exercise, and keep them off the roads and out of traffic. It’s certainly no less than what I do for my (human) child.


There’s no desire within me to inflict injury on any animal, but I’ve had enough. And the next time a large dog comes bounding off your lawn and makes a beeline for my kid, you just be thankful that mace is the only thing I have.