What’s a Dog to Do Around Here?

By WENDY McCLURE | Jul 04, 2018

I never realized how anti-dog people are until I moved to this area. Let me introduce you to my girl Tucker. She’s a Jack Russell terrier/poodle mix, otherwise known as a Jack-a-poo and is probably the greatest dog ever. (I may be a little biased, but she thinks she’s pretty great too!)

I got Tucker when she was 8 weeks old and weighed 2½ pounds. We lived in Philadelphia at the time and lots of walks were in order, to try to get that potty training down. We mostly walked around the grass in my apartment complex but did venture down the busy city sidewalks for a short joust every day. She would often stop and sniff at deposits left by her fellow canines, no longer seen, but a nose knows what has once been there. I would allow her to contribute her own offerings at the edge of people’s lawns. As anyone who has ever walked a dog knows, they like to do this many times during a trek around the neighborhood. 

We spent weekends on LBI and she adjusted to “going” on stones. I would walk her down the street and, again, it was the edge of people’s yards where she would make her numerous deposits. I would even drop a poopy bag in a trash can if it was close to the street. I didn’t think any of this was a problem. I was wrong.

Since moving to Beach Haven West full time and joining the many Facebook community boards, I have been told that it is rude and disrespectful to allow your dog on anyone else’s property even if it’s cleaned up. And how dare I use someone else’s trash can for my poopy bag. I’m sorry, I thought trash cans were for trash. My mistake. Listen, if I need to carry a bag full of poop for our 15-minute walk to put it in my own can, so be it. If it will keep the peace it is the least I can do.

But when it comes to using the edge of people’s property, what is a walking dog supposed to do?

I looked up the curb-your-dog law, which says you are supposed to guide your dog to go off the curb on the side of the street. We don’t have any curbs in my neighborhood. Not that I think she would go there anyway; she’s been trained to “go” on grass and stones. But would we rather see dog urine running down the street than have them go on the edge of a yard in some stones where it will be contained?

Look, I get that you would rather not have this sort of thing going on in your yard, but they are stones. How clean do you think it really is? Isn’t this just part of living and sharing space with other creatures? I love the ducks, but I don’t tell them they are being disrespectful of my property when they poop on the deck. And they do that a lot!

I understand that my dog shouldn’t be your problem and I don’t think she is if I take her solid deposits with me. Am I not supposed to walk my dog down my own street? Is that what the people in my community are telling me? Are we anti-dog?

Aren’t we supposed to live and let live, in order to get along with everyone? Is this really that big of a deal? I certainly deal with things I don’t necessarily want to but keep my trap shut to keep the peace.

What is a dog owner to do? Sorry, Tucker. I guess there will be no more walks for you.

Wendy McClure of Beach Haven West is the morning show co-host at 107.1 The Boss, heard on 99.7 in Southern Ocean County.




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