Leave Your Dog at Home

So you think your dog is ready for a hike in the wilderness. Think again. Despite what you think about your dog it does not belong in the woods unless you are prepared to let it go join a pack of dogs. Your dog is an animal. No matter how cute you dress it up, no matter how well behaved it is, no matter how well you know it (hopefully not in the biblical sense), it is still an animal. Every year more than 14 million people are bitten. The most common phrase heard after a dog bite is “he (or she) never did that before!”

There is a reason your dog walks on all fours instead of upright. There is a reason your dog runs from tree to tree squirting its scent. There is a reason your dog has no shame about defecating in public. The reason is YOUR DOG IS AN ANIMAL! Anyone who thinks otherwise is really abusing their pet. Dogs don’t want to be human. They want to be dogs. If you want a child either have one or adopt one. But please don’t torture your dog by trying to turn it into a human for your pleasure. It is a dog. It wants to be a dog. If you can’t treat it like one then maybe you shouldn’t own a dog. (Yes, I said “own” because dogs are personal property whether you like it or not.)

So if your dog is an animal then why shouldn’t it be in the woods with the other animals? For the opposite reason that a bear should not be a house pet. Because your dog is NOT A WILD ANIMAL AND THE BEAR IS!

When humans go into the woods they are expected to obey the rules for the benefit of the human community. Dogs don’t know those rules and even if they did they wouldn’t care about those rules BECAUSE THEY ARE ANIMALS!

And please spare me the “but my dog always listen…my dog is better behaved than most humans…my dog would never bite anyone…my dog would never leave my side if told to stay…” Every day 11 postal service employees are bitten by people who make similar claims about their dogs. It is not the dogs’ fault. Dogs bite things. It is part of their nature, part of being a dog. Owners who don’t control their dogs and who think their dogs poop ice cream are to blame.

A telling case is the November 2007 Alabama-Auburn football game during which a highly trained K-9 dog bit one of the players. The player had just made a defensive play in the end zone that carried him near the backside of the end zone. There were several police officers lining the end of the field with their highly trained K-9 dogs for crowd control. As the player turned to return to the field, one of the two dogs near him lunged out and bit his hand. The other dog did as it was trained. It sat unresponsive waiting for its trainer’s command. But the one highly trained dog, which “never did anything like that before” reacted on instinct rather than training and chomped on what it saw as threat, a meal, a toy, or whatever. The video on YouTube then shows the handler leading the dog off the field as it wags its tail in delight. Oh…how cute….

If your response is “but everyone can attest that my dog is obedient…blah..blah..blah…” then you have not been thinking about what you just read. The focus is not on what your dog hasn’t yet done. The focus is on what your dog is likely to do BECAUSE IT IS A DOG! Having ten people say “well…he never did that before” is no different than having one say it. Wait…maybe it is different. It establishes that there are ten idiots instead of just one.

So please be responsible and leave the pooch at home. If you can’t do that then stay home with it because neither of you belongs in the woods with other humans.

                                           — Nogods

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