Monday, May 17, 2010

Underneath the radar

I think that active dog owners spend a lot of time flying underneath the radar. The nail that sticks out gets hammered. Society has built up many many rules surrounding dogs and dog ownership and those rules vary widely. The State of Tennessee has a fairly loose leash law stating that the dog must be under control of the owner, however just about anywhere you turn parks and cities 'strengthen' that law to requiring a leash. For example in Brentwood: "City ordinance requires dogs and cats to be kept on a leash whenever they are not on the owner’s property." Now if this is the way the actual ordinance is phrased it would mean that one could not take their dog to a friends house and let him run in a fenced area. Kassa is not an off leash dog, however these rules certainly can have an impact because they limit what one can do in fenced public areas.
I think there are three golden rules to consider when stretching the limits.
  1. Don't be seen. People love to complain. People have a sense of territory and entitlement. Even if you are not competing with anyone for the space and you are causing no harm, people will still complain. The fewer people around the smaller the probability someone will complain.
  2. If you are seen and confronted don't be confrontational or aggressive. Be calm and just leave. You don't want to make your presence someone's mission when you don't have a legal leg to stand on.
  3. Don't leave a trace. Preferably leave an area better than you found it. Of course pick up after your dog. It also can mean picking up trash that others have left lying around.
I got greedy and forgot rule number 1. I won't do so again.

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