But not everyone likes dogs, and we can't expect them too. Some like obedient, quiet dogs. Some don't mind the yappy ones. Some people think they shouldn't be kept as pets.
Lots of Barking Mad members tell me they don't understand HOW people can not love animals. I'm told almost daily about the direct correlation between cruel treatment of animals and cruel treatment of humans.
I think it is our obligation as responsible pet owners to accept and understand some peoples dislike of man's best friend. As we understand more of our rights, and as we do expand our access to more beaches, parks, transport and accommodation, no doubt the opposing view will be aired as well.
On the subject of RIGHTS. We have so many more then we are led to believe! We have new information from NSW Lands about Council's legal right to fine us (or not) on the beach below the High Water Mark. We have an interesting clause in the discrimination act referring to a 'trainned' animal. We have the railway dog (and goat) carriage rules. We have Manly Council actively allowing dogs within 10 metres of a playground even though this is 'an offense'.
There is simply no reason to put up with draconian restrictions about where you can take your pooch any more. Change is never easy and we are working on it several ways:
- changing legislation (hopefully in the next session of NSW Parliament)
- challenging restrictions in court or with whatever authority put this in place
- debunking myths about 'hygiene, health, food' etc.
Most importantly, by being responsible with our dog when we are out in the community. Sure, some people may say I'm not be responsible to society when I travel on the bus with Pema - because I'm doing something that many people think I "am not allowed" to do. Well - they are wrong, I am allowed, but I don't have to change their view. I make sure I have a clean and quiet pooch that doesn't take up a seat, bark, slobber or wee. If someone takes the seat next to us and doesn't want to be by the dog - I'm the one who offers to move away.
Summing up - assert your rights, respecting those people that may not respect you for doing so.