I just had an extremely unpleasant encounter with a dog owner that makes me question just how we’ve crossed the line to dogs having more rights than people.
Today, I was waiting outside for my child’s bus to arrive after school. I live in Poulsbo Place, which is a haven for dog owners. Many regularly walk their dogs in the neighborhood. And many, many times I have unknowingly stepped in feces in the curbside grass or had to avoid feces on the sidewalk directly in front of my own front-door sidewalk.
It’s an ongoing problem.
Today, I watched as a woman’s dogs defecated in the grass in the same spot where my child gets off the school bus. She gave them treats as a reward. I initiated conversation and explained that was the area where my child’s bus dropped him off and would she please refrain from having her dogs use it. She told me that it was a public area for dog use and she couldn’t control where her dogs defecated. She also told me that whatever feces we stepped in wasn’t from her dogs (she cleans up after them) and my child could depart the bus and walk in another area further from our house.
I realize dogs are allowed to defecate and urinate on the street side of public sidewalks. However, I was simply asking her to move her dogs a short way away from the exact spot where my child daily exits his school bus. It’s mere steps away from our front door.
I was so frustrated by the conversation that I’ll admit I even said “shame on you” when I realized the woman would not extend future courtesy or consideration of my request.
Yes, dog owners may be within their “rights” to allow their dogs to defecate and urinate in front of my house, but what about my child’s rights to exit a school bus on grass and a sidewalk in front of our home that hasn’t been used as a toilet?