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Posted on Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Hey, Ann Arbor - put your dog on a leash. A short one.

By Juliana Keeping

(Editor's note: This column has been revised to remove a sentence that did not clearly convey the meaning that the writer intended. We recognize that many people who read the column understandably misinterpreted the sentence as a threat against pets, and in recognition of that, we have agreed to strike the sentence from the column. A misspelling also has been corrected. We appreciate the feedback we received on this issue and we will always seek to be responsive to the concerns of the community.)

Hey, you there.

You, with your meandering dog running through the park. You, assigning your 70-pound child to walk your 100-pound brute. You, with your vicious, unchained pet sitting on the porch, eyeing passers-by.

Yeah, you. You know who you are.

Your dog — it’s not cute. I don’t trust it. It scares me. Put it on a leash. Control that thing. I don’t like your animal.

It's something I've been wanting to tell you for a long time. Hmm, let's see. Ever since I moved to Ann Arbor.

We live in a town with at least 2,074 licensed dogs but no animal control officer. Not since 2008.

In prior years, an animal control officer or two patrolled parks and responded to calls to enforce our city’s leash law and other aspects of the city code governing animal owners in town. The laws are aimed at keeping people and animals safe and vicious pets and those who own them in check. Police now do the best they can, with less. Even less than last month, thanks to recent layoffs.

That’s right. We have a leash law, citizens! It states your animal has to be under reasonable control. If it’s not, you’re subject to a $120 fine under the civil infraction. You should keep your animal under reasonable control if it’s on a leash, too.

Tales of dog owner incompetence run deep in this town.

I’ve got my own beef with clueless dog owners who flout the idea their precious animal dare be subjected to “reasonable control.”

First, there was that neighbor's dog. West side. Duplex. What kind was that giant gray beast, besides obviously five times too big for its dwelling?

There, it waited. Hungrily. For passers by. Like, the 8-months-pregnant me. Who it charged. Off of its leash, as usual. It looked menacing and bared its teeth and barked. And then it charged me again. Off its leash. As I carried a 3-month-old infant in from the car.

Finally, I talked to the owners.

"Hey," I said. "I'm sure you're dog's real sweet and all," I lied, "but, it scares me. And I have a baby now. Could you keep it on a leash?"

"Yeah, sorry," the neighbor said.

They did.

But I was left wondering, "Why did I have to ask? "

They heeded our wish, but still let Rover roam the city parkland down the street, scaring all the parents of tiny children near by.

Hey, you. Yeah you. Your dog's a menace to society.

I moved out of the neighborhood.

But I couldn't escape inconsiderate dog owners.

Enter "Faith” the German shepherd.

I wasn't there, that time.

My husband was. Walking our 1-year-old daughter. That's when "Faith" galloped toward the both of them. My husband put himself in between the dog and the baby, bracing for the unknown.

"Oh! Oh Faith," cried the owner. "Not everyone wants kisses!"

Wrong. No one wants sloppy kisses from your pet. Keep it away from my child. And put it on a leash.

Don't get me started on the Hoyt G. Post Trail.

That's the boardwalk through a delicate portion of the Huron River watershed ecology in Washtenaw County's Parker Mill Park. The path is clearly marked "No dogs."

Some dog-owner scofflaw actually took the time to spray red paint across the "No dogs" portion of the sign.



Oh, here’s an idea! How about you find some of the other dozens and dozens of miles of trails to walk on in this county. And let me have one place to walk without running into your Labrapugoodle. Or whatever it is.

Might I remind all of you of Ato the Akita?


Akitas look sweet, but keep them on a leash.

Photo by Flickr user nhat.le

Ato may have fallen from the public consciousness, but the dog lives on in city attorney’s office folklore.

Over there, they tell me a story about a newspaper carrier who placed a paper inside a resident’s screen door about a dozen years ago. Ato, the sleeping beast, awakened as the screen door slammed. The dog busted through the door and mauled the newsboy. The boy’s doctor said it was the worst dog bite case he’d ever seen. The paper carrier needed reconstructive surgery.

Police went after the owner under a criminal charge for possessing a vicious animal. For the only time in recent history, a judge ordered the owners to terminate the animal.

While Ato awaited execution, dog-nappers broke into the Humane Society of Huron Valley and liberated him. The owners spent thousands on multiple attorneys to fight the criminal charge before a jury acquitted them.

It gets even worse.

A pit bull on an Ann Arbor porch a decade or so ago ran from its stoop to charge an elderly passer by. The dog knocked the woman over, breaking her hip. She died 90 days later of complications.

Oh, whoops. There goes the big bad media again, tarnishing the image of the sacred "pit." If you want to complain, tell my husband's childhood friend. She had half of her scalp ripped off of her head by a pit bull in Chicago at 2 years old. When was the last time you heard a story about a golden retriever pulling off that move? My bad. I'm sure these were just isolated incidents.

Except an Ann Arbor city attorney told me that the majority of animal bite incident cases handled by the office involve pit bulls.

News flash, dog owners: your best friend bites.

Dog bites have picked up since May 1, Washtenaw County Public Health Department officials told me. They’ve investigated 12 since then.

Within the last month, sources tell me a dog attacked a certain circuit court judge as the judge strolled by Kilwin’s on East Liberty Street. The leashed pet bit the judge on the hand.

Bad move, dog owner.

I'm sure many more bites go unreported. Because no one seems to want to offend a dog owner, no matter how reckless or inconsiderate they are with their pet. Hopefully, I’ve offended all of them, for all of us. I’ll bear the hate mail to wake up the inconsiderate minority. So now it’s up to you, leash law scofflaws. And us, offended citizens. Start following the rules and reporting flagrant violations.

Get a clue, dog owners of Ann Arbor. You're out of control.

Put a copy of Chapter 107 of the city code up on your fridge, right by your kid’s report card.

Put your dog on a leash.

A short one.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter


Tate Redwolf

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

While you are entitled to your opinion I think it stinks to high heaven. You are apparently not an animal lover, and this will have no effect on you at all. But you are just a nasty person, and I really feel genuinely sorry that you will more than likely find peace. Anyone that has this much anger towards all animals(even ones licking a child, and showing love), has defiantly got some underlying issues. So until you fix whatever is wrong in your life, I would say you shouldn't report on anything. Part of reporting is not taking sides, but being open to all sides of a story. You are not. And not only that, but it clearly is effecting your work ethic. Because I find it hard to believe a company would take you on as anything with your poor writing skills shown in this article. This statement alone"By the way, if your menacing beast, with its bad breath and muscular jaws, comes near me and my child, I will end your pet." shows you need some serious therapy. Anyone who wishes do do harm to an animal, will ultimately do it to a human. That's where serial Killers start. I can only hope that annharbor will get you the help you need, before you lash out and victimize a person, or animal. And trying to bastardize Pitbulls, or Akitas is not only wrong, but you clearly are another misinformed person. Pitbulls this year ranked 120 on temperament test well above many other breeds, so let me take you to school. First Off the most decorated war dog's in the US militaries history, are Pitbulls. First dog to live in the white house Pitbulls. Woman & child saved in Florida by an attacker, saved by a stray Pitbull they had never met. Family saved from 6 different house fires in the last 5 years Pitbulls. Search team after 9/11 that searched for bodies, Pitbulls. I would read The Pitbull Placebo free ebook if I was you. And also to back up FACT's!

Tate Redwolf

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

? Staffordshire Bull Terrier 88.8% ? (Mixed Breed) 85.3% ? American Pit Bull Terrier (Pit Bull) 84.3% Golden Retriever 84.2% ? German Shepherd Dog 83.5% ? American Staffordshire Terrier 83.4% ? Rottweiler 82.6% ? Vizsla 82.6% Jack Russell Terrier 82.1% Cocker spaniel 81.7% Collie 79.4% Pembroke Welsh Corgi 77.5% Shih Tzu 77.5% Pomeranian 75.0% Chihuahua 70.3% Pit Bull Breed Facts and the Un-Warranted Negative Stigma Unfortunately in today's society many people are ignorant about the American Pit Bull Terrier ( APBT ) dog breed. Because of this ignorance, proliferation by the media of false data and by the false reports of individuals, the Pit Bull has went from a highly respected and desired pet to one that is unfairly judged, and in many cases around the world, are seized due to prohibition of ownership laws known as Breed Specific Legislation ( BSL ). Additionally laws have been developed and rules established by "so called" humane organizations, which seek to practice euthanasia on these animals without even the opportunity of adoption or being sent to rescue associations. This unfair stigma has hurt the Pit Bull more than any other breed of dog and caused unrealistic fear within much of the general community. It is of the utmost importance for us as lovers of these beautiful and majestic animals to not promote this unfair negative stigma and counteract such negativism with truth both by example and word. To help promote the truth it is important for us to recognize the studies that have taken place which prove the true nature of the Pit Bull dog breed. Farmers Branch, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has kept accurate records since 1980. During a 7 year period from 1980 through 1987, this is what was recorded. Total bites: 1,593.

Jack Gladney

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

I cannot believe that nearly 12 hours after its posting, this article promoting vigilante canine justice ("I will end your pet") is still up on this site. I have made note of the companies who sponsor this call to arms, and will find alternate sources for my needs. I will also hold responsible for every helpless canine creature who is put to death by people such as Ms. Looking, taking the dog catcher's authority into their own hands.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

Ann Arbor.Com has lowered itself lower than I thought possible. It's appalling that you give this prejudiced person a public forum to spew her clear hatred of dogs. Why doesn't she just join the "Right to Carry" groups and just shoot any "menacing beast, with its bad breath and muscular jaws". This is just another reason why I read this "rag" less and less.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

This got my attention! The problem is, fellow dog owners and lovers, with the exception of her venting comment at the end, the author is technically correct and we need to be vigilant about others' rights and sensitivities. I do have my dog off leash at times in certain locations including private property where the leash law does not apply. My dog needs a lot of exercise and I thoroughly enjoy the chance to let him run and play with other dogs. However, even when I have the legal right to have my dog off leash, I am responsible for my dog's actions, just as I was my children's and the author is for her's. Bottom line: We all need to take our responsibilities to heart, do the best we can - and maybe better than we're doing, and, importantly, be tolerant of a person's mistakes and the rights of others to advocate for their and everyone 's safety.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

As a life time ANN ARBOR native, dog owner and a professional pet sitter I DO AGREE that everyone should leash their dogs. Yes your dog might be trained to walk along with you but MOST dogs are interested in other dogs and WILL run to greet them no matter what you the dog owner is saying. I walk a few dog aggressive dogs ON LEASH in Ann Arbor and I am constantly on guard for those of you out there that think it's OK to walk your dogs off leash or just let your dog out in your unfenced yard to hang out, as many of you assume that all people love dogs and ALL DOGS LOVE OTHER DOGS. Hate to tell you that your dog is in danger of being seriously injured or KILLED by my leashed dog if it runs up to us - not much I can do about that and who is at fault!? I am a dog lover but I still don't want to be plowed over and jumped on by your 90lb lab with you calling out "IN COMING" as if warning me is enough and makes his behavior OK. Be a responsible dog owner, leash your dog or fence your yard. OH and can you please PICK UP THE POOP!? Now about this article - WOW I can not believe the editor let this go through! I understand your frustration and concern for your baby but this is unprofessional writing for a news paper and should be for your own PERSONAL BLOG if you wanted to VENT. I found this article to be threatening and your negative energy can trigger any dog to growl or bite YOU. I hope you don't go through life hating dogs, most are wonderful and you wont do your child any good making it clear that you HATE dogs thus instilling fear in them from the start. Remember it's the people that need to get a clue.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

I agree, dear. A responsible dog owner will keep their dog on a leash when walking, and a fenced in yard at home. Having said that, the angry tone of your post suggests a deeper issue you might have with dogs. When I am approached by an unleashed, aggressive dog. I hold my hand out and yell "NO! BACK!" and continue on my way. Dogs sense fear. Don't show it. I own a very well trained registered therapy dog (Alaskan Malamute) who weighs about 90 pounds. Most people we pass wish to pet her. She is not a brute. If I sense fear from an approaching person or dog, I draw her in. She is always under my control. I certainly hope you raise your children to respect dogs, not fear them. They are a gift to humankind.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

I got censored, for what? I wrote about taking any issue and showing only the bad side of it and how one could do that on almost any subject. I wrote that the person writing this article should have been censored herself and that she might want to make herself "scarce" around town for a while. I called her a whinertoo. For this I get censored?

Paula Gardner

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7 p.m.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment, whether it was positive or negative reaction to the topic , or critical of how it was presented. I just wanted to step in and say that I edited this column and encouraged its development. During that editing process, Juliana made some changes, additions and deletions. This was written because she felt passionately about it after specific experiences she's had in Ann Arbor. I also liked that the column expressed passion, even if the voice and tone wouldn't appeal to all readers. As I look at the comments this afternoon, I'm recognizing the concern expressed about the "end your pet" part of the column. It's a roadblock for a reader and one that I didn't recognize in the editing process- I didn't see it as something that would be interpreted as a literal threat. My journey as a reader of the column was influenced by the story of the akita here (for some reason, i didn't recall it at all). I was focused on how owning a pet is a privilege and not a right, and that people can lose it by being irresponsible owners. The phrasing, as I was interpreting it, challenged whether people would be allowed to keep a dog and not a threat of physical harm to one.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Thank you for your apology, Paula. However, I would have been more impressed if the writer had explained her position more fully. This should have been an opinion piece, IMHO.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Thank you for addressing this topic Paula. I think it was necessary. But I also have to call you out on your misunderstanding of what was meant by "end your pet" comment. The statement "end your pet" is completely unambiguous.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

what a crock. how else could one interpret that remark? you seem to recognize plenty of comments that should not b e censored, but you do it anyway. Then you have the audacity to say you didn't recognize the tone of your writer? Please-spare me


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Thank you Juliana for saying what needed to be said. My daughter is a cross country runner and is scared of dogs that run after her barking and nipping at her. Then, she has to stop while the owner calls off the dog and tells her how friendly the dog is. She is scared of these dogs. Endless hours are spent developing "dog-free" routes. Or, a family member needs to accompany her on a bike. I am sure these dogs are wonderful but they need to stay in their own yards. As an aside, she has never had this problem with a child. And thank-you to the jogger for the water gun with the water/ammonia mixture solution.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:58 p.m.

So Ms. Keeping will "End a dog" if it gets to close to her and you advocate spraying dogs with ammonia? What is wrong with you people?


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Great Article. Just as owners of pets need to control their pets, parents need to control their children. The problem is that in todays society, no one want to take responsibility for themselves.

Linda Diane Feldt

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

i once owned a dangerous dog, with severe fear aggression issues. There was no question that he couldn't be around kids, other animals, joggers appearing suddenly, bikes going by, scats, squirrels. He went as crazy about dogs on TV as he would if a car pulled up next to us with a dog. I kep him on leash even if holding on meant I was thrown over backwards, injuring myself. Coming to the understanding that something was truly wrong with him (he was never abused, he had puppy classes and more socialization than my dog who became an awesome therapy dog) was the most heartbreaking experience I had ever had to deal with up until then. This sort of article doesn't help. And it doesn't say anything about pet owners who do indeed have problem dogs - for whatever reasons - and what to do. And what people who encounter those dogs should do. I agreed with his breeder that he should be euthanized. All that stood between him and someone being injured (most likely me) was my ability to control him and his environment. I couldn't guarantee that. Some of us are responsible, to the point of making that final most awful decision. Education, awareness, being willing to talk about the hardest parts of this intersection of dogs, dog lovers, and the larger community, would be helpful. Inciting hatred and further misunderstandings really don't help. Ironically, it is socialization that makes the best dogs in our community. If you keep them away, they never learn how to behave. And kids don't learn how to approach a dog safely and with pleasure. And adults lump all dogs and dog owners together if the well behaved well socialized dogs are excluded. And yes, my dog is always on leash in the woods and walking downtown. For her safety first, but also because I think it's the right thing to do. But give me some credit - and others who have done the same - for keeping my truly dangerous dog away from your kids and animals, even though he paid the ultimate price for it.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

It looks like the sign actually said "NO DOCS", referring to overpriced doctors who chase the ambulances carrying weary Ann Arbor joggers who get splinters and hang nails from the woodn pathways. This was an attempt to control spiraling healthcare costs which some loathsome doctor tried to obliterate. Ann Arbor doesn't have a dog problem, it has a dog owner problem. These problem dog owners have children who are also problems, too, for the same reasons.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

oh look! surprise surprise the number of comments removed including some of mine b/c of conversation quidelines. Clearly lets their "writers" dish it out but they can't take it. Another instance where has taken up space with non insightful writing, this time in the form of a rant. I certainly hope this wasn't a paid for "opinion"


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Ms. Keeping, You may want to put a copy of CHAPTER 750. of the MICHIGAN PENAL CODE, specifically chapter 750.50B up on YOUR fridge right next to the photos of your newborn. I know this is and not the New York Times, but holy mackerel. A finer "Rant" may be hard to find, but a news article labeled "column?" I honestly think the management and Ms. Keepings bosses need to make a statement regarding this unusual "News Article"


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

180 comments are far too many for an article about dogs on leashes or lack thereof. This article was merely posted to take up space online. There is a reason Ann Arbor News went out of business, it wasn't because of great reporting and a plethora of stories.

steve h

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

PS. Make sure to raise them right so they don't drink and drive and hurt someone else. Make sure they don't make fun of others(bully), rob people and ah, litter.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

Clearly a cat person.

Matt Cooper

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

Dogs are animals, and act as animals will. They don't reason and they don't have sensibilities. Their natural drives for food, sex, protection of their master and territory cannot be unlearned. That said, it is NOT socities responsibility to avoid your dog so as to not be harmed. Rather, it is YOUR responsibility to leash your dog so as to prevent it from harming. This is the most fundamental part of pet ownership, and why people think they and their beloved dog are exempt from any and all responsibility for leashing (and as well for cleaning up after Fido when he takes a dump in someone elses yard), I will never know. Perhaps, sadly, it will take their precious mutt biting someone and inflicting a life altering injury and consequently having to be put down before they understand that when dogs bite someone, it is 1. a forseeable danger, and 2. it is the owners job to stop it from happening long before it ever becomes a reality.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Gosh, I really agree with you about keeping dogs on leashes, but honestly, your threat is just poor, unprofessional reporting. I see you updated the article and removed the threat but even given that, I will be cancelling my subscription & advertising now.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

What business do you advertise for?

Matt Cooper

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

I am appalled at the level to which some people have stooped in the comments here. To make the type of personal attacks against the writer and/or her family (one poster referred to Ms. Keeping's child as a "screaming thing" that needs to be "muzzled")simply because you disagree with her point of view is moronic, childish and totally ignorant of the fact that people are threatened by other peoples dogs every day, and that it is the owners responsibility to keep the dog on a leash and not the rest of society's responsibility to avoid said dog because the owner is too self-centered to think that they might have to follow the laws of society and keep their pet leashed. If you want to argue the points she raised, argue them. But leave the personal attacks out of it lest you make total fools of yourselves and prove the authors point for her.

Christy Summerfield

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Any dog is capable of biting. I have three adopted, older mini dachshunds who are well-trained and I keep tight control of them when we walk. They are gentle & loving but very protective and I take no chances. I have so much resentment toward Mr. Schofflaw & others like him who think the law applies to everyone but them--so many people think they & their precious doges are the exceptions to the rule. Believe me, Mr. S., your dog is very capable of attacking a person or another dog. Any animal expert will tell you that. One of my little ones was attacked for no apparent reason, by a neighborhood springer spaniel and nearly died. The exact same thing happened to a neighbor who was walking her mini-doxie on a leash. Tell me Mr. S, suppose your extraordinary trained-to-walk-off-leash dog were attacked by another extraordinary, trained-to-walk- off-leash dog. I live in a neighborhood full of lovely, open, park-like space. I cannot walk my dogs in these park-like areas because too frequently there are dogs running around off-leash, owned by people just like Mr. S. Plus, these beautiful open areas are full of dog poop because these same people who think their dogs are special, also think their dogs' poop doesn't smell, won't leach into the ground water and won't stick to the bottom of my shoes like other dogs' poop will. And your gratuitous criticism of the author's writing only shows a pettiness and adds nothing to the conversation. Poor writing is a pet peeve of mine too but that's a separate discussion for another time. Nothing will save your dog should it attack & maim a child. And it would be your fault, not the dog's. Your little dog needs a responsible owner, one who will take the best possible care of him. You are not doing that. Bad owner. Bad owner.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

ok lets talk about cats running loose. no law for them. they use the lawns and mulch as a waste area. i think letting cats run loose is a problem. keep you cats inside and let them do the waste where they are supposed to. only thinking of yourself vs your neighbors.

My A2 cents

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Thank you for this important column. Leash laws need to be respected and enforced for the safety of all.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

While I agree with dogs being on leashes and under control, I think Ms. Keeping's hysterical ranting based on her obvious personal fear harms her argument. This is not a rational persuasion that dogs should be leashed and at least one of her statements does sound like a threat of violence. Going back to cite a dog attack from a dozen years ago does nothing to further her argument, either. She couldn't fine a more recent instance? She tries to make it sound like Ann Arbor is overrun with vicious beasts and she fears for her life when she leaves her home. This hyperbole also undermines her argument. Is there a problem? Yes. Is it as bad as this writer wants you to believe? No.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

I think this illustrates a lesson we teach (or should teach) children. "You can have a valid point but if you don't say it nicely, people stop listening."


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Although I have seen many off-leash dogs in the parks, I have never personally seen one that was off-leash be unruly. I understand there are 'dumb' dog owners but for the most part I think people are reasonable and understand the limitations of their "control" over their animal. Well behaved off-leash dogs DO fall under the letter of the law which is, as you stated, "reasonable control", not "MUST be on leash" as you wrongly interpreted. My voice is my dog's "reasonable control" and since she's a large dog no little string would or could actually stop her if she chose to charge, regardless how warm and fuzzy the superfluous little string makes passers-by feel about her level of "control". A well trained dog IS a dog under "control". As far as the incidents that were pointed out in this article, I find they each make me go "hum?" in turn. First, you say a dog charged you while being 8 months pregnant AND carrying your 3 month old child. Well that's very interesting since it would be impossible to both, have a 3 month old AND be 8 months pregnant - ironically, unless you are a dog - so since you started this article with an overblown untruth to support your case, I'm not sure how much of the rest of the article to believe. Second, you said a mail carrier was mauled when they put mail inside a customers door. Well, then wasn't the dog just doing his job?? And lastly, you said a judge was bitten by a leashed dog in it's own yard. What kind of judge doesn't even have the common sense to use good *judgement* and not pet a strange dog?? because if the dog was leashed AND in it's own yard then the only possible cause for the judge getting bit would be that the judge reached out to pet the animal. We all need to compromise to live together in society. I don't like children but I certainly don't demand you stop breeding. Maybe you could give a little too to allow us ALL to live harmoniously here.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

I guess that's my point though - I don't walk my dog off-leash past playgrounds or heavy-traffic walking paths. I respect that some people don't like dogs and I try to comply with their wishes. However, if I'm walking in a deep wooded area I don't think it's too much to ask to allow ME some leniency and let my dog off leash so she can run and play too. As stated, the law says "under reasonable control" which I can prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" simply by recalling her and having her immediately run back to me . My dog is fully trained and "under control" via my voice and that is stronger than any string could ever be. I accept that I have to deal with someone unintelligent enough to allow their kids just to run up to my dog and pet her without asking (she's super submissive so it's not a problem BUT not all dogs are that way obviously) and so I expect others to 'give'/forgive the same annoyances and allow me to control my dog as I see fit. The bottom line is, IMO, that training is key and leash laws certainly haven't stopped dog bites (even when the dog IS on leash). I think taking a more proactive approach - maybe requiring training prior to getting the dogs registration tags?? I dunno - would actually decrease dog bite incidents instead of this demand that all dogs be chained at all times which inevitably (if you know anything about dogs) just creates a more hyper and less socialized animal.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

We aren't asking you to stop breeding dogs either. Maybe you could give a little and just follow the leash law to allow us ALL to live harmoniously here.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Read it again! 2 separate incidents! Makes me go Hmm!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

As a former dog owner, I know I was guilty of letting my sheltie off his leash a few times in the back areas of County farm park. However, he was leashed when we were on trails and around others. That does not excuse me from criticism, as I freely admit. Dogs are great companions, but people have to remember that (a) they are not children (b) do not have the same rights as humans (c) just because you think your dog is wonderful, does not mean that everyone shares that point of view. After our wonderful dog had to be euthanized, I decided that I really am a cat person. Cats do not demand your constant approval, fit easily on a lap, and do not have to be walked and tended by a plastic bag wherever you go. I fully agree with the sentiments in the article. Dogs are unpredictable, and despite our best efforts at educating the public, some owners feel that its is their right to flaunt whatever rules are in place. If you have a fenced-in yard, or access to the Bark park, your dog is free to roam there. Your dog might be fine in all manners of its behavior, but a larger dog with bigger teeth might think your little dog is tasty. Sometimes I think the owners of loose dogs should just be tasered, not the dog. When someone politely asks you to leash your dog, don't be an asshat and keep walking away without doing so. And for those idiots that don't believe in cleaning up after your dog has unleashed a pile of excrement at the edge of the trail in the Arb "where no one will notice" -- my wife really didn't appreciate stepping in the crap when she was working there.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

How come this article which promotes animal abuse is even up? Just asking. Oh, because a staffer wrote it. Another FINE example of why The Deuce has no real paper.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Hey I am a "dog person" although I do not currently have a dog in my home. I agree with the author's perspective. OK, perhaps the delivery could be more subtle, but her point is that subtlety doesn't work! It is scary to see people with dogs that they obviously cannot control. You can tell! They are very unsure of their own ability to control the animal, and they usually laugh it off. C'mon now Duke, let's go.... ughhhh, mmmmm, let's go Duke.... I have learned that dogs must be controlled and their potential for harm respected. When I care for friends' dogs I am careful to keep them on a short leash, especially around children. The truth I've learned is that you never really know what a dog is going to do! My twelve year old got bit last summer at Vet's Park. Luckily, I called the Ann Arbor Police and they responded prompltly. The officer was professional and handled the situation well. My son had an obvious puncture wound, and the owner was denying it! It was 'just a scratch." The officer took the report and followed up with me the following day. The dog was to be housed at the Humane Society for a 10 day period. Well my friend at the Humane Society did a little investigation, and guess what? The dog was not surrendered as ordered! The owner, who volunteered at the Humane Society, had convinced the powers there that the quarantine period was unnecessary. I was incensed! And so was the AAP officer, who made sure that the order was enforced. All's well that end's well? Sure, my kid was fine. I never doubted that. But the dog owner's behavior? Unconscionable.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Way to turn what could have been a nice, reasonable reminder to dog owner to maintain control of their pets into a nasty, rambling, even threatening attack on dogs and their owners. You're obviously not familiar with the "catch more flies with honey" school of thought, are you? I realize that there are a number of thoughtless, careless people in our society and some of them happen to be dog owners but your article is way over the top. I'm an unabashed dog lover and owner and I can't stand dog owners that fail to control (and train) their pets. They are hazards to us all at times. That said, it doesn't give you license to demonize all dog owners or any particular breeds. Perhaps you're unaware that the CDC has never released a list of "highest risk" dogs? From the CDC: "There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill." From the AVMA: "There are several reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds. First, the breed of the biting dog may not be accurately recorded, and mixed-breed dogs are commonly described as if they were purebreds. Second, the actual number of bites that occur in a community is not known, especially if they did not result in serious injury. Third, the number of dogs of a particular breed or combination of breeds in a community is not known, because it is rare for all dogs in a community to be licensed, and existing licensing data is then incomplete. You go ahead and continue spouting threats and ignorance, castigating dog owners and entire breeds for the acts of a few. Your article was nothing more than poorly written tripe.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

I find it interesting that took my comment down, after I stated my feelings that the article was filled with hate and would not have been published had a reader posted the exact same comments, statements and references. Interesting!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

Way to turn what could have been a nice, reasonable reminder to dog owner to maintain control of their pets into a nasty, rambling, even threatening attack on dogs and their owners. You're obviously not familiar with the "catch more flies with honey" school of thought, are you? I realize that there are a number of thoughtless, careless people in our society and some of them happen to be dog owners but your article is way over the top. I'm an unabashed dog lover and owner and I can't stand dog owners that fail to control (and train) their pets. They are hazards to us all at times. That said, it doesn't give you license to demonize all dog owners or any particular breeds. Perhaps you're unaware that the CDC has never released a list of "highest risk" dogs? From the CDC: "There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill." From the AVMA: "There are several reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds. First, the breed of the biting dog may not be accurately recorded, and mixed-breed dogs are commonly described as if they were purebreds. Second, the actual number of bites that occur in a community is not known, especially if they did not result in serious injury. Third, the number of dogs of a particular breed or combination of breeds in a community is not known, because it is rare for all dogs in a community to be licensed, and existing licensing data is then incomplete. You go ahead and continue spouting threats and ignorance, castigating dog owners and entire breeds for the acts of a few. It only strengthen my opinion of your ignorance.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

This is just a symptom of a larger problem. Very few people think that laws and rules of social behavior apply to them. Consider: * bicyclists blowing through stop signs and red lights * jaywalking pedestrians, talking on their cellphones, oblivious to traffic * people talking on cellphones in theatres * people taking crying babies into public spaces * Speeding motorists that justify their speeding by claiming that the speed limit is too low * Motorists attempting to drive, talk on their cellphone and smoke a cigarette at the same time * Dog owners that think that the dog on a leash law applies to everyone else's dog * People who take their shoes off in a crowded airplane If were more considerate of others, and stopped thinking that we were the center of the universe, the world would be a better place.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

Kids cry. It happens. Parents should not be confined to their homes because you don't want to "deal" with it. If a child is having a fit, yes they should probably leave but have you ever considered that maybe the baby is hungry, tired, or has gone poop in their diaper? I guess if parents have to stay home for choosing to have children, smokers shouldn't be allowed out in public either because they chose to smoke and some of us just don't want to inhale it.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Can NOT be said better!!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

I think any of us that are unfortunate enough to be accosted by someones pet will have to decide as individuals what action we need to take. Because as has been demonstrated by the articles about Swans, Parrots and Ducks we will be on the wrong side of PC if we retaliate. And enforcement of any existing laws or ordinances will not happen. Having said that I know what my course of action would be.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

I think. This. Article is. Better in Shatner's. Voice.

Alan Benard

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Dogs are not people. They are animals. Anthropomorphizing them does no one any good. Keep your dog on a leash when not in the dog park. Keep control of your dog. And to the commenter ready to take the $120 chance on a ticket because he/she is a superior dog owner whose genius pet follows all commands at all times -- you are truly a fool who is ready to be convicted of voluntary manslaughter, or assume tens of thousands in liability when your dog slips beyond and mauls someone. Sign me a responsible dog owner.

Dog Guy

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Learn your place! My dog does what I want and you shall put up with my dog's mess, stink, and noise. Just as I am a god to my dog, my dog is a god to you. Now, go clean off your shoes.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Just a few days ago I was enjoying a walk at Bird Hills Park when I was accosted by a very large, possibly a mastiff or great dane, that put it's large slobbering face across my shirt. Several minutes later its human wandered up with two other medium sized dogs, none of which were on leashes, obviously. When I tried to look up where to report this, I couldn't find an answer. While I completely agree with the message of your article here, I would appreciate some NEWS with it, such as how to enforce the laws. And while I do not agree with the concept of threatening someone's pet, I completely agree that if any dog attacked a child I would hope that it would be swiftly dealt with.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

I would report a slobber attack by a mastiff to the nearest dry cleaning store. You never know where that tongue has been. Ask them for extra starch on the collar, too. You want to present your best.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Ann Arbor police non-emergency: (734) 994-2911


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Get a clue, Juliana Keeping of Ann Arbor. You're out of control.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

I am a dog lover. I have two mini-dachshunds... they "mostly" behave so I keep them close by and on a leash at all times... I also do this because not everyone loves dogs and I have NO RIGHT to force my beautiful, funny dogs on someone who probably thinks they are scary or odd looking. I am so happy to have read this post. I used to go walking every day. When I was pregnant I was chased by a giant black retriever. I know where the dog lives. I talked to the owners. I called the cops on this dog multiple times. I was always told they were too busy to come at the moment. One time they called me back about 4 hours later and asked if the dog was still out. During those four hours that dog managed to chase neighbors into their homes, children down the street, etc. It was scary. I was also chased by a german shepherd, a couple of mutts, my neighbors pit bull (many times as every time the parents would leave, their pre-teen daughter would somehow let the dog get loose and giggle as she was running up and down the street trying to control it). Needless to say, I no longer go for walks. Its sad. I live in a beautiful neighborhood, but I love my life, my baby's life, and my mini-dachshunds lives too much to go for a walk. Careless dog-owners have ruined my neighborhood for me. It sucks.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

I am shocked that would publish an article such as this, filled with hateful statements. While many of us might agree with the primary message, it was not articulated in a civil manner. I would venture a guess that if a reader posted such a response, it would have been censored.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

@rtt911 "If I were you, I would make myself scarce around town." This could be perceived by some as a threat!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Oh boy, this is rich. I am a fellow dog-hater. I just don't see how humans can live with animals. It seems odd to me, but thats just me. To the point about ending a dog's life; I too (if I had a child) would defend him/her at the expense of the life of any animal 100% of the time. The author was making a wider point and was not threatening your dog.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

I'm with you Tommy!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a dog owner and have had 7 German Shepherds add to the joy in my life over the past five decades. On the other hand, I"m a huge supporter of high quality dog training, leash laws, and the obligation of pet owners to maintain control and not endanger or frighten others. I jog, ride horses, and bike along our country roads, and understand that loose dogs can be a nusisance, frightening or downright dangerous. That said, the whole tone of this editorial is so snotty-middle -school , and so freighted with what is clearly the author's irrational fear of dogs, that it makes people who advocate for compliance with leash laws and demanding appropriate behavior from domestic animals and their owners sound like mean spirited hate mongers. Do yourself and the really worthy cause you are supporting a favor, and take a look at your issues around dogs while you advoacte for people on the other side managing theirs.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Dogs need a place to run. Of course owners have a responsibility to have a well trained dog if it is to be off leash. As with much of life, common sense and decency need to be used. We used to let our dogs run with other dogs at unofficial dog parks. Now the county/city finally has dog parks, but alas we no longer have dogs... :-( With all the crazy budget cuts does the city and county maintain the dog parks they opened in '07?


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

No, it's the owner's responsibility to keep the dog ON the leash when in public! and check this out for off-leash options: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Dogs are legally property. Why exactly does pull even remotely offensive comments and allow its columnists to promote property destruction? That seems like a legally questionable position to take.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

&quot;By the way, if your menacing beast, with its bad breath and muscular jaws, comes near me and my child, I will end your pet. &quot; I don't suspect she really meant &quot;near me&quot; But how close do you have to let a &quot;pet&quot; or a human get to you if you feel threatened? Do you wait until you are bitten? I for one, will not wait in some cases to feel the twinge of pain before reacting.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

I am not among those that feel dogs have no value. I have owned a couple in my life. But most owners take so much for granted. Like their parents won't mind watching their dog while they are on vacation. If your dogs are so valuable to you why pawn them off on your parents or kids when you go on vacation? THINK about it all of you dog owners that ask someone else to take care of YOUR pet while you go play! How many times have you seen someone driving down the road with their dog in their lap? I would like to slap each of you that do this with a frozen newspaper! Or drive with the dog in the back of a pickup? The rudest people on earth tend to be pet owners and bikers!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

I gotta say, as the owner of three very well obdience trained dogs, that you sound like you have issues not relating to dogs or other animals. What scares me as an owner are the thoughtless passersby who want to treat my living, feeling dogs like stuffed toys. Who can't fathom why I always remove my dog &amp; say you need to ask before you approach a dog or a child. My oldest dog will begin therapy dog training soon. I hope that if your child or a loved one can benefit from his genle presence you would be willing to get over your fear and accept his presence. There are many bad owners everywhere, but likewise there are many caring &amp; compassionate dog owners who have invested their time, good will &amp; money into training their dogs to be assets for life and not liabilities to society. FYI- you are welcome to approach my dogs. Just ask first.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Dogs give off CO2 therefore they should be regulated by the EPA not Animal Control. If you must have a dog, you should have to get a license from the Federal Government and be subject to all of the laws that the EPA puts out! That will tie every dog owner up in so much &quot;Red Tape&quot; that nobody will be able to afford a dog!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

so do babies. Being born, breathing and pooping are inalienable rights.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

A dog owner, who is also a Democrat will get through the red tape.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Though I believe the sarcastic tone of the article could be taken down a notch, I do agree with the sentiment. At Bird Park, the Arb, and on Waterloo trails I have been charged by large dogs coming my way unleashed, once with no owner in site, twice with the owner assuring me from far away that their dogs were &quot;friendly,&quot; (meaning, I guess, to expect them to jump on you in their excitement). I love a well-mannered pet, but many owners need to think twice that not everyone loves their dog as much as they do.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Seems to be more comments and concern about dogs on/off leashes than the recent layoffs of the 4 AAPD' officers, the prior animal control officer and 2 dispatchers. Shows where the priorities of the citizens in this town seem to be. Funny with no one to monitor the unleashed dogs and a dog bite or incident does occur you sure will be waiting longer for any police response, if any.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Threats - really? Time to censor your own staff Mr. Dearing. Or was the intent to generate lots of 'clicks' and comments to show your advertisers?


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

but that is what is all about, there is one good writer, PAULA, one ok most of the time writer Ryan, Tony is a left over from the old years, the new batch of writers put up short, mostly non informative &quot;stuff&quot;, not to mention the facebook like unprofessional pictures that some of them use. I also agree with you about the &quot;clicks&quot; and &quot;comments&quot; to show advertisers. I don't advertise with b/c I know that it really doesn't reach a good audiance.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

I agree ...... Clicks and comments, as well as inconsistent censoring of comments made by others.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

Despite the confrontational tone, I agree with most of this. I don't mind dogs - if they are not chasing me, or looking to chew on me. I've since taken to carrying a concealed weapon when I jog (a supersoaker pistol loaded with a medium-strength ammonia solution) that takes the spunk out of the most determined pooch.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

I agreed until you started citing specific breeds. Pitbulls are capable of more damage than other dogs, but do not necessarily attack more often. Golden retrievers? Google &quot;golden retriever attacks&quot; and you will find plenty, including attacking toddlers. My mom's pomeranian is far more likely to attack and bite than most other dogs I've met! Anyway, I do think people need to keep their dogs on leashes, and not those useless, bad-manners-promoting flexi-leads. They are pointless. Dog owners also disregard signs that say &quot;no dogs&quot;, which is just asinine on so many levels. It's for the sake of wildlife and other people, so be considerate. There are plenty of other places to take your dog.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

The problem is too many people who are too lazy to train their dogs or pick up after their dogs. Dogs are just dogs -- it's their owners that are the problem.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

There was a time in my life when I could relate to this. I got clawed in the face by my grandma's dog when I was 5 and I became convinced that he wanted to kill me (my parents said he just wanted to give me his paw). Then I was about 9 and went to my neighbor's house up north and got chased off by their boxer, who they told me just wanted to play with me, but it was terrifying. Then I realized something -- I was just plain scared of dogs. I ended up getting a puppy and working at a vet's and studying dog behavior and things changed dramatically. It was like almost all of the mean dogs in the world disappeared and were replaced by pretty cool, cute dogs instead. It turned out that the dogs hadn't changed, but I had. As I understood them more, they became less scary. The dogs were never really the problem -- my perceptions of the dogs and reactions to them were. Now it drives me batty when people mis-attribute any action/expression a dog makes as vicious, especially when either the animal is making a playful or friendly gesture or the person is engaging in body language that is aggressive towards the dog. I'm all for leashes, but (a) there is no such thing as 5 times too big for a duplex if they are willing to give it sufficient exercise, sorry; (b) if you had such a problem with the neighbor's dog who you presumably had to see every day, why not get socialized with it and end the problem instead of being distressed by it years later? I'd be curious to know how many bites this dog was actually responsible for (I suspect none). I've lived in Ann Arbor for over 10 years, and I've never felt personally threatened by anyone's dog. I do support keeping dogs on leashes, but I feel like off-leash dogs are more of a threat to other dogs than to people.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

I recently moved to an apt. complex in A2 with my 2 small dogs. I am much less tolerant of &quot;pretty cool, cute dogs&quot; unleashed because when these dogs, no matter how friendly they may be, come running toward my leashed dogs, I cannot guarantee how my dogs will react. They are very friendly but also extremely protective, and they will instinctively attack in order to defend themselves and their owner (me). I have pleaded with my neighbors to keep their dogs leashed; but two particular residents continue to think that the lawn around their unit is a free-for-all place for their dogs. It is still a dangerous situation because my leashed dogs could still be defense-attacking, and I wouldn't be able to intervene effectively. My passion for following the leash law is based on my best friend's experience of her small dog being attacked from behind by the neighbor's black lab. Poor Sara Ann was mauled to death, and my friend Diane wasn't able to stop it. The profound grief has forever changed Diane and her husband's lives, and they find it very hard to get past the anger and sadness and enjoy life. I don't want this to happen to me or anybody else. This could have been avoided if the lab's owners were more careful. So please consider how your quality of life would be changed if you witnessed and lost your dog to an avoidable attack. Please speak up and talk to anyone you see who is flaunting the law.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Great comment. I can &quot;read&quot; dogs and always have been able to. Yes, there are some potentially dangerous dogs out there and having the ability to read their body language allows you to protect yourself if needed, as well as to understand that the big ole mean rottweiler just is hyper and wants to play. The majority of dogs are not vicious.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

I agree that there are many irresponsible dog owners, and their dogs should be on a leash if out of their yards, but one comment you made was ignorant. Regarding Pitbulls and attacks and how often do you hear of golden retrievers mauling people. I think you should check statistics before throwing out such claims. Read some journal articles and figure it out! You have no real statistics going on for me to believe what your saying. Digging around on the internet there have been many mauling's and deaths by none other than golden retrievers, not to mention tons of other dog breeds. HELLO the Media controls what we hear, and they only seem to report the pittbull attacks, not the infants fingers getting chewed off by the family chihuahua. Please do some actual research before spewing out garbage over the internet!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Pets are a complete waste of societal resources that could be used to feed, clothe, and house the poor HUMANS.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

&quot;societal resources&quot; feeding, clothing and housing the poor HUMANS is something that Churches do for thier members and non-members (even for members of other religions and often without prothelatizing) , for centuries Churches have done this best. Governments do this poorly. Bleeding heart liberals (as the saying goes) should give thier money to churches (you can find which ones are rated best as far as dollars going to causes online), instead of thinking that &quot;society&quot; (speak for government) could use the resources. Additionally, Julianans rant lumped a bunch of pet owners together. The truth is a2 has a greater number of responsible pet owners, her absolute distaste for dogs and rant filled opinion however make her sound like an irresponsible baby mama.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

There have been many studies done that shows that animals alleviate depression and even help with physical recovery of the pet's owner. Your comment was so not worth reading


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Let the poor humans get a job.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

For all of you that like to compare kids to dogs. GET REAL! I dislike the screaming of kids in public almost as much as I dislike dogs barking nonstop. I don't live on a corner lot so I have not had much trouble with kids running across my lawn. But I have had plenty of dogs defecate on my lawn! A couple years ago we had a problem with finding dog dodo in the same spot on our lawn on a regular basis. After spending more time than I should have had to I figured out who the culprit was. I actually observed it. I followed to see where they lived then went home and put the prize in a lunch bag and delivered it ti their door. I informed them that if I wanted fertilizer on my lawn I would choose the type and I did not expect it to happen again. I have never seen a kids stop to defecate on the lawn. I can't remember the last time I read about a kid biting a stranger. If I choose to give a kid a kiss or receive one I can be pretty sure the kids has not licked himself 2 minutes earlier. ( he might have had his finger up his nose). So STOP comparing dogs to kids!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

pest I do not feel most dogs are vicious. I do feel they are dogs and not comparable to kids. And I do feel too many pet owners put more value on their pet than humans.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

JCJ - I didn't say they were the norm, but those types of kids do exist and are not uncommon. I see more bratty kids than I see violent dogs. Just like you and some of the others here (including the author) seem to think that all or most dogs are vicious. They're not. Most kids are ok, but I prefer to not be around them. so they should stay off my property unless invited.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

Pest give your dog a big kiss for me! I must have lived a very sheltered 62 years because I have never lived in a neighborhood where those types of kids were the norm.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Get real???? I dislike kids and don't want them near me or my property. Yet they CONSTANTLY walk across my front yard. They are loud and noisy. They liter. They get into fights. Then they grow up to be juvenile criminals and threaten others. I had a six year sitting on the roof of my truck - unsupervised! In my driveway! I even saw a kid about 10 years old hitting MY dog with a stick in MY yard!!! I told that brat's mother that if that kid ever was on my property again I'd call child protective service, the police and any other agency I could think of. And you know what? If I would have laid a hand on that brat, I would have been the one in trouble, even though the kid was harming my dog and was trespassing. I can give you one story after another of how kids are a menace to society. Yet I am polite to them and their families. BUT they need to be contained as much (or more) than dogs. Heck, generally dogs listen better, especially if you're talking about pre-teens and teenagers.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Did you light it on fire? Did they stomp the flames out? Always a great prank.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

We also need to talk about cats that roam our fair city. My child was bitten when she innocently petted a neighborhood cat and that small bite required a trip to the ER and a tetanus shot. Cats wander into my yard and kill birds and leave their droppings and urine in my mulched garden and my child's sandbox. Let's begin enforcing a leash law on cats too.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

I second that..., can't stand finding cat poo the hard way!

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Cats are not considered domesticated and therefore to the best of my knowledge not covered by any laws regarding leashing roaming etc...

tom swift jr.

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Let me go through this piece of 'writing' and comment on some of the more significant parts. &quot;Control that thing&quot; - Really, you're going to influence people in a positive way by referring to companion animals as &quot;things&quot;? &quot;Tales of dog owner incompetence run deep in this town.&quot; - I would need a citation on this, you give about three examples (not counting your own experiences), this seems to be an overstatement of the fact to say the least, and unsupported at best. &quot;clueless dog owners&quot;- Hey, thanks, you've really instilled in me a desire to listen to your viewpoint! &quot;giant gray beast&quot;- I'm thinking it must have been an elephant, or a whale. &quot;Hungrily. For passers by.&quot; - Ok, first, these are not sentences. Second, I love that you are so in sync with that dog that you knew it was hungry. &quot;Your dog's a menace to society.&quot;- A nice generalization, and, again, a gross overstatement. My dog is a menace to the chipmunk in the yard, and said to say thank you for the promotion! &quot;Some dog-owner scofflaw actually took the time to spray red paint across the &quot;No dogs&quot; portion of the sign.&quot;- So, you know who this person was, did you report it to the police? Oh, wait, no, you're making an assumption and putting it online as a fact... nice reporting! &quot;When was the last time you heard a story about a golden retriever pulling off that move?&quot;- My dog required extensive surgery when it was attacked, unprovoked, by a golden retriever. The most vicious dog I know is the 4 lb minidog that lives next door! &quot;Hopefully, I've offended all of them, for all of us.&quot;- Dear Editor, please not that the intend of your writer was to &quot;offend&quot; us (on behalf of the whole world, evidently!) &quot;I will end your pet.&quot;- Really, and the publisher of thinks this is how the staff here should act, making threats of violence? &quot;You're out of control.&quot;- Certainly somebo

Matt Cooper

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Incapable of arguing the point of the content you feel a need to argue the style and syntax?

tom swift jr.

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

That should have been &quot;Certainly somebody is.&quot;


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:06 p.m. showed incredibly poor judgement in publishing this hateful screed and compounded the damage by allowing the threat against four-legged family members at the end. I'll never care much for anything Julianna says again because I see what hateful misguided person she is.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

@Justcary--I'm sure your darling miniature Schnauzer truly is exceptional. Heck, he probably qualifies for a MENSA membership. Problem is, there's no way for me to know this when I first encounter him while walking down the street. And what if, some day your little Einstein gives in to his doggie instincts, chases a squirrel, cat, chipmunk, etc. out into the street, and gets mowed down by a car? You'd really be doing both him and me a favor by keeping him on a leash.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

Juliana, I can't see myself shedding a tear if you're tested on your childish threat.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

It's real simple CCW.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Practice practice practice DDOT.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:04 p.m.

Yes. I'd love to see how quickly you draw down a pistol on a charging German Shepherd that has less than 20 feet to cover between you and him. Life is not like the movies, Mr. Gunslinger.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Dogs do not scare me. I've met far more friendly, cuddly, pit bulls than vicious ones. I am confident I could handle an off-leash dog, even an angry one, without injury to myself or the dog. Still, I don't want to see your dog off a leash. For one thing, MY leashed dog doesn't like other dogs. For another, I don't want to deal with your dog's poop on my lawn. And finally, I really didn't go out into town today to manage your dog. So please, people. Don't get all uppity towards the author of this piece, even if she is ignorant and fearful. The fact is, there's a law about keeping your dog on a leash. It was passed for a hundred and one good reasons, one of which is to protect your dog, and another of which is to protect YOU. Just do it. Go to the dog park or get your own fenced yard if you want Fido to run around unleashed.

Some Guy in 734

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

May I be so impudent as to ask this? If I were to threaten to &quot;end&quot; any living creature in a comment, what would the outcome of that be? This dog-non-lover would like to bop you on the nose, Juliana, with a rolled-up newspaper. (By that, yes, I do mean an actual newspaper, not a &quot;print product&quot;.)

tom swift jr.

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

I'm thinking needs to keep Julianna on a short leash, this is one angry, bitter individual. Delete away, mods, but when you do, go back and read this tirade and decide if this is how you want your &quot;paper&quot; to influence the public.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

An obvious dog hater. I feel about kids the way the writer feels about dogs. Keep them leashed and off my property. btw, when a dog bites there is usually a reason. Mistreatment of the animal, bad training, abuse, perceived threat, etc. I DO believe that a dog should be properly contained - for the dog's safety and the safety of others. But this article seems to attack all dogs and their owners. You know what works better than a leash? Dog training. Learn how to train your dog. You know what works the best?? To not abuse the dog. The majority of vicious dogs were or are mistreated. I hear more stories about abused, starved, tortured dogs than I do about dog bites.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Problem is, it's often impossible to determine what your dog perceives as a threat. Many serious dog bites occur in the home of the dog.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

A few years ago, I reminded a Water Hill neighbor to keep her dog on a lead at all times due to the influx of small children (4 years old and younger) in the neighborhood. Since that time, we've still had quite a few incidents of her dog charging my son and other neighborhood kids; my son now has a dog phobia. In fact, a mother of three, down the street refers to the one neighbor as 'crazy' due to her dog fixation; she owns 3 dogs. Now, it appears, the neighbor and another sympathetic dog owner in the area allow their dogs to defecate on my lawn; leaving stinky piles of surprises for my family to step into as we &quot;attempt&quot; to spend time outside on what should be beautiful summer days. I have made it a habit to patrol my yard in advance to make sure that all the piles are removed prior to play dates, but I still feel that I shouldn't have to do this since this is supposed to be a city with a leash law? I can guarantee you however, if I catch the person and the dog in the act, I will call the police and sue the city for not enforcing our laws regarding dog ownership. I am sick of this.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

Shame on all of the irresponsible pet owners out there that prompted this article. I am temporarily dog-less at the moment, so as someone else said, I &quot;don't have a dog in this fight&quot;, but I feel the need to comment because of the skewed nature and vicious attacks on dogs on here. It's never the dog, but the irresponsible human companion that goes with the dog. While we're at it, some people, have irresponsible children and are thus irresponsible adults. There! Yes, I said it. Attack me. When I was a very responsible companion to my two canines,not only did I always kept them on short leashes (in spite of their friendly nature and good behavior) because it was the right thing to do and I never knew how some human would react to them. For example, parents letting their small children go running up and sticking their hands out. Newsflash! Sudden movements and things running toward them and their human they're protecting will make a dog defensive! Hey, irresponsible parents: keep your children on a short leash and keep them from running toward dogs they don't know. Yes, some neighborhood parents were very responsible and taught their children to ask first if they could pet my dogs and some got to know them. This does work both ways. I'm really sorry that irresponsible dog people have led to this. Just like irresponsible drinkers caused crackdowns on how we drink and irresponsible smokers have prompted smoking bans even outdoors (my analogy here is I was at Top of the Park the other night at a movie when some people next to me lit up - really? Not any more - and before that I thought it was ok for a smoker to smoke outside). And Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroes, but I don't agree with everything she said. Some dogs, cats and other non-humans are indeed family! Get over it if that's not you!

Susan Hurt

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

I'm a dog owner. My dogs are pit bulls. They are trained and socialized and very friendly - and very much part of the family. They are NEVER off leash or allowed to run loose in order to protect THEM. I know that if there were ever a problem with another dog, mine would most likely be blamed due to their breed. I absolutely agree with you and it makes me angry that irresponsible dog owners have created problems for responsible owners. Not everyone likes dogs - of any size - and any dog still might become anxious or act instinctively when it comes to going after small animals or people it doesn't know approaching its territory. As much as I love dogs, have rescued dogs, and work with them all the time, I am fed up with ANY dog running at me when I'm walking - with or without my dog. It shows me that the owner has a complete lack of respect for neighbors and other animals - and a lack of compassion for those who may be afraid of dogs. I am also amused by those who disagree attempting to divert the conversation by attacking the writing style of the author; it's a great way to show the commenter has absolutely nothing logical to add to the conversation! If anything is childish in this thread, it's the refusal of disrespectful dog owners to believe others have a right to enjoy being outside without having some dog 'wanting to give kisses.' It's a DOG, people. No matter how much a part of your family YOU feel it is, your pet is still a dog - not your baby or your little girl or boy. Nobody HAS to like your dog - and you should respect that unless you want to end up with tougher laws because other people are absolutely fed up with your selfishness.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Are people who own known dangerous breeds the same people who buy illegal fireworks off the reservation? Is the thrill of owning a pit bull similar to the thrill of blowing up a 1/4 stick of dynamite instead of a tamer firework?


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

i agree jcj.. very well said.. I too own 2 large mixed breed dog.. both over 100 lbs. and they never run free except in my back yard. NOT EVERYONE LIKES DOGS!!..


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Very well said.

Go Blue

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Thank you Halter - well said. Not surprisingly, anyone posting comments with a similar tone would have the comment promptly removed for violation of conversation guidelines. Guess you have to work for the entity to be allowed to stand on a soapbox and lash out at others. The entire article should have been toned down - keep your attitude in check. When will the article be removed for violation of conversation guidelines? Seems apt that it should be. Yes, there are problems with inept pet owners just are there are parents that allow their children to run rampant and the children are just as obnoxious as some pet owners can be (ducks ring a bell?). I thought news reporting was to be unbiased reporting not a soapbox for a reporter on the staff to vent their own personal prejudices? And, if a child runs up to pet someone's dog, why isn't the parent in control of the child and allowing it to run up and confront someone's dog, because that is what is happening. Someone charging a dog is confrontational to that animal. It is a two way street. Keep children under control. Seems a responsible parent would ask the dog owner if their child may approach.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

You had such a series of great points right up until you went postal with the doggie death threats. Death threats because a dog is near you. Um. Wow. Once I read that, I could just say, ok, nutter and dismiss you.

Jack Gladney

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

When they came to put a leash on my neighbor's non-human canine animal companion, I didn't speak up because I did not have one of those. When they sought to outlaw capnip for my other neighbor's non-human feline animal companion, I didn't speak up because I did not have one of those... When they came and told me I had to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks there was no one to speak (well, bark or meow) in protest for me. Ann Arbor. Gotta love this town.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

I am a dog lover and a pet sitter and I totally agree with you! My own dog is a 10 pound cockapoo. I am always afraid some huge dog is going to attack her-she'd be one gulp. I don't allow pit bulls into my house and I actually had a woman tell me on the phone that she had a &quot;terrier&quot;. When she got out of the car and I saw what kind of terrier I sent her away. She told me she wanted me to meet the dog first before I made up my mind about taking her for the weekend. This woman was angry to say the least. You just can't trust those pit bulls. Maybe the dog is fine around the owner but......

Susan Hurt

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

While I certainly understand your concern about a large dog in your home with your cockapoo, I hope at some point, you are able to actually get to know that pit bull is a term that encompasses a few breeds, they are NOT bred to be human aggressive, and properly trained and socialized (as all dogs should be) is a wonderful family dog. They don't 'snap' any more than any other dog breed, their jaws don't lock, and according to American Temperament Testing, they score MUCH better than most breeds for temperament stability and lack of aggression. In fact, they scored right between Labs and Golden Retrievers. It's unfortunate that the breed has been so abused and mishandled by owners who should never had ANY kind of dog. At one time, they were considered the top American Family Dog. They are the most popular dog NOW - but unfortunately, in some cases, for the wrong reasons. Any large dog can do a lot of damage, but the American Pit Bull Terrier (the actual breed) or American Staffordshire Terrier are not inherently more aggressive than any other dog. In fact, they were bred NOT to be human aggressive. Few people can even properly identify them in a lineup of other large dogs. Black Labs have been shot by police who thought the barking dog protecting its home was a pit bull. Mine is often thought to be a Weinmaraner mix because of her coloring and people are also often surprised to find out the nice doggy they've been petting is a pit bull.

Barb's Mom

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

My husband and I own 3 dogs that are always walked on a leash. We do walk them in Gallop park at times and it amazes me that joggers, bikers, and roller bladers, think it is ok to approach us from behind with no warning and then get upset with us if we and the dogs are startled and jump. Responsibility goes both ways. I am allowed to walk my dogs in the park.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

Once you take your critters into a public space, be prepared to face the consequences of you are unable to control them.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

yes, it is curetosy (and smart) for people biking, jogging etc to say &quot;behind you&quot; &quot;stroller&quot; &quot;on the left&quot; or &quot;passing on the left&quot;.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

I love dogs, but what amazes me is the number of dog owners who think that these laws pertain to OTHER people's dogs and not theirs. These are the same people whose dogs bites/attacks someone and then whines &quot;I can't believe my dog did this, he never did this before&quot;.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

agree, i believe this was the gist of the article, which i agree could have done without the perceived threat (i will end your pet).


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Julianna, get over yourself. Your kid, in the opinion of some, is just as much trouble and should be equally controlled. get it?


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

never seen a 1 year old run as fast as a dog.. or have a bite as hard a dog


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

Please post the links to stories of those that were physically attacked by anyone's kids! And I do not consider 1 year old's kids!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

I was stunned when I first read this article, not because of the stories of people injured by out of control dogs, which unfortunately does happen, but instead by the following statement from the reporter: &quot;By the way, if your menacing beast, with its bad breath and muscular jaws, comes near me and my child, I will end your pet.&quot; To me, as a dog owner, this is a direct threat against the life of my animal. I interpret this to mean that if my dog is even in the vicinity of this person (leashed or not), that she will kill my beloved pet. I cannot believe that a responsible news organization would allow such a threat to be published in the first place, and I sincerely hope that some action is taken by those in charge of this publication to apologize for this verbal threat against the lives of any pets in Ann Arbor. I certainly hope that the editorial staff will moderate their own reporters, just as they do the general public. If not, then I find this double standard to be truly disturbing.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

I don't think you have anything to worry about if you keep your dog on a leash and ensure you respect the personal space of strangers.

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

This is don't expect much

Jimmy McNulty

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Juliana, while I agree with parts of your opinion column, I disagree with the degree of anger you convey in your writing. You come off an angry middle schooler. The problem is usually the pet owners and the socialization and lack of exercise their pets receive. Plus, there are some great dog parks for those who want to let their pets run free. I second what others have posted here about your threats to &quot;end your pet&quot; just for coming near you. You can't make threats like that Juliana. Why don't you ask Rich Kinsey.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

I understand the point of the article, but as passionate as the author is about dogs, I am about children. I just hope she manages to instill the same concepts into her child rearing as she demands of dog owners. No, I don't think your child is the cutest in the world nor do I enjoy hearing them scream through the store because you are too lazy or do not want to be inconvenienced to remove them to your car. No, I am not sitting in the restaurant to be your babysitter because it is your one night out with friends and you want to have a conversation. Well, you get the point, we all have our issues but as I know not all parents are bad parents, not all dog owners are bad dog owners. Making a threat against a dog, who for many of us, is like our children, is offensive. Quite honestly, personally, I run into far more irresponsible parents of children, than dog owners, too bad their isn't a city ordinance against them.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Under no circumstances is the life of a dog more important than the life or well-being of a child.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

Curious as to why I've never read about dog attacks or incidents on this site, I was beginning to wonder if A2 had dogs with no teeth. I guess it's not news worthy that everyone that suffers an attack in A2 isn't worth mentioning, or maybe there are so many that it would be a repetitive news event on a weekly bases. The public health department claims they have an increase in dog attacks and yet no one mentions this? Personally I woud rather read about where and how victims were attacked by dogs locally or throughout the state than some other off the wall topics that has no redeeming values. Last count there were over 30 individuals that were killed in the State of Michigan and thousands that were seriously injured and yet A2 media is oblivious as to what's going on or they seem that it's no concern to the public (don't want to offend dog owners). Just recently I had to warn my neighbor that the dogs (2 full grown pit bulls) he had visiting from family were not allowed on the condo premisses and he took offense that I warned him. We have 3 small grandchildren that visit daily under the age of 8, with or without a leash they could easily be attacked, I can assure you if any problem occurred with the dogs A2 would be reading more about the incident that happened shortly after an attack than the attack.

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

A poodle? Schnauzer? You are probably too old to catch either of those as they are quick; anything larger and you (or I) would lose.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

shadow Not all attacks are by pit bulls or doberman's . It could be a poodle or a schnauzer. I can assure you if any of my grand kids are attacked in my presence, the dog or I one will be carried away!

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

What is it with you all that think somehow you are going to have inhuman strength to &quot;save&quot; your grandchildren from being attacked by dogs? No one obviously wants to see anyone attacked but if attacked the strength of a dogs jaw is going to be superior. This is why the cops shoot dogs when sadly necessary . And stop with the crap about pitbulls they are no more or less likely to attack then any other breed.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Notice how it is easier for some to attack the messengers writing skills or lack of said skills than it is to frame an argument and explain where the author is wrong.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

but the writer has a job as a writer at and as such we have every right to pick apart the writing skills, specially since it is the posters that do a lot of the editing!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

@justcary &quot;I happily take the $120 risk every day&quot; your like the guy that takes 3 drinks after work and has done it for years because&quot; it doesn't effect&quot; him He's Never had an accident. If your dog does bite someone someday you won't be so &quot;happy&quot; when it cost you more than $120!! Not only in money but the life of your dog.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

Very well said. And, also please when you are walking your dogs, if a child runs up to pet it, please be responsible and say &quot;no thank you&quot; -- even the very best of dogs get a tad nervous especially when a group of children rush towards it. Dogs are marvelous --have always had one, and have always been responsible regarding taking care of it.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

Strange enough, I have found that children usually listen more than adults when it comes to attempting to pet my dog. Adults come back with &quot;oh, all dogs like me&quot; Well, my dog was abused severely by a previous owner. I trust my dog with my life and the lives of my family, but I don't allow strangers to attempt to pet him or come into contact with him unless we are in a controlled environment, like my house.

Barb's Mom

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

Good point Carole, but parents should teach their children NOT to run up on any dog. Also teach their children when I say &quot;no you can't pet my dog&quot; for the child to leave me and my dogs alone, and NOT to ask me again.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

First, you are absolutely correct, Julia, in your outrage toward irresponsible pet owners. I share that sentiment, and am myself a responsible dog owner with a dog on a short leash. Second, if you think you are going to &quot;end someone's pet&quot; if they come near you, YOU will find yourself in jail and your own story here on with hundreds of comments following. Third, please keep your animals on a leash too. I don't want to see them drawing with chalk on my sidewalk. I don't want them cutting across my lawn because it's faster to the park. And I don't want them shouting and screaming next door at all hours of the day. Tell them to stay away from my house, teach them to not touch my dog, and teach them to stay on the sidewalk - seen and not heard.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

I can't stop laughing. What woud she have done if she was orn a hundred years ago? Seriously. The product of a sterile society.

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

What a sophomoric piece of drivel.Is this the best we have now in Ann Arbor? Thank the heavens for the Chronicle. You(author) must carry a gun because if you are ever really viciously attacked by a large dog that is the only way you would end anything.It is nice to think that somehow we might have super strength or powers where our children are concerned but we don't. Of course the chances of that happening are rare except perhaps in your case as you seem to be the only person I know of in the city that wherever they move in the city the neighborhood is swarming with roaming dogs. Also this piece is factually incorrect I rarely see dogs loose to the extent the writer does and I am allover town all the time. This piece should have never been approved for publication.And yes I own a dog and he is never off leash.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4 p.m.

ahhh... but if dogs dont scare you.. you wouldnt be looking.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

I agree - especially the part of hardly ever seeing a dog loose. I am all over town on a regular basis and I think I've seen dogs off their leashes twice that I can remember. One of those was a puppy (maybe 12 weeks)


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

A few years ago we were at Bird Hills Park with our 6 year old grandson. While walking the trails and getting well off the path when someone would come by with a dog. At one point a women came by with what looked to be a beagle. While we were waiting for them to pass the dog made a lunge at my grandson and actually got his pant leg . My wife was carrying a walking stick and put it between the dog and our grandson. The first words out of the woman's mouth were &quot; don't you touch my dog&quot; Not come here to the dog, not I'm sorry. I told her to keep the dog away. As she turned to go the dog made another small charge. At that point I told her if she did not get her dog under control she would have to carry it home. She did not miss what I meant and started into a tirade about not touching her dog. NEVER once did she say she was sorry.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

I couldn't agree more. I have a dog that we are training, he is adopted from the humane society and has a great fear of other dogs. I can not tell you how obnoxious it is to have someone's dog charge us and race around my terrified dog who can not defend himself because he is on a leash, while the owner is 50 feet away saying &quot;Don't worry, he/she is friendly&quot; If your dog needs to run off leash take it to one of the dog parks. I don't care how &quot;friendly&quot; your dog is, I want it away from me and my dog.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Well. I am a scofflaw, with an 18-pound Miniature Schnauzer that I have trained to walk with me off leash in my neighborhood. He is also trained not to jump up on people. There are people, and children, who are frightened by this gentle little guy no matter what and one goofy lady whose 'show dog' must not be approached by my neutered dog. And as they say, any dog could surprise the most thorough owner/trainer and attack on some threat we can't perceive. My dog could run in front of a car, but probably not; he's got ample street knowledge compared to a leash dog. I happily take the $120 risk every day because my pet gets better exercise than he could on a leash, and our walks are training sessions that bring us both joy. MY BEEF is with what passes for acceptable writing style at How many paragraphs consisting of a short single sentence, often incomplete, are allowed before you are no longer a journalist but a poet or script writer? It's painfully juvenile to read and not the least bit persuasive. The style of this article paints the writer as a whiner Yeah, you. Bad editor. Bad editor.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

Wha? So you and your little dog are above the law?? And also too good to respect your fellow neighbors/walkers? Geesh, get over yourself! And to further your case, you insult the journalist? That is perfect logic! Since the eiditing isn't up to your standards, the entire message must be wrong! I'm with 48104, shame on you! I love dogs. I also am a dog bite survivor (it required two surgeries to correct). A big THANK YOU to all the concientious (sp?) owners out there who make sure their dog is leashed and under control. I appreciate your respect.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

The short single sentence paragraph is the proper journalistic way. It bothers me as well but in the journalism class I took I was told that was how to write an article


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

great i hope you get lots of tickets. it is the LAW and people like you are the ones who are causing the problem. you can not tell me it is better off leash than besides you. they would have to run all the time to get better without the leash.

Matt Cooper

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

And if your cutesy little Schnauzer happens to attack and/or bite me, please don't be upset if I punt his little furry tail into the next county. I have every right to walk the city streets free from you and your dog, and an even more important right to protect myself from your dog.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

I think this is key: We live in neighborhoods with our fellow citizens. Respect your neighbors, leash your DOG! Very simple.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

You're the sort of person, Cary, that makes us hate all dog owners. MY BEEF is with arrogant people like you. Bad citizen. Bad citizen.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

your first two sentences are EXACTLY the ann arbor attitude julianna was talking about.......not MY dog, indeed.

in situ

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

Bravo! Thank you for saying exactly how I've been feeling ever since I moved to Ann Arbor (adjacent to West Park to be exact) about three years ago. I've recently developed an aversion to dogs that I KNOW is a direct result of the irresponsible owners in this neighborhood. This is deeply saddens me as I grew up loving dogs-my family always had two as pets at any given time. We lived in a very isolated rural area and STILL kept them on a leash when taking them for walks outside of our property. You just cannot control a dog's instinctual actions every single time when they are unleashed no matter how trained, friendly, etc. you think they are.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

By the way Juliana, what exactly do you mean by &quot;I will end your pet.&quot; That sounds like a threat and if someone posted that in a comment it would removed. I hope other staff members at have noticed this.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

I know what it means to me! If the dog is very lucky, it may just get a blast of 10% pepper mace to think about, otherwise, it will have a few extra orifices to deal with.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

As an owner of three dogs I reluctantly agree and see your point. But let me point out a few things. I know some people dislike and fear dogs that is why we never walk our dogs without a leash and they are always kept in our fenced in back yard when outside at home. When someone comes to the door the dogs are put away or kept restrained even if it is someone we don't want to talk to like a salesperson. But while we're at it what about cats? They seem to roam freely all the time. Oh , they're not vicious. But dig up flower bed to do they're bodily functions. Sit in front of the doors and windows so the dogs who can see them get aggravated. And what if some unsuspecting is severely allergic to cats? Just want to point out it shouldn't all be on dogs and dog owners.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

as both a dog lover ( and former owner...and dog handler at the Humane Society) and a cat owner/lover I completely agree with the article...and cats shouldnt be let outside for so many reasons, pertaining to both their well being and that of other creatures...including flowerbeds. When you've got a species that will poop in box ,enjoy that trait!!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Actually, feral cats can be very vicious and will bite. They are a nuisance as well.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

Thank you for posting this Juliana. I have started to tell people to put their dogs on leashes when I go on my daily walk. Most parks have signs either saying 'no dogs' or 'keep dogs on leash'. If someone walks past my house with a dog and it's not on a leash, I will tell them to put it on a leash. I don't care what the dog owner thinks at all.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Just be careful, I'm dealing with a passive aggressive dog owner who allows their dog to defecate in my yard. I have a feeling its because I told my neighbors to leash their dogs.

Tom Joad

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

Sue them into submission. Good luck getting home owner insurance with a dog bite judgment.

Chip Reed

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

&quot;By the way, if your menacing beast, with its bad breath and muscular jaws, comes near me and me child, I will end your pet.&quot; That's some pretty tough talk, Juliana. I would be surprised if someone who doesn't have a &quot;job&quot; at the &quot;paper&quot; would be allowed to post a threat such as this. I'm all for other people obeying the law and stuff, but it would be nice if we could all try to get along a little more.

Christy Summerfield

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

I think discussing this one remark is a distraction from the actual topic. I doubt Juliana is walking around with a gun or knife. I will say that if a dog attacked a child or grandchild or mine, I'd defend that child with every ounce of my strength. And I am a non-violent person who loves animals, adopts older dogs &amp; cats and feeds the birds, squirrels, ducks &amp; bunnies in my yard. I cry when I find a dead bird in my yard, usually killed by a neighborhood cat. The immediate, natural response of a mother, father, grandparent, would be to protect the child. It would pain me to hurt a dog because the incident would be the owner's fault, not the dog's, but I wouldn't hesitate to do whatever possible to protect the child. I doubt if any reader would do anything else.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

@Chewie's ghost, &quot;Same goes for me, if you're dog just growls at my kids, it's a goner.&quot; Much easier to make that threat than to actually carry it out. My money would almost always be on an average-to-large size dog bringing you into submission.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Well, I can't blame her? I mean do you have any idea how frustrating it is having to deal with dogs that are not leashed? Same goes for me, if you're dog just growls at my kids, it's a goner.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

Just for the record I agree COMPLETELY with Juliana. I will have much more to say later.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:23 a.m.

So well said!! I am in 100% agreement. My hope is that ALL dog owners actually realize that you and those of us who agree with you are talking about THEM too, not just the out of control dog owners that are featured on the news after an attack. An ounce of prevention goes along way!!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.

Now the fireworks start!

Will Warner

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

You're going to take a beating for this, Juliana, but I think it is dead-on. Dogs scare me, too. Owners of dogs that injure people should be jailed. And I am reminded of something dear Eleanor Roosevelt said: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; even lesser minds talk about their pets as if they were people." (OK, I added that last part.) So keep on keeping on, Juliana


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Owners of dogs that injure dogs should be jailed too.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Nicer said! Love, a responsible dog owner


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 10:59 a.m.

This should be interesting. It always amazes me how angry dog lovers get with others who don't feel the same way. And how defensive some are when others suggest they act with responsibility with their animal.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

I've never had a &quot;kid&quot; take a dump on my front yard. I've never had a &quot;kid&quot; chase after me into the street pulling at my pant legs. I understand many people prefer having dogs over children because dogs won't talk back and grow up to disapoint their parents. Realistically, dogs will love anybody who feed them. I think a lot of dog owners live in this fantasy world that their dog is their special child and think the dog has human emotions like their own. They don't. SORRY!


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.



Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Substitute the word &quot;dog&quot; for kid. Then I'll agree. I see more bad and incorrigible kids running around than I do dogs.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 10:48 a.m.

Some kids need that too !!

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

Yeah, my son charges neighbors walking down the street all the time and defecates in yards! Right on with your logic. Crazy.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : noon

I absolutely agree that some kids need that. And I see no difference between the two -- kids bite too. And I never plan on having any, nor do I like yours.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

If you don't see the difference between kids and dogs, please choose the dog....

tom swift jr.

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

Back in the early days of the internet a word was designated to identify individuals on message boards and discussion forums whose goal was to incite argument. That word was troll. Although I 100% agree with anyone who encourages pet owners to be responsible, this article will not accomplish that purpose, it will, instead foster a lot of passive agressive behavior. Juliana, you know how you train a dog (or a child for that matter)? With positive reinforcement and love. If you take the other route, abuse and hate, you'll just create one of those vicious dogs that you're so afraid of. And, if in fact you DO use this baiting and hateful approach in raising your child, please keep it on a short leash when you're around me, I don't want to get bite.


Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 10:20 a.m.

It's going to be a cold, bitter, and lonely life if you have no love or compassion for things other than yourself. Enjoy.

Susan Hurt

Sun, Jul 3, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

Realistically, if you were pregnant or carrying a three-month old child and had an aggressive dog snarling and charging you, I'm sure you would be angry, too. I don't see where that fear equates to no or compassion - she is asking dog owners be responsible because her child's life is far more important than a dog owner's feelings.