I promise you, I am not out to stir trouble, get people all peeved, vexed, or miffed, or start a letter-writing campaign. The Post Office is so far in debt, they are all going to take Saturdays off to figure out what to do, and no one is even writing letters to holler about it.
But, the other day, the missus and I went to lovely Havre de Grace, up in the northeast corner of Maryland, where the mighty Susquehanna River meets the mighty Chesapeake Bay. The town has put in a wonderful promenade, where one can strut to one's heart's content, enjoying the breezes, the sunshine, the other people, the chance to stretch the old winter legs out a little.
At the entrances to the walkway are signs with fairly large letters reading "No Dogs."
If you're thinking along with me, dear reader, you know where I'm going next. It's the doggone (!) sense of entitlement, reading its head and licking its chops once again. It's the owners of dogs who think, "Well, they don't mean Ajax when they say 'no dogs'! Everyone loves to see old Ajax come along!"
It's the owners of dogs who just don't care what the rules are; they are bound and determined to parade along with their pooch, no matter what.
For real, I know a guy who says, "If my dog's not welcome somewhere, then I'm not welcome there!" Dude! You're not a dog!
It's the owners of dogs like the woman with a pitbull on Sunday, who tried to make it appear that her Spuds McKenzie was a service animal, by outfitting him with some sort of saddle arrangement that made him look like some sort of very angry mule, forced to carry her water bottle, cellphone, iPod and I don't know what-all else in the green rucksack she made him wear. She clearly needed no service animal; she was in full control of all her senses, except common.
My problem with this, for those who wonder why I care, is twofold. Year after year, people bring their dogs to the Towson Festival,which began in 1968 as an art exhibit around the courthouse and has grown over the years to be a way-too-crowded gathering of people, many of whom like to bring old Ajax out for a day in the sun, even though the organizers ask nicely that they don't. A few years ago, a little girl eating a pit beef sandwich was mauled by a dog at this festival. So I say, if you want to take your dog out someplace, head for the open country, not a place where other people are gathered and might not like your hound howling and growling. Please.
And for another thing, how about thinking about what a great country this would be if everyone would just follow the doggone rules! It says no dogs, go put Ajax back in the Biscayne for a while til you're through, and then take him someplace where he would rather be anyway. Perhaps I'm just a stickler, but rules aren't really made to be broken. Society as a whole would be all the better if people were to heed the rules.
Especially the ten on the stones.