To the list of organizations and groups that shun me as a potential member - a group that currently includes Oprah's Book Club, the Republican party and the various offshoots of the Druid faith - it looks like we can add the American Dog Association whose Members Never Follow Ordinances and Other Laws.
ADAMNFOOL, as the group is acronymically known, comprises people who are apparently gifted with both sight and literacy, but who also feel that a sign indicating that all dogs at a certain location need to be leashed needs to be ignored, after being seen and read.
In the county where I live, Baltimore County - the finest of counties in the US - the law says that any dog off the premises off its owner must be restrained by a chain or leash. That's fairly simple. Poochie can run around your 1/2 acre all he wants to, but when you take Poochie to the walking trail at the County Park, which is shared by creatures walking on two legs and four, ol' Poochie-Poo needs to be leashed. None of the signs makes any exception for any dog who is just so cute and everyone loves her and she wouldn't harm a fly and it's better for him to run 50 yards ahead of me but he always comes back as soon as I whistle and I woulda brought a leash but I had to bring the new armoire from Cousin Bernice's house since she is moving to join her husband in the Coast Guard.
Now, please listen to me: I happen to like dogs. Their wagging and panting and friendliness can be balms to the soul. Peggy and I don't keep company with a dog in our home, but we often stop and chatter with neighbors and their canine companions. I have nothing against dogs per se.
But it makes me wonder why people would violate the law so easily as to bring their dog to the walking trail and let it roam at will. Chances are, these are people who consider themselves law and order people, and follow all the laws that they happen to like.
The case in point is that when Peggy and I went to the trail yesterday, the first living being that emerged from the shadows was a rather homely, unleashed spaniel with buck teeth. (Of course, he might have paid more than a buck for them, for all I know.) Not that he bared his fangs to us, not that he made any sort of threatening gesture, and not that I, at my size, was in fear, but still. Fifty yards behind, along lumbered the animal's human companion, who seemed more interested in what she was hearing on her headset than what Bow-Wow Booey was up to as he trotted on down the path.
So why would she choose to ignore a posted rule? Could it be the heartbreaking increase in the rate of selfishness, leading people to shrug themselves into thinking that it doesn't matter what they do, since they don't care anyway?