Oh goodie, where to start? First of all thanks to smart people like Motorrad, Jubb Jubb (nice meeting you tonight at Bergen Park with Bela!) and Ernie, and yes, Pariah, who while a bit extreme has valid points and I agree with all of ya'll!! For years I took my three dogs to any body of water I wanted to in Seattle area, including many spots on Lake Washington. I was never cited. I swam with my dogs, who did NOT poop, did NOT destroy or even get near any wildlife, did NOT pee anywhere near the water, did NOT annoy anyone....unlike many children I saw. You see, I'm a RESPONSIBLE dog guardian. I actually don't even know if it was against the law back then, or at least not as much as it is now. I saw dogs swimming all the time! However there are many who are not responsible, and who really should not have animals at all. These people make it bad and sad for the rest of us who DO pick up our dog's poop, who don't let our dogs run up to other dogs or people (unless in off leash park, and even then I watch them carefully). I currently have two dogs, one who does not like water, and the other one is obnoxious to other dogs, so I don't take them to the lake or even to the off leash water areas such as Magnuson or Marymoor. I don't like dog parks sometimes because there are the few irresponsible people who will go to them and ignore their dog completely, treating the place like their own backyard, reading and talking on the damn phone. It's a park for you to play with and interact with your dog and other dogs, NOT a place to drop off your dog and ignore them. Responsible dog people watch their dogs the whole time they are at the park. Then there are the people who bring children to the dog park. Now, I was raised with dogs. Lots of kids are. However, even if they are good with dogs and know all about them and their behavior (which most do NOT), if a kid is knocked down accidently by a running dog, the DOG and OWNER gets blamed. Animal control or police could be called, and the parent, who is AT FAULT will not get in trouble, the dog and dog owner will!! I will not go to the parks at all if there are kids there, period. It's a DOG PARK not a kid's park. Kids have parks all over Seattle. Dogs do not. So I'd have to agree with some comments above, if your kid runs up to my dog whether in a dog park or on the street, YOU should get in trouble. And if your kid gets bit, YOU should get in trouble. Another great annoyance is certain people who let their dogs off leash on the GG trail system, which is NOT off leash! I know some great responsible dog folks whose dogs are fine on the trails, are under voice control (for real), and do not run up to my ON LEASH dogs or poop randomly all over , etc. But there are quite a few people who do let their dogs just run, sometimes way out of sight of the owners, who have run up to my dogs, and like I said one of my dogs is not real friendly with other dogs which is why she is on a leash. I don't appreciate it. I LOVE your dogs! Really I do. I don't get mad at the dogs, I don't yell at them even. In fact I haven't even yelled at the owners, which I should. The one time I said something this guy got all uppity and said that my dog shouldn't be there (on leash) if she is not friendly, as he let his huge dog on a flexi-leash (super long, not actually legal length for a leashed dog which is 6 feet) run up to my dog as she was trying to poop! (Just to clear up, she is not mean, just obnoxious). But I have to try and walk away, or distract my dog with treats, or even sometimes leave the park altogether because they are not paying attention to their dogs, or are but just don't care. It's not fair to those of us actually being respectful and courteous! It's real easy! Keep your dogs in sight, and when you see someone coming with LEASHED (legal) dogs, put your dogs back on the leash until we walk a distance away! I've even done this myself the couple times I've let them roam on the trails with me unleashed (when I didn't see anyone around). Ok well now I'm rambling, sorry. My point is this...kids and humans in general are filthier and more destructive than any dog. Further, people are to blame for their own, their children's and their dog's behavior. If the kid or dog is not acting right, it's the parent's or dog owner's fault. That, or they just doing "natural" behaviors and not being supervised!
I'll take dogs over people any day of the week, in almost any situation! Of course, I'm a dog freak and admit it....thanks for letting me pontificate (love that word, had to use it). Thanks for all the posts, even the ones I disagree with, we can all have discourse on here and not get aggro, right?? Right. Cheers