Dog owners, it's about time you leave your beloved pooch at home

From Bunnings to pubs and even at airports we're now seeing furry companions tagging along with their owners wherever they go. Enough is enough, writes Adam Lucius.

Adam Lucius (left) sign saying 'Dogs prohibited beyond this point' at a football ground (right).
Much to his surprise Adam Lucius recently encountered dog poo at a local footy ground despite clear signage banning dogs from the pitch. Source: Supplied

From Bunnings to fast food eateries, cafes, shops and aeroplanes, people want to bring their dogs with them wherever they go these days. But not all locations are appropriate for our furry friends and non-dog owners may not want to deal with the mess, noise and general havoc dogs may cause.

Dogs are not toddlers. They don't need to come with you every time you leave your home.

So, do non-dog owners have rights or are they supposed to stay muzzled and accept they must now share their world with someone else's fur baby, no matter the location?

A few weeks back, I turned up at my local footy ground to help set up the field for that day’s play.

I asked the general manager what he wanted me to do first.

"Can you find a shovel and get rid of the dog s**t next to the tryline,” he replied. Surely he was joking. Dog poop on an enclosed sporting arena? Who would allow their mutt on there in the first place?

We're not talking about some suburban wasteland devoid of human contact. It’s a ground used for first grade rugby and cricket competitions — often frequented by players who have represented their state and/or country — and televised nationally.

"I tell the owners dogs aren’t allowed on the oval and show the signs pointing that out, but they either ignore me or try to argue the point," the GM explained when I expressed my disbelief.

The rights and wrongs of where dogs should be allowed to roam is a passionate subject certain to divide and evoke bark and bite from either side of the leash.

The debate raised its ugly hind leg again this week when a Bunnings customer in Campbelltown voiced her disgust at discovering dog poo in one of the aisles.

Dog poo in the aisles (left) and dogs in front of a Bunnings (right).
Shoppers recently complained of dog poo in the aisles of their local Bunnings. Source: Facebook

She also revealed other incidents where dogs had become entangled with customers or fought other dogs at the service desk.

"It's a shop, not a dog park," she posted on social media.

Respondents to a live Yahoo poll largely agreed, with 72 per cent calling for Bunnings to ban dogs.

There was a similar outrage to a post featuring a small dog sitting on a bench used by diners at a Guzman y Gomez restaurant in Newtown.

"I love dogs, but what kind of an idiot puts their dog on a table where people eat!" one person wrote.

A man and a woman sit with their backs to the camera eating while a white dog sits on the bench next to them.
A dog was spotted sitting on a bench while it's owners ate at a Guzman y Gomez recently. Source: Reddit

I don't own a dog and I'm not down on dogs. They bring their masters great joy and are vital companions for millions of Australians. You'd have to have a cold heart not to smile at the sight of a happy mutt out on a walk, wagging its tail.

The majority of owners are responsible and happy to follow the rules, mindful man's best friend is not a mutually agreed concept. But there's a small army of surprisingly self-entitled owners who think their pet deserves the same visitation rights as humans.

Somewhere along the line, canines have morphed into four-legged humans with collars.

They now share space in cafes, restaurants, pubs and stores.

Virgin Australia is set to introduce pet-friendly domestic flights within 12 months, allowing small dogs and cats to travel with their owners. Let's see how that works when the first labradoodle dumps his load just after take-off from Sydney Airport.

Recently, a gym goer at my local fat-burning factory tethered his dog to a leg press machine while he trained for an hour. Unless the mutt was working on his glutes, what the hell was he doing there?

Dogs used to be restricted to the backyard, parks, local streets, deserted beaches and the front seat of the car. That system seemed to work well enough, so what’s changed?

At least back then we all knew where we stood — and it wasn't in dog poo!

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