Dear PoP – Don’t Leave Your Pets Tied Up Outside

“Dear PoP,

I’m writing this to hopefully educate some young or inexperienced dog owners. On Saturday, I was having breakfast at The Diner in Adams Morgan. When my partner and I arrived, a beautiful lab mix was tied up outside the restaurant looking very anxiously at the door and barking at everyone coming and going. We were seated at a window table, so we had the pleasure of watching this dog suffer great anxiety during the entire 45 minutes we were seated. In addition, numerous families with small children were letting the kids touch, hug, grab, etc., the dog in a variety of manners. The dog was sweet (luckily) but all the attention was making it more anxious. I finally left the restaurant and went outside to sit with the dog to calm it down while my partner settled the check. I noticed there was a phone number on the dog’s tags, so I called the number to let the owner know that the dog was having a hard time. Needless to say, the woman who answered the phone was clearly irritated by my call and the subsequent lecture I laid on her about leaving her dog unattended when she came outside. Although she wouldn’t look me in the eye, I could tell that she was very upset. She had her young baby with her, and I thought to myself – I bet she wouldn’t leave the baby unattended outside. To her credit, that dog looked to be incredibly well cared for and loved, so she is definitely not a generally negligent dog person. But the attached picture taken while I was still sitting inside shows that the dog was very upset.

My point is this: Dogs cannot fend for themselves, and do not understand when a person disappears inside a building for long periods of time. They worry. They get scared and nervous. And they are vulnerable to the behavior of random people passing by, including the possibility of being stolen. Please don’t leave your dog tied up outside unattended. Doing so is just asking for trouble and, in most cases, doing so causes anxiety for the dog. Take the dog for a nice long walk, take her home, and THEN go out to your favorite place for a beer or lunch. You’ll do your dog and the people who care about dogs a great favor.

One more thing – my appologies to the woman who I lectured about this. I know it was uncomfortable and probably embarrassing, and I wish I had handled the situation a little more diplomatically.”

216 Comment


  • And if your dog is barking incessantly in the backyard, especially after 10:00, don’t be surprised if the neighbors call the cops.

  • Nice inter-species ESP:
    “Dogs do not understand when a person disappears inside a building for long periods of time. They worry. They get scared and nervous.”

  • Sounds like you reacted ok to me.

    45 minutes unattended borders on abandoment at worst, certainly negligent at the least.

    The picture certainly seems to back-up your story.

    Well done.

  • You did nothing wrong. I would have done the same thing (I think). This is another pet (no pun intended) peeve of mine. Some D-bag left their dog tied up to a bike rack one time as I was on my way to the gym. I couldn’t wait their for god knows how long, so I left a little note saying that you must have a death wish for the dog to leave him/her tied up like that.

  • i totally agree with the poster. DC is not Mayberry, do not leave your valuable dog outside on the street. when i see a dog tied up on the street, i always think to myself – “free dog here”

  • How ’bout you just shut up and stop telling people what to do?

  • I think you did the right thing! I’ve seen people tie a dog up outside of a 7-11 or grocery store, for a short period of time, and I get that. But why would anyone think it was a good idea to leave their dog outside unattended while you’re inside having a meal for such a long time? Just don’t take your dog with you!

    • “I’ve seen people tie a dog up outside of a 7-11 or grocery store, for a short period of time, and I get that.”

      I don’t really get that either, to be honest. People will steal anything in this city, plus you’re liable if the dog bites someone (even if the person did something deliberate to provoke the dog). And as metioned in the original post, even for a short period of time this is very stressful for the dog. Last night my partner and I were walking the dogs, and I had her hold mine while I ran into a store. The dog was reportedly worried and anxious the whole 5 minutes in was in there.

  • Oh, this thread is gonna have legs. Serious legs.

  • to say nothing of the fact that the entrance to the diner is probably one of the more highly foot trafficked places in the city on a weekend.

    somehow, I don’t think this woman reads this blog.

    • “somehow, I don’t think this woman reads this blog.”

      The dog might… when he’s in the psychiatrists waiting room before his session on dealing with separation anxiety and abandonment fears.

      Or ya know, maybe he’s just watching Scooby Doo re-runs on Hulu.

  • But how do you know that the woman wasn’t having a baby-related emergency that kept her more time than she had thought?

    I think you’re over the line into self-righteousness when you intervene like this. It’s not hot, the dog isn’t in immediate danger–leave the poor mother alone.

    I love dogs, and don’t want to see them harmed in the slightest, but I think this goes way too far.

  • Also, dogs get stolen. Any one remember the case of the dog that was taken from in front of the P st Whole Foods?

  • Its a dog. They are supposed to do whatever the owner wants it to do. You command a dog to stay and it should stay there however long. I think you should be able to leave your dog outside while you are getting lunch, a beer, whatever.

    The OP is probably someone who puts a sweater on their dog in the winter.
    Remember when people would keep their dogs in pens out back?

    I would be more concerned about the dog getting stolen when left on the streets of DC.

    • Remember when people used to tie a dog to a tree for the weekend so the family could go the beach? BACK in the 1950s!

      Do you think you dog is the Robot from Lost in Space or something – there to obey your every command.

      How ignorant can you be?

    • I agree with A1. People humanize and view their dogs as little ‘people’. They’re not. People have no respect for other people’s property these days. I love animals and I work in the vet industry and I would never pet or touch anyone else’s animals without asking first. What kind of parent lets their child pet a strange dog? Also, I train horses, and horses are trained 100% of the time to stand still while being tied and to wait patiently. I don’t see anyone complain when my horse is tied to a post but when I tie my dog everyone has a heart attack! A well behaved dog and trained dog would have no problems being left unattended. The unfortunate thing is so few dogs are. The best behaved dogs never have to be on a leash or have those horrendous prong collars used on them. People think it’s ok to have their out of control dogs hauled around on a leash with a choke chain or prong collar, when proper training would have been the best thing for the dog. Shame on all the owners who ‘resort’ to using prong collars on their dogs when they should have just trained their dog better.

  • Fake! I’m gonna call BS. This is a rip off of Portlandia.

    • I agree. This is intellectual plagiarism.

      Dear Author, please come up with something original next time. Thanks!

  • A couple had their Viezsla stolen outwide of Whole Foods a few years back (on P St). It took a long time and much effort form the whole community and the police to get the dog back. Also, there is a serious issue in this city with dogs being stolen and used as bait in dog fighting rings (don’t believe me call WHS). Lesson: never leave your dog tied up or even in your backyard when you are not there. And to H St Resident at 2:52, a baby-related emergency for 45 minutes in a restaurant/cafe/wherever it was! Seriously! I would have called WHS and had the dog confiscated, a dog like that will get a home in no time (generally only bully-breed dogs have a hard time in this city). The owner is a bad owner, period. I NEVER leave any of my dogs tied up to be stolen and used as bait.

    • My friends dog got stolen a few years back and the cops said it was probably used as bait for the pitbull fighting craze that we had back then. Man that was a cool lab too. I see this all the time walking thru Adams Morgan, dogs tied up left and right, looking miserable.
      The owner is probably one of those people who walk around with cell phone/ starbucks in hand and the dog is on the other side of the sidewalk sniffing away and you are stepping over the leash trying to get from a – b and they just look at you and give that lame “sorry”smile. All I can think of is “A fish called Wanda” in reverse.

  • I have your dog, I really like him.

  • I saw this on Portlandia too!

  • What is this Portlandia everyone is speaking of? Between that, and this NCAA thing that’s apparently going on, I really feel like I’m out of touch with popular culture.

  • well done!!

    that poor pup clearly looks distressed and nervous. i hate seeing animals tied up on the sidewalk. if you can’t take them with you for the entire trip do the dog & everyone a favor by leaving it at home.

    • It’s one snapshot of the dog at one specific, fleeting moment in time and you can tell that?. How do you know someone wasn’t about to give him something to eat? Or just saying hi? Are you a dog psychic? Jesus, I can’t believe how full of shit most of you people are.

      • bfinpetworth

        I watched that dog for 45 minutes, not just during the snapshot. I know it was anxious.

        • The dog’s anxiety really has nothing to do with it. If it’s an anxious dog, it would have been anxious even if the owners had left it home alone. Clearly, it wasn’t being aggressive towards people since you got close enough to read the tag, so just let it be. The owners know the risk they are taking by leaving it tied up outside, so it’s really not your place to interfere.

          • So lets say it was a “Baby Emergency” and the dog was out there for hours… what then.

            The owners may know the risk and not care much but the dog has no say.

            It is just foolish and sad that people are ok with this pratice.

            It shows a real lack of compasion for life.

            I think it is fair to say most of the people here who disagree with the OP aren’t dog owners nor care much for them at all.

            How sad.

        • does a dog have a right to never be anxious? i wish humans had that right.

        • Yes because people who leave their dog at home for 8-10 hours a day while they work are such GOOD owners…. If I leave my dog unattended and leashed, I expect him to be calm and well behaved. This is a reality. However, I also expect other people to not pet him or try to interact with him and to just leave him alone, however this expectation is not a reality. Leave my DOG ALONE! Go and get your own dog and mind your own fucking business. I tie my horse for periods of time and no one calls the SPCA on me. SO why is this any different for a dog?

        • Who do you think you are to interfere that way? Oh you’re one of those ‘animal lovers’ who only has the animal’s interest in mind. RIGHT… I bet you leave your dog at home for extended hours at times and you use prong collars or haul on your dogs leash because it is out of control. Yes that makes you a great pet owner…

  • That’s quite a feat. I mean, typing that whole long email while perched atop an extremely high horse. Bravo!

  • Good for you for taking action! Hopefully this woman learned something from you calling her out about being a bad pet owner. Dogs tied up outside shops and restaurants are just accidents/lawsuits waiting to happen, whether the dog bites someone, another dog bites it, one of those violent Metro kids swings by and wants to wail on the dog for no good reason, anything.

  • Get over yourself!

  • When are you going to apologize for lecturing to me?

  • i know this dog. and her owner very well. i assure you that dog, baby and momma lead a very happy, well cared for life that is most certainly NOT filled with anxiety.

    i appreciate you desire to look out for animals that are being neglected, but a pretty, well groomed pooch outside a restaurant in adams morgan shouldn’t be cause for alarm. why don’t you go find some animals that are truely abused and malnurished? i assume the are far less photogenic and likely way more anxious than my my favorite fur neice.

    your friendly neighbor

    • I think the OP made it clear that s/he didn’t think the dog was abused. And just because there are animals in worse shape doesn’t make the OP’s concern any less valid. I am a dog owner, and I would never leave my dog outside while I went in to a restaurant for 45 + min. I don’t do it at all). This is being completely selfish–the dog probably doesn’t want to sit outside alone, it prob. wants to be with you. If you want to take your dog with you to a restaurant/cafe/bar/whatever, at least sit outside on the patio with it.

      This isn’t to mention everybody else on the planet who doesn’t appreciate having to walk around your dog/listen to it bark incessantly/keep it from getting tangled up with their dog/bike/legs whatever.

      Part of being a dog owner is making sacrifices to care for what is a major responsibility. Since your friend is a nice, reasonable lady, hopefully she can see past her anger and learn a valuable lesson from the lecture.

      PS–the dog fighting thing is true, and one more reason why dogs shouldn’t be unattended.

    • bfinpetworth

      As the original poster, and I can assure you, that dog was anxiety ridden while the owner was inside. Your friend clearly takes good care of the dog, she just needs to not tie it up outside. Its really simple.

      • +1

        people need to get schooled/lectured in public more often.

        • Not to hijack the thread, but lecture cell-phone-using DC drivers whenever they almost run me over on my bike. Some of them don’t respond too well. Others seem to take my lecture to heart. Just sayin.

      • Hear that everyone? OP assures you the dog was anxious.

        • Can I hire her for some pet psychology?



      • How about you just stop sticking your nose in business that has nothing to do with you. Dogs can wait patiently while being tied up. There is no ideological issue with that. A well behaved dog will never have an issue with that. It’s only other crazy people like you who then humanize the dog and start feeling sorry for it and then think they have the right to lecture people on something that’s not your business that is the problem. Leave other people’s dogs alone. I hope you never come near my dogs.

    • “i assure you that dog, baby and momma lead a very happy, well cared for life that is most certainly NOT filled with anxiety.”

      maybe it’s this kind of detachment and aloofness that is the issue. it’s common sense: don’t tie up your dog and leave it unattended for long periods of time in highly trafficked areas. if you take offense to that, realize that owning a dog is more than making sure it is “pretty” and “well groomed.”

    • As a friendly neighbor of someone who ties up their hound mix under my window to go into CVS all the time, it sucks. The dog barks for 10 minutes straight. So instead of walking a couple of minutes home and back to drop of the dog, the rest of the neighborhood has to listen to the dog yap and see it tug on its leash for 10 minutes. I also really dislike when “friendly dog” is so worked up at being left alone it starts lunging at my dog and the people walking by. Thanks for doing the right thing, OP.

  • Anyone who dislikes being sued should know this is a bad idea…

  • People approach dog ownership in very different ways ( Some people go crazy with the doggy outfits, others leave them outside alone all day. While this article is over the top in some places, I put myself in the “protectionist” category because you completely control this other animal’s (yes we are animals too) life and you are the dogs entire WORLD, so the least you can do as an owner is avoid putting physical and psychological stress (yes all animals have psyches) on a creature you spend on average $3,000 on a year.

  • A friend always ties his adorable dog outside bars as bait for smoker chicks. He goes out every 10 minutes or so to “check on it.”

    • You actually need bait for smoker chicks? I thought you just had to give them a smoke and you’re halfway to a threeway….

  • I went to the Georgetown Apple store for and ipod checkup and some guy had a pitbull in there. The dog was angsty and kind of “boofed” at people. (Boofing = formerly abused dogs who want to bark but they know they aren’t supposed to so it’s only a half voiced sound.) It seemed like a nice dog, but not able to handle the situation

    I’ll probably get flack for saying this but when you’re a caretaker of another living thing, don’t put it in the situation where she/he has the high probability of acting out. For dogs, if they’re anxious and still nervous around people don’t take them to highly crowded areas. If your child has been cranky and tired all day, don’t take them to Zengo for dinner with 15 of your closest friends. No one will be happy.

  • MOLLY!

  • I have two dogs and know that they are in crazy pain when I tie them up just to go in and out a liquor store.
    One of my dogs actually sounds like seal. And knowing that pain I also know the people walking by him lose their hearing for a minute. It is lose-lose lose situation. Thnak goodness I have a nice partner who sits with them for one minute so they can get over the agony of just one of us leaving them.

    • Sherry’s liquor in Woodley Park (on Calvert – right at Conn.) welcomes dogs and gives them biscuits.

  • Did you really just compare chaining a baby up outside to chaining up a full grown dog outside? Unbelievable.

      • You are unhinged. Truly. So should dogs never be left alone at home all day, either? Because I wouldn’t leave my 2-year-old home by himself all day, but my dog certainly stays home. Should I not have a dog? And if your answer is yes, then how many dogs are you going to take in that would otherwise be in homes where they’re alone most of the day? Because I am fairly confident that my dog is better off with me than she would be at a shelter. Or dead, since chances are that kill shelters would be a whole lot busier if only people without full-time jobs could have dogs.

        You know, it’s bad enough to lecture the owner in person. But this long email to PoP with the BS apology at the end is over the top.

        • A dog kept safetly at home is a completely different story situation than one tied in public and left unattended for 45 + minutes.

          Get a grip people.

          • The OP compared leaving a dog tied outside to leaving a baby tied outside. I want to know how far that comparison goes.

      • That’s asinine. You may have a valid point (I tend to disagree — I think the situation varies by dog and owner’s risk tolerance), but at the end of the day, we’re talking about a living creature that is NOT a human.

        • bfinpetworth

          But a living creature nonetheless. Some of us don’t subscribe to the supremity of the human race.

          My point is that the dog is vunerable when left alone tied up without supervision. Just like a child. Its not really that hard to see the analogy if you open your mind. And its not asinine. You just don’t place the same value on the feelings of our canine friends that I do. Sounds like a personal problem that you’ll have to figure out.

  • Lucy – If the person who posted this wasn’t so anxious and nervous about everything, I know you would have remained calm. Its so cool to see your picture on POP. OK see you seen.

  • Depending on the breed, temperment, weather, surroundings of course–can we all just agree to a 15 minute cutoff for leaving a dog tied up outside? That’s a decent grace period. After that, check on it or leave, or leave it home better yet.

    I’m not a “dog person” but I see this person’s point. Just because it’s Adams-Morgan and there are no denizens of the ghetto around–the people whom we usually and stereotypically label as dog abusers–doesn’t mean folks indoors can’t be self-indulgent or forgetful.

  • Hello, all, I am the much maligned owner of Lucy.

    Here are some facts. Lucy and I have lived in the AdMo/CH neighborhood for seven years now and during all of those seven years she has been tied up outside restaurants, 7-11s, grocery stores, shops, etc on many occasions. She has also been left unattended in our backyard, sometimes we are home, sometimes not. I occasionally forget to fill up her water or food bowls for an hour or so. I don’t take her to the park everyday. I let the neighborhood kids take her for walks and don’t follow them. Her favorite frisbee reached the end of its long life and I threw it away but still haven’t bought her a replacement. Despite all of that neglect she somehow manages to be a happy, content, lovely dog and an amazing pet to our family.

    Now let’s address this particular instance of neglect. I am not in the practice leaving Lucy unattended for long periods of time, granted many folks have differing opinions on what constitutes a long period of time. This particular morning, despite what the emailer says, my friend, son, and I were only separated from Lucy for less than 30mins. Anyone who reads this post with kids knows that you don’t leisurely dine with a 9 month old. We sat, ordered, ate, and paid. I even checked my phone logs to verify. 30 mins. As for the kids who were maliciously hugging her and the neglectful parents that allowed it to happen, Lucy loves kids and loves attention. Perhaps she was agitated b/c she realized there was a crazy person in the restaurant with us and she was concerned for our safety and well-being.

    While I want to appreciate the apology that’s been tagged onto the end of this email I find it hard to accept that it’s sincere as the poster considers it to be more diplomatic and less embarrassing to take a picture, post it on a neighborhood site, and attach the lecture to that.

    • Fair enough, but you haven’t addressed some of the concerns brought up about the possibility of Lucy being stolen, hurt, or provoked to bite someone (which can happen to even the nicest of dogs).

      • yeah, let’s interrogate the scofflaw!!!

        • I’m just wondering whether she doesn’t care, doesn’t think any of those scenarios could possibly happen, or honestly hadn’t considered any of these scenarios happening.

      • Some of you guys really need to get a life, I haven’t seen this many internet tough guys/girls in a long time.

        What ever happened to minding your own business?

    • nobody’s questioning your ability to care for your dog. i’m sure it’s a neighborhood hit.

      all the same, not everybody appreciates tripping over your dog or hearing it whine while they wait at the diner or eat inside as you enjoy your plate of croque monsieur and blissful ignorance. it’s just common sense.

    • Why would you bring your dog with you if you were planning to eat out? Do you think that counts as walking your dog?

      It doesn’t matter how friendly your dog is, you shouldn’t take it out simply to leave it tied up in public while you’re doing something else, even if it’s for “only” 30 minutes.

      It doesn’t matter how happy your dog was. What you did was inconsiderate to other people.

      And if you love Lucy so much, I don’t understand why you would take such a risk of her becoming a “Molly.”

    • Dear Lucy’s Owner,

      I hope to never see Lucy’s picture on a “Lost Dog” sign because it’ll clearly be your fault. As someone who has a dog and a kid, you should probably be responsible enough to know better.

      I’m glad you wrote in OP, and feel pretty damn sorry for Lucy for living with this idiot.

      – Jack

      • me

        Oh, and OP, it’s illegal to leave the dog tied up outside for that long. Just sayin’.

        I hate the type of Yuppie that thinks it’s okay for the to do whatever they want to do, whether it’s this minor or not.

        • me

          I didn’t mean OP- I meant the woman RESPONDING to the OP….. oh, you know what I mean. The woman with the dog.

  • This also is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t care how well cared for a dog is, it shouldn’t be left tied up outside. If you’re going inside for five minutes to get food and sit down outside, fine. but don’t torture your poor pet that way for going inside for an hour. I’ve seen way too many dogs whining anxiously as they wait for their owners at the coffee shops/cafes by my office. One poor thing was literally trembling, it was so scared.

  • bfinpetworth

    OP here. I know this post would result in some conflict because I DID stick my nose in someone else’s business. But you know what? That woman who tied her dog up without thinking of how it impacted the dog made it MY problem. I am obviously a dog-lover, and in fact am highly empathetic to dog emotions – to a fault, I admit. Perhaps that’s wierd but that’s how I am.

    What is the pleasure in taking a dog to a restaurant only to leave it outside by itself? I don’t get the point and I think its wrong – for the dog and for all the other people who have to watch the situation and worry about the dog. Trust me, I was NOT the only other patron concerned with the wellbeing of that dog (Lucy?). The only explanation I have for doing that is the desire to be “seen” with your cool dog.

    And for those of you who think you can’t tell whether a dog is anxious or not, you obviously have never had a dog. They wear their emotions on their collars, so to speak. Its how they communicate.

    • Seriously. Get off the high horse. If the dog dislikes being left alone, it would have been just as anxious at home alone. The owner knows the risks she was taking bt tying it outside and know the dog’s temperment better than you. The last thing she needs is a lecture from a stranger on a neighborhood blog.

      • bfinpetworth

        But at least the dog is SAFE at home, rather than subject to the whims of whomever passes by. That is the point.

        • You really need to re-evaluate your values. I think you need a shrink and I don’t mean that aggressively or as an insult. I really think you probably have some mental issues you need to get checked out. I am genuinely concerned for your welfare.

      • Disagree. I leave my dog at home and he goes up and naps on the guest room bed. I leave him in the car (in appropriate weather) while I run in to the dry cleaner to pick up some clothes, he’s anxious, even when he can see me through the window. Leaving a dog alone at home and in a public place are two very different things.

    • Way to anthropomorphize.

  • The only person allowed to lecture me is my mom, everyone else gets a gofuckyourselfverymuch.

  • What if a reactive dog had attacked that dog while it’s owner was eating pancakes with her baby? Is it really worth the risk, really?

    • What if someone had broken into her house while she was out and stolen the dog? It’s called calculated risk. We all make these types decisions everyday. Just because your level of risk aversion is higher than hers doesn’t mean she deserves a public flogging on a neighborhood blog.

      • She deserves a public flogging when she leaves her animal tied up alone in a public space for THE PUBLIC to deal with. It wasn’t in her private residence, it was left tied up on the PUBLIC sidewalk unable to run away were it to be attached by another dog or punk kids and no owner to defend it. But, yes calculated risk…

      • You’re missing the point: she exposed others to risk. Her own risk tolerance is moot.

        • You don’t understand how risk tolerance works. By your logic, I shouldn’t get behind the wheel of my car because a moving vehicle creates risk for pedestrian, cyclists and other vehicles. The reality is, I’m accepting the risk that I may hit someone or something w/ my vehicle.

          • Exactly. We expose other to risk all the time. And if those risks come to pass, then I have to suffer the consequences. Simple. Yes, there should be limits to the amount of risk that we chould expose others to, but luckily, we already have an entire legal system that lays out those limits. We don’t need the judgement of haughty busybodies with nothing better to do.

          • Awww. Look at you two. *pinches cheeks*

            Nick — point well taken. A socially acceptable level of risk is the same as a socially unacceptable (or in this case, socially questionable) level of risk.

            DCDude– haughtily reprimanding someone doesn’t cause any risk of illegal harm. Leaving a dog out does. For the record, most of the rules of our culture are not codified into law. Ever notice that?

            Should’a gone to Duffy’s when I had the chance.

          • Tres,
            So you admit then, that your objections have nothing to do with animal welfare or with calculated risk, but rather about how leaving a dog tied up violates some preconceived notion in your head about what constitutes polite society? Well then, I guess we can call that progress. But in any event, when the other person resorts to ridiculing you, instead of taking your arguments head-on, that’s usually a good signal that you have won the argument.

          • dcdude – So, if I call you ta royal douche of the first order, does that mean you won whatever argument you seem to be having?

          • But if you do get behind the wheel of your car, you should recognize the responsibility of wielding a two-ton weapon.

        • it’s adams morgan. if her dog got the least bit aggressive, a cop would have shot and killed it.

          • Haha, yes, that’s another thing to worry about in DC.

            Well, I have to admit though, I was just using my ESP to understand how the doggie felt, and I found out that hew was quite happy simply to be outside, but he didn’t want to be tied up for SO long nor on such a busy street.


          • I see what you did there.

  • Really, if you think this is bad you should come out to Fairfax County. I once left my dog in the car (with the window cracked, on a day that wasn’t excessively hot or cold) and ran into 7-11 for no more than 10 minutes. When I came out the car was surrounded by police because some yuppie housewife with nothing better to do had complained…

  • I have a dog (and a toddler!), but I learned very very early on (pre baby) that my dog cannot deal with being tied up outside. The dog doesn’t bark at home, is great at the dog park, does well on a leash with other dogs/people, but when she was a puppy, I tried tying her up somewhere once for just a few minutes, and she went berserk, barked like nuts and tried to bite someone who was taunting her (yes, he was a jerk, but still not a good sign).

    I tried working with the dog on being able to be tied up for a brief ~5 minutes if I wanted to run and get a coffee, but after 3-4 more attempts, it wasn’t worth it. But, you know what? I realized that I can plan better and avoid situations in which I have to tie her up (in fact, she does fine being left in the car, but that only works in cool weather).

    I honestly don’t understand why people persist on leaving their dogs tied up when the dog could easily be left at home or dog care while they buy groceries, eat flapjacks, etc. If neither of those options work, then you clearly have no business owning a dog.

    • Agreed. The fact that this woman left the dog tied up in the same neighborhood she lives in is baffling. I could see if they’d gone on an epic walk to the SW waterfront or something and she decided to stop for a bite to eat, but in this sitution why not drop the dog off at home first?

    • why do you all assume that this dog gets anxious when tied up. why are you taking this person’s word for it. many dogs are perfectly happy and fine while tied up in familiar settings for limited amounts of time.

      • I should have clarified that I don’t understand why people leave “anxious dogs” tied up when there’s no real emergency reason as to why.

        And, I agree, not all dogs have issues with this, but mine does, and it sounds like this dog was freaking out, but the woman preferred eating flapjacks, bangers and mash over taking care of her dog – hardly an emergency.

        My comment was more generic in that I see a lot of anxious dogs that clearly have no business being left alone. That said, I see a great many dogs that are perfectly chill while tied up, which is great for them! Wish mine would, but she won’t, I recognize it, and avoid the situation as opposed to some dog owners who selfishly put their desires above the dog’s (and possibly passers-by) well-being

    • My dog cannot deal with being tied up outside, therefore no dogs can deal with being tied up outside.

    • Because not every dog is your dog?

  • I think the more pressing issue here is the dog’s complete and utter lack of self confidence in front of the camera. Enroll her at the Bowbizon Modelling school. Perhaps a class in still shots and close-ups, then some runway training to perfect her strut. It takes more than some platinum locks and a flashy fuchsia leash to be the next Naomi Campbull-terrier or Tyra Barks.

  • Don’t tie your dog up. And if someone else does, mind yo fuckin bidness! FIle this post under, “THings people complain about when they have no real problems to concern themselves with”

  • Hey everyone! It’s me, Lucy. Thanks for all of your concern. Even you, crazy lady (OP?). For the record, my owner rescued me when we lived in Korea where I was raised for consumption (seriously, no lie). So, every night I sleep with my owner, and every morning she lets me out to do my business, I “feel” like the luckiest dog in the world. Sometimes I get anxious but have never EVER bitten anyone. I’m a LOVER not a fighter. So, do me a favor and the next time you see me out, stop me and say, “hi” and give me pat on the head and thank my owner for saving my life over 8 years ago.

    Oh, to the point of me being in your way as you walk down the sidewalk, I could say the same to you. I’m just sayin’. Be polite and mind your own business. Caco 🙂 Portlandia is my favorite show. Which reminds me, uptight, type-a, wanna save the world from themselves do-gooders is OVER!

    Lots of love,
    Lucy “lou bird”

    • I’m sorry, but posting as your dog does not give you sympathy points.

      Enough said.

      • Seriously. Honestly, it’s weird. And a little creepy.

        Plus, bragging about how you’re such an awesome dog owner is really not helping your cause.

    • You can talk?

    • you’re all crazy, cause there is nothing wrong with eating a dog.

      dogs are yummy. you PoP racists!


      But anyway… here’s the deal.

      Domesticated animals live for us. Not the other way around. This isn’t biblo/carnivore-crap, this is just a very omnipresent and manifest reality.

      If the woman knew her dog and knew it wouldn’t bite and didn’t think it would be stolen that is her deal. If it bit someone, she’d have to deal with it. But it didn’t, so she was right.

      I grew up on a farm. Horse breaks a leg, shoot it (although my mom wouldn’t, so I got free lunch at school…). Cats are for catching mice. Dogs bark at strangers. Cows are yummy. etc.

      That said, you do treat your animals well. There is a mutual respect. This woman probably treats her dog well, and the dog probably knows how to behave.

      People don’t have to live for their animals. They need only to treat them reasonably and be treated reasonably by them in return.

    • Good dog!

  • Some owners think they are doing their pets a favor by taking them everywhere with them because the dog will be sad if they leave them. This might be fine for some pets, but not all. My husband is starting to realize that our dog will be much happier left at doggie daycare with people and dogs that she knows rather than come with us to a dog friendly hotel. It’s my husband, not the dog, with the separation anxiety.

    And for those saying that if this dog was anxious left outside he would be just as anxious if left at his house, this is not necessarily true. At his house he can lay down and sleep in a familiar place and not be disturbed.

    • “Not necessarily true” does not equal “false”. My dog, for example, hates being left alone, even at home. He won’t play with his toys or even eat his food if no one is home. He just waits by the door until I get home, at which point he jumps up and down and showers me with kisses.


  • Isn’t this two blocks from where a police officer shot a dog for attacking another dog during Adams Morgan day? Just sayin there definitely worse things that can happen on that specific street and in the future you might want to take an extra second to think about it.

  • Hey all you negative posters and judgmental people – stop being part of the problem and try to be part of the solution.
    Did anyone break the law?
    Did anyone get hurt?
    Did you witness this situation?
    Do you know the dog? the dog owner? the accuser?

    OK then, STFU

    • In best Barbara Streisand voice:

      “Did you ever know that you’re my hero…”

    • It’s arguable that she did break the law. This Act has a pretty low bar to consitute a violation.

      Cruel chaining of dogs prohibited by the District’s “Freedom From Cruelty to Animals Protection Act.”

      Chapter 106, Sec. 2 (b) For the purpose of this section, “cruelly chains” means attaching an animal to a stationary object or a pulley by means of a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or similar restraint under circumstances that may endanger its health, safety, or well-being. “Cruelly chains” includes, but is not limited to, the use of a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or similar restraint that: (1) Exceeds 1/8 the body weight of the animal; (2) Causes the animal to choke; (3) Is too short for the animal to move around or for the animal to urinate or defecate in a separate area from the area where it must eat, drink, or lie down; (4) Is situated where it can become entangled; (5) Does not permit the animal access to food, water, shade, dry ground, or shelter; or (6) Does not permit the animal to escape harm. (Act 13-418; June 1, 2001

    • awesome life philosophy, moron. let’s never do anything preventative. easier to wait until shit happens.

  • Asshats like this should not be allowed to have dogs. It’s not an accessory: it’s a life and a part of your family. Unbelievable.

  • What a wonderful read to close out the work day! While I certainly understand the OP’s concern, I find it completly arrogant and self-righteous for him to send this complaint to PoP (who will obviously post any e-mail with the smallest chance of aggitating particular types of residents) along with the picture (as the “Perp” pointed out in her post) AFTER he embarrased and lectured her at the scene.

    How much frikkin’ drama do you need in your life OP? Or is it that your insights into the animal psyche are so enlightened that you MUST share it with all of us plebes?

    I certainly hope that one day you find yourself in a similar situation where you have to defend yourself before a neighborhood blog because some insufferable jerk didn’t like they way you did something.

    • I heard she hands her laundry out to dry in the back yard… it’s SUCH an eyesore.

    • bfinpetworth

      Sent to PoP to hopefully get other folks who engage in similar behavior to think twice. Looks like I may have succeeded given the responses here. Sorry if it ruined your afternoon – hopefully not as much as that encounter on Sunday morning ruined my morning.

      I do admit to being an insufferable jerk at times, however. Guilty as charged. And guess what – I am having to defend myself to you right now for my own behavior. We all have our standards and we live by them or we don’t. On that particular morning and on that particular issue, I chose to stand by mine. Deal with it.

      • Standing up for what you believe in. Arent you just the newest version of Nelson Mandela.

      • People like you and people not like you at all – basically all people – are what make DC suck more than it already does. Down with people!

        If this city were just full of chained-up dogs and no people, it would be a great/terrible place to live.

      • I’m glad you said something and I’m glad you wrote in.

  • While I do think 30 minutes is probably pushing it as far as time leaving your dog tied up outside of a restaurant, if we all want to successfully coexist in an urban environment, we probably need less lecturing of one another, and not more. And when we do slip up and go over the top in lecturing our fellow citizens, let’s leave it at that, and not feel the need to turn to a wider online audience to “educate” an even wider swath of the population. (And let me ask, honestly, has anyone’s opinion about tying dogs up, pro or anti, been changed by this thread? Has it educated anyone?)

    Even though I probably tilt toward OP’s view on the issue of leaving dogs tied up, I note that OP has admitted to being incivil (okay, “undiplomatic”) about her lecture, and yet chose to apologize in a PS appended to a blog instead of calling the dog owner, whose phone number she has. Here’s MY lecture to people in DC — unless something illegal or imminently dangerous is occurring, try being less judgmental, and try to actually have some meaningful, productive face-to-face communication with the people who you choose to live around. This applies to OP, this applies to lecturers in general, and it especially applies to the people in my condo building who choose to run disputes anonymously through the board instead of actually speaking to their neighbors.

    • +1

      I got yelled at by a crazy troll in the Metro this week because I was (get your lynching ropes out) reading my iPhone while walking on the Metro platform. Before I get flamed, YES, I concede, not ideal Metro behavior. But can we all just stop yelling/judging/lecturing each other? Live and let live.

  • This happened right down to street from where Parrot was murdered in cold blood by a rouge, pro-Poodle, racist police officer!!!!

    We simply must have another vigil!!!

  • Clueless Dog Owners! Clueless Dog Owners! Clueless Dog Owners!

  • I bet the OP watches Portlandia tonight.

  • I do leave my dog outside for short period of time tied up like any ational persn doing errands…I don’t know if anyone has heard of this CRRRRAZY new invention called……windows! It seems to be catching on b/c most places have them in DC!

  • All I’ve taken away from this discourse is that all dog owners are annoying. And this comes from an animal lover.

    The dog owner in questions thinks her dog is sooo wonderful and friendly and pet-able that no one could possibly be annoyed by it barking and whining while she left it alone on the street.

    OP is so insistent on anthropomorphizing an animal that she thinks that standing up for a “sad dog” is this huge heroic event that needs to be dramatically narrated in a letter to a public blog.

    I’m being a bit facetious, but – ugh.

  • Happy Hangover’s Eve, everyone!

  • What about adults & children having to walk past a barking dog on a crowded sidewalk?

  • Dear OP – Mind your own fucking business.

    – Dog owner.

  • Never forget.

  • Jeopardy Answer: “Dogs” and “gentrification.”

    Jeopardy Question: What are the two topics that consistently generate the highest volume of inane posts in a 24-hour period on PoP?

  • The OP handled the situation incorrectly– the phone conversation should have gone something like this:

    “Hi, is this Lucy’s owner?”… “Is she up-to-date on her rabies shots?”…. “Oh nothing, the doctor in the ER is asking”…. “Yes, Lucy bit my son so I took down your number, but luckily he just needs a few stitiches and we do have health insurance”….

  • Coincidentally, I was eating a late breakfast at Open City this morning. There was a gorgeous Bassett Hound tied up outside the restaurant. It seemed calm and friendly, so I thought I might say hello to it. I approached carefully, just in case the dog was skittish, and held out my hand for it to sniff. Instead, it jumped up and lunged straight for my face. Luckily, I had been careful to keep away until I could tell whether the dog was friendly, so it didn’t bite me. But seriously people, if you know your dog bites people, don’t f***ing tie it up outside a restaurant with lots of foot traffic.

    • The thing is, that Bassett Hound probably doesn’t bite when it’s around its owners– either because it feels safer or because it knows it will be scolded for doing so. The owners probably have no idea.

    • Sorry, but in any world – a Bassett Hound lunging straight for your face is just too damn funny!

    • Why do you have to pet EVERYONE else’s dog? What gives you the right to touch or handle someone else’s dog without their permission? Leave other people’s animals alone!

  • Is it just me or do a lot of these “Dear PoP” posts tend to be excuses to publically complain more than anything else? Reminds me of the person a few weeks ago who was upset that someone was driving aggressively on Rock Creek Parkway during rush hour.

  • OMG, its just a dog. Poster should get a real family and mind his/her own business.

  • I think it’s incredibly stupid for owners to leave their dogs tied up outside while they have a meal, shop for groceries, etc. First of all, you then shouldn’t be surprised and/or upset when the dog is stolen or lost when you leave it untended on the busy sidewalk of a major metropolitan city. Second, not only is it inconsiderate for those of us who have to dodge your hyperventilating pet’s freak-outs on the sidewalk, but the dogs are probably not having too much fun either. why inflict stress on an animal unless you’re a sociopath (which some of you commenting on this post clearly seem to fit the bill). Those who say “it’s just a dog” and “they should mind their own business” are the same ignorant jerks who lack basic human empathy and personal responsibility for helpless living things.

  • I’ll leave my dog tied up outside of coffee stores or other places where I run very quick errands and can see him through the window. I agree that 45 mins is too long, but the whole never tie a dog outside of a store is also not the solution.

    The problem is, this city is so dog unfriendly, I can’t take him in any store (or almost anywhere for that matter). In NYC dogs are allowed almost everywhere– and they have less space than we do. Here if you go to an outdoor restaurant and ask if the dog can sit with you they give you a look like you’ve asked to murder someone. And for people that don’t like dogs or running into them or whatever it is they do that so bothers you, I don’t like babies and strollers, and yet deal with them without complaining. I’m sure there are things you do that others don’t like but don’t say anything about. That’s just part of living in a busy city, accepting things other people like that you don’t.

  • SO I think I saw the same dog tied up outside whole foods today. Same helpless look, same leash. wtf people??

Comments are closed.