St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish Explains New Policy Banning Dog Walking in the Cemetery

Having just been introduced to, I was reading through the previous
posts and came across one concerning Rock Creek Cemetery’s decision to ban dog-
. I am the Director of Christian Education at St. Paul’s – the active parish that
resides within the cemetery – and thought I might clear up some of the misconceptions as
to why the decision was made, and why it was not.

In May of 2010, the vestry of St. Paul’s amended the rules of dog-walking on the
premises, with the hope of decreasing the number of complaints we received from those
visiting their loved ones. The rules were as follows:

Pets must be kept leashed AT ALL TIMES.

Clean up your pets droppings. Waste Cans are provided throughout the
churchyard for your convenience in disposing of your pet’s waste.

PLEASE RESPECT the people at rest in this Church Yard and their families as
they visit.

This is an active cemetery. Please keep a respectful distance from funeral
preparations and interment services.

This is an active Church Community. Our Sunday worship times are 8:00am and
10:30am. If you are not joining us in church for worship, please do not walk your
dog in the area around the Church during services!

Less than a year later we had more complaints than ever. This past spring alone we had
dogs off of their leashes running up to an on site funeral, dogs pestering our parishioners
after Church, dog’s droppings were not always picked up, as well as numerous other
problems. Further, over the last year, as many of you may well know, St. Paul’s has been
in negotiations with Christian Family Montessori School. At the time we reached our
decision it was clear that they would be moving into our space and beginning school this
coming Fall. After weighing our options, and recognizing that our campus will be quite
busy with so many children, we decided it best to ban dog-walking altogether.

We recognize this as a huge inconvenience to many in the immediate area; we also
recognize that many of you have graciously followed the rules for many years and are
being held responsible for the actions of others: for this we greatly apologize! Our intent
at St. Paul’s is to provide a safe, serene place for the neighborhood, the families of those
resting, and the larger DC area. We can only hope that you will continue to enjoy our
wonderfully historic DC landmark, without accompany of your pets.

Thanks for your understanding. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me

Jason Luttrell
Director of Christian Education
St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish
[email protected]

126 Comment

  • It’s nice that the parish is offering an explanation. But in my opinion, a cemetery’s decision to ban dog walking doesn’t need explanation.
    It’s not a public place.
    Walk your dog someplace where people are not buried.
    End of story.

    • Exactly. I can’t believe people are writing in to justify their decisions to a bunch of naive 20-somethings who just moved into this city and want to complain about everything.

    • Agreed. As a dog owner, I find this practice odd and disrespectful. I admit, Rock Creek Cemetery is not near me, but I would never walk my dog through any cemetery. Sort of creepy not to mention I would be horrified every time he tried to mark his territory on a headstone. Which he would. Since he’s a dog.

      There is a special place in fictional hell reserved for anyone who doesn’t pick up dog poo in a cemetery. The only worse thing I can think of would be to leave half and put the other half in the cemetery’s private trash can……

    • Agreed. Anyone who feels entitled to walk her dog in a cemetery (or other piece of private property) needs schooling.

  • me

    Agreed- I thought their decision was theirs to make. While it sucks that a few people that didn’t abide by the rules ruined it for the collective, I think they’re not only making a good decision about banning dogwalking, but also that was a very well-written and rational response. I don’t see how anyone could argue with it other than to whine about it.

  • I think it’s a bad policy. They should just tell the irresponsible dog walkers to leave. RCC is counted as usable greenspace by OOP, but clearly it is not.

    • It sounds like they DID try to keep out irresponsible dog walkers, and they had just as many problems as ever. walkers

      • oops, don’t know where that last word came from…

        • I thought the last word really drove the comment home. I would have added an exclamation point, though, and employed some sort of fist-shaking emoticon if available.

    • me

      You’re joking, right? It’s not their job to be babysitters.

    • would you like to pay for the person that needs to be hire to do that?

    • What does “usable greenspace by OOP” mean?

      • It very much is “useable green space.” I have been there many times to visit the St. Gaudins sculpture — the memorial Henry Adams commissioned for his late wife Clover. I have gone there on many occasions to meditate or just to have some quiet time in the middle of the bustling city.
        It’s a sacred green space and should be treated as such. I agree with the church’s decision and appreciate the stewardship of its members.

    • how are you supposed to “find” the irresposible ones? test the dog sh*t left on your loved one’s grave? I agree with this ban. A cemetery isn’t a dog park and it never should be. It’s hallowed ground for goodness sake…

  • The flip side is what they are doing is illegal. The law in DC as explained to me by two Cop friends of mine is that a dog can go anywhere in the District pee or poop. The law only states you have to remove the poop. So I understand why the Church is doing this but in this case the State (maybe someday) over rules. I might just bring my dog there today in protest. BUT I will pick up his mess.

    • Cops are not lawyers. I don’t know what the answer is here, but I would do more research before you “protest.”

    • Except private property, perhaps?

    • It’s not up to the parish to police which dog owners use leashes or pick up after their dogs; why should they have to monitor every dog there? Who’s going to pay for hiring extra security?

    • not on my lawn, they can’t.

    • I’m not a cop or a lawyer but this doesn’t make any sense.

      • your “cop friends” are wrong. sorry. private property is just that–PRIVATE.

        • Cops are probably thinking of front yards. In DC the federal government generally owns the land right up to the front wall of your house — even the land under your porch. It’s just that the government permits residents to landscape and generally treat part of that land as if it were privately owned. It creates some interesting and complicated legal questions. I doubt you could sue a dog owner for trespass just for letting the dog poop on your front yard, for example (as long as you then clean it up). But it certainly doesn’t convert a church-owned cemetery into public land or equate to a right of dog walkers to walk their dogs on any private land in the district. Come on now.

    • Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do…

    • Looking forward to taking my dog to the Senate floor for a poop. You said ANYWHERE, right?

    • Anywhere in the district? Can I bring my dog to sh*t in your kitchen, as long as I clean it up?

      Private property brother.

    • One Dog’s Opinion,

      How about someone take their dog for a walk and crap on your front porch– with your logic as long as they pick it up it is legal??

  • Good!

    Can you imagine some slobberball coming to wet your leg while you’re burying a loved one?

    Unbelievable how obnoxious some dog owners are. It’s not as if the rules were really that difficult to comprehend, but apparently a select few were able to destroy it for everyone else.

  • I think there must be middle ground.

    In Congressional Cemetery, don’t dog-owners pay an annual fee? I’m imagining a situation where responsible dog-owners join the “canine friends of St. Paul”, pay a membership fee, and get a doggie coat with the club logo on it. The dog wears the coat to walk in the park, on leash. The owners can get a discount on the fee if they participate in a monthly clean-up.

    It’s an administrative hassle, yes. But Mr. Luttrell seems to recognize the value of community, and feel bad about the bad apples spoiling it for everyone. It could be a nice little community, and serve the parish well in the long run.

  • andy

    I think the Cemetery is beautiful and have run there a number of times.

    Does anyone think it’s a problem to run through Rock Creek Cemetery, sans dog?

    • I don’t think so…..

      I also don’t think it is creepy, weird, or disrespectful to walk a dog through a cemetery either. Unfortunately, though it sounds like people were not responsible about it and because of that I don’t disagree with this decision.

      This is coming from someone who has spent more than my fair share of time grieving in cemeteries…

    • Maybe it’s not disrespectful in and of itself to run through a cemetery (sans dog), but obvious ground rules should be observed. Namely, don’t run through when there is a funeral/burial in progress, and steer clear of folks who are grieving and deserve some quiet. And keep your shirt on.

  • There arent active burials at Congressional.

    It would be nice if the church could set up a system where its permitted at some times, but not others… but apparently their neighbors are so disrespectful that wont matter.

    I dont find any argument about it being sacred ground to be compelling. I do, however, find the church’s reasoning more than compelling and I understand their frustration and their decision. I mean, accidents happen, and if a couple dogs interfered it would be incredibly embarrassing, but it sounds like it was more often than 1 or 2 times.

    Its too bad this is the only way they can ensure that their mourners are given the privacy and respect they deserve.

    • do you simply not find places to be sacred and not respect other peoples belief in the sanctity of certain places?

      fortunately, it’s irrelevant if you are convinced or not.

      • You did notice that the church didnt object to dog walking based on anything to do with sacred ground, right?

        Or did you half read their statement the same way you half read my post?

    • Actually, Congressional does still have active burials on the family-owned plots. And the dog walking program there is not without its controversy. I’ve been a member for 6 years and it’s working for now mainly because the program is so rigidly organized and policed. Even with that, there are conflicts. Based on my experience at Congressional, I can see why St. Paul’s has chosen to ban dogs. A formal dogwalking program requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, as well as dozens of willing volunteers, to do it right and maintain respect for the grounds.

    • saf

      There are active burials at Congressional. From the FAQ:
      “Q. Do you still bury people? Are plots still available?

      A. Yes and yes. Click here to contact Cemetery Manager Alan Davis if you are interested in more information.”

      • Well, then, the only difference between these two is that the cemetery doesnt want to go through the effort that Congressional did. C’est la vie.

  • “Don’t worry, she’s friendly!”
    -Dog owner, to the person/church service/funeral their animal is currently terrorizing

    • These are my favorite words to hear when a 100 pound dog is running at me full speed…

  • Thanks for the explanation, Jason. It’s really a shame that a few people ruined this for everyone else who keeps their dog leashed and picks up poop. I know I appreciated being able to walk my dog somewhere trash-free and peaceful, and I tried to be respectful and kept her from walking on monuments and flat grave markers. It is totally the church’s right to amend the policy and I can see why they would with a school opening and with dogs running up to funerals(!).

  • Another failure of Christian tolerance, forgiveness and turning the other cheek.

    WWJDP? (Where would Jesus’s dog poop?)

  • There are active burials at Congressional – I used to be a member there and loved it. As my dog ages it really wasn’t an expense we needed to pay.

    The dog walking program is GREAT but it takes a lot of money and time to maintain. They do a fantastic job. It is a fully functioning cemetery and with the recent renewed interest in the cemetery they have been getting more requests….

  • So I can still walk my goat? This is just dogs, right?

  • OOP = Office of Planning. RCC counts are usable public greenspace for Petworth and Park View. You cannot get into the the federally paid for Old Soldiers Home, you cannot walk dogs in the federally paid for Rock Creek Cemetary (they get a lot of fed and historic dollars). Its almost like a prison in that area with land that is federally paid for but you cannot access.

    Additionally, you cannot walk dogs off leash at Fort Totten, which is also federally owned (and federal rules allow for off leash dogs as long as you can control your dog, but not at FT)

    The church is just being very unwelcoming to dog owners. There are real security issues there with theft and everything else but they choose to come down on all dog owners for the actions of a few. Do you know how many times I’ve come across someone taking a p*ss in that place? Of course, a lot of this problem could be blamed on DC infrastructure – with no large dogs parks where owners can run their dogs its to be expected that people would try to find place to run their dogs.

    • Yes, because as we all know, dogs and their owners are SO persecuted in DC. **end eyeroll**

      So much space is continuing to be set aside for dog parks, and we treat dogs better than the homeless in this city. So, I’m sorry your dog can no longer take a leak or dump in a cemetery. You’ll just have to take them to one of the hundreds of other places you can walk them.

      • +5 gazillion. I love animals, but this spooky sense of entitlement that seems to becoming pandemic among DC dog owners is disturbing. If sizable amounts of public space are being allocated as dog-parks or dog-domains, then maybe permits should be required to own a dog (thus requiring classes on the do’s and don’ts of owning a dog in the city before receiving the permit). This might help abate some of the stupid behavior increasingly exhibited by dog owners. We have dog-training classes, why aren’t their dog-owner training classes?

      • We’re setting aside SO MUCH space for dogs? That seems like a bit of hyperbole. There are a handful of fairly small dog parks. Unlike many of the playgrounds and parks in this city, they arent a gathering spot for criminals and homeless, so I’d say thats a point in the dogs’ favor.

    • Thanks for explaining what oop and “usable green space” is.

    • Honest question – maybe one for PoP to post more on sometime – but what do you mean it is legal to walk dogs off leash on federal land? Does that count to national park land (NPS managed specifically)? I know we can’t at Meridian Hill Park. The cops on foot/bike/motorbike/dirtbike/cruiser/undercover are particularly good at seeing to that. Good thing no other crime is happening there…

    • FYI, you also can’t walk dogs off leash in RC Park. Or the mall. Or Shenandoah National Park. Just sayin’

    • wait?! it’s the city’s responsibility to provide “large dogs parks where owners can run their dogs”? I thought it was the responsibility of a dog owner. If you don’t have a large backyard, don’t get a dog that needs a large backyard.

    • As an Episcopalian I can tell you that we have to do things like this from time to time to keep the stereotypes alive.

      This stuff is coming from Canterbury, youre not going to be able to fight it.

    • Dude, “YOU” can get into Rock Creek Cemetary. It’s your freakin’ dog that is no longer welcome. Do you not see the distinction? Or does any and every place that welcomes you have to welcome your dog? The Metro receives plenty of federal dollars. Yet dogs other than service animals are barred. Is that a problem for you?

    • I love how “not being able to take my dog there” is equivalent to “unusable” is so many people’s eyes. Like, do you really have to go *everywhere* with your dog?

  • Send him a copy of “Everybody Poops”!

  • I think the gentleman from the church made an honest, open, and pragmatic explanation for their decision. While we may or may not agree with it, they’re the ones who have to clean up the poop and comfort the people who had a dog run through their funeral. They’re allowing us on their land. It’s a big enough city, just walk somewhere else.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I don’t think at all that he needed to explain the church’s actions, but the fact that he did speaks highly to the church’s commitment to be a part of that community and a good neighbor. I respect both the reasoning and the outreach effort.

      And that’s from a dog-owner who lets his pup off-leash at any opportunity he can get away with and appreciates the problem of finding wide open spaces in DC for dogs to run.

  • I used to walk my dog there 3x a week. We were there at 6am or so, so there were very few parishioners there at that time.

    I think that the church has every right to kick out the walkers, but perhaps should be reminded that having more “eyes” in the area is a good thing. I never saw any problems, but always had my cell phone and could have called 911 if there was someone with a truck lifting out a statue, for example.

    There is really no excuse for having your dog off leash any where near a service (or other folks who probably don’t want your dog coming over to say hello.)

  • I don’t know how many times I’ve had an off-leash dog come running up to me and my 3-year old son while we’re walking in Rock Creek Park. The dog owner is either a) on a cell phone or b) says, “Don’t worry – my dog loves kids.”

    Last time, the dog was overly-friendly and started growling at my son, and I kicked the dog in the face, to which the owner freaked out. She’s lucky I didn’t do the same to her.

    I know people can be oblivious at times, but I do my best to keep my kids from bothering other people, and I don’t let them play in areas dogs are allowed to go off-leash, so respect the rules of places that don’t want dogs at all or require them to be leashed.

    • Good for you. I’ve run into this problem too.

    • Kick my dog in the face and I’m pretty apt to kick you in the face. I can be very convincing to the police that I felt an eminent threat of harm and was acting in self defense. Just saying.

      • If my off-leash dog runs up to your child please feel free to kick her in the face! It won’t happen as I am hyper conscientious – as all dog owners should be, but I get equally pissed by other idiot dog owners with uncontrolled dogs, too many off-leash dogs, a dozen ways to be ignorant of their own dog’s behavior.

        • Thanks for permission to beat an animal.

          Will you now invite us to kick you in the face?

          The human is in error here: The dog is being a dog, the human is being an inconsiderate ass.

          • So, are you saying we should just let dogs maul children while we argue with its human owner that he/she is being inconsiderate?

            The proper action is to neutralize the immediate threat: the dog. If that means kicking it, punching it, or throwing it down a stairwell in order to extricate it from threatening my kids, so be it. I will deal with the owner afterwards.

          • YES! Gosh you are a good reader.

            First you say the dog was overly friendly, then you say the dog was growling at your child. There is something missing in your story.

            However, the immediate response of most parents would be to protect the child first, then deal with any non-immediate threat.

            So first I assume you stepped between the dog and your child, putting a physical barrier between the two? You did this yes? As you are doing this barrier action, I assume you called out to the owner of this animal to control their animal. What occured then?

            Because physically assaulting a dog can turn even the nicest dog into an uncontrollable attack animal. So if you kicked this dog, without ensuring the physical safety of your child, you aggravated the situation and could have actually brought more harm to your child.

            You see, I agree with you that owners who allow this are inconsiderate asses.

            I do also believe that humans (and parents) are inconsiderate asses as well.

            And I think your story is full of holes.

          • I didn’t know I needed to give a play-by-play of details to greentroll, but here you go:

            1. Walking with my son while he is inspecting wild flowers
            2. Dog runs up and starts jumping onto my son and then growling
            3. I grab my son and lift him up
            4. Dog throws itself at me
            5. I yell. Dog owner is nowhere to be seen
            6. Dog jumps on me while I try to hold a 40-lb child over my head and use myself as a shield
            7. Dog starts snapping at me as it jumps
            8. Owner comes running around the corner, holding her cell phone (I presume she was on it).
            9. Dog jumps up once more as I kick it in the head, and it yelps and runs away.

            I hope I have fully justified my actions to you, not as if I could care less. My story was full of holes because the details are pointless. What matters is that I saw a threat and did the best I could to diffuse it. In this case, it was kicking the dog in the head. Had it been a dachsund or pug, I wouldn’t have reacted that way.

          • Actually those details are EXACTLY what is needed.

            Well done, on all counts.

          • greentroll – I think “no dogs” went above and beyond. Your suggestion that he/she follow your playbook of creating a barrier, calling to the owner, etc. is completely idiotic.

            Clearly, you don’t have a child nor a particularly quick or overly-excitable dog. Aggressive dogs and small excited children do not mix, and the dogs should be on a leash.

            I have a very sweet dog, but for some reason, some children make her upset and she’ll growl and bark at them (something to do with certain vocal pitches), and I never know when she’s going to go off. I would never walk her off leash, and I would be upset if any parents let their kids run straight up and try to pet her dog (I’ve had to stop that before as well just in case).

            As dog owners, the onus is on us to control the dogs and obey all leash laws. If your dog ever bites a human, the police and courts will ALWAYS side against the dog owner, and your dog wil be euthanized, and you may be sued.

            Again, I think “no dogs” did more than he/she needed to. If I were a parent, and a dog had lunged at my kid, I wouldn’t have taken the steps “no dogs” did; I would have gone straight to kicking.

            Parents in DC can be dumb, but dog owners here are some of the most moronic I have ever seen.

          • moron, No Dogs told a story on an online blog. But that story left out pertinent details, which I then commented on based upon the information known based on the story provided.

            I thanked no dogs for providing a more complete version of the events, which then completely altered my response, at which point I commended No Dogs on his response to the incident.

            Thanks for your opinion on my opinion.

        • What she said.

      • Kick someone in the face for defending themselves and their child against your illegally off-leash dog is going to be pretty difficult to defend when the police come and arrest you, and you get sued into poverty.

        Just saying.

        I don’t let my kids go up to strange, leashed dogs. I expect your dogs to do the same and to be leashed.

        • I dont let my dog off leash, illegally. However, from your internet machismo, its pretty evident, that a leash isnt a disqualifying item for your rage.

    • It’s funny because you don’t know how many parents let there kids run up and get in my dog’s face. Usually said parent is talking on their cell phone and just yells, “Don’t worry, my kid loves dogs!”

      Unfortunately now my dog is terrified of kids. He is ALWAYS leashed, but he has a very loud bark which he now uses when kids approach him. I feel badly because I don’t want some kid to become frightened of dogs, and now I tend to cross the street when I see families with small kids approaching.

      I’m shocked when I see parents let their toddlers run up to a strange dog (even run around and play inside a dog park; even if there is a dog in the family, who knows what the other dogs are like?)

      Not trying to flame you, I’m just saying that irresponsible oversight is not limited to dog owners.

      This seems like just another version of the cyclists vs drivers debate. There are actors making bad decisions in both camps.

      The church representative graciously avoided lumping all dog owners together as one type. Maybe you should too.

      • Answer’s simple. You need to kick the kid in the face.

      • Not sure if you’re replying directly to me, but I agree with you that not all dog owners are that bad.

        I also agree that many parents seem to let their kids accost strange dogs with a wholly unacceptable level of comfort. I have both a dog and kid, but I never take them into the dog park together because I never know how certain dogs may react to a small, running, squealing mini-human. I mean, a dog park is a doggie playground, and it’s unfair to dogs and their owners to have children in there.

        I’ve actually never seen a child running free in a dog park (though I don’t doubt it happens in DC), but I have seen children regularly run up to dogs, and I’m amazed when parents do it.

        Regardless, we live in a congested city, and unless a child runs up to a dog, it is the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs controlled and leashed. When I see a screaming child that makes my dog start to growl, I, as a dog owner, move to the other side of the street or hold my dog closely while I wait for the child to pass. I don’t expect the parent to completely control their child, as I know this is more difficult. Plus, no matter the circumstance, if my dog bites a child, I know the blame will be considered 99% mine by the police and courts.

        Dogs are pretty simple, actually; it’s toddlers and humans that are more complex.

  • If you criminalize dogwalking, only criminals will walk dogs.

    I say this partly in jest, but do wonder whether this will deter responsible dog walkers but, barring aggressive enforcement, will be ignored by the irresponsible ones.

    Anyway, I’m a dog lover and responsible walker, and I find the ban sad and unfortunate, but totally reasonable given the circumstances, and I think the letter above was handled beautifully. Props for good communication.

  • “I know people can be oblivious at times, but I do my best to keep my kids from bothering other people, ”

    If your kids bothers me I am going to kick him in the face. Just an FYI, so you can be prepared.

      • From no dogs @2:03 pm:

        “Last time, the dog was overly-friendly and started growling at my son, and I kicked the dog in the face, to which the owner freaked out. She’s lucky I didn’t do the same to her.”

        • I enjoy both kids and dogs, but the vast majority of time I find my use of public space less enjoyable due to parents who can’t control their kids rather than people who can’t control dogs. Say what everyone might, I think dog owners in this city generally do quite a good job maintaining control and keeping their dogs in appropriate areas…I just wish the a$$hat who keeps dropping bags of poop in my front yard would stop.

        • There’s really no way to equivocate these two things. You’re being deliberately obtuse.

          Clearly there is an implied threat to your child from a growling dog and children are basically no threat to you (until they get guns, but that’s another matter).

          God, I love this blog but it’s just so frustrating to see this microcosm of DC wherein people completely ignore reality to be some sort of ‘warrior’ for their specific cause.

          Please chill with the rhetoric; it lacks context in a blog and you’d just seem ridiculous saying this stuff in real life.

    • Ok tough guy!

      I look forward to reading about your next stint in jail for unjustifiably assaulting children.

  • I’m done with dogs being allowed everywhere. It’s rididculous. The church has every right to those restrictions. Find some other place to walk your dog. I read a post on PoP yesterday, and the commenter was excited that a local wine and liquor store let them bring in their dog, that’s not appropriate. Just because you love dogs doesn’t mean everybody else does. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed everywhere, PERIOD!!!

  • Here’s another vote for kicking a dog in the face if it runs up to and growls at my child.

  • You’re not allowed to go around kicking everything you find to be aggressive.

    Kick my dog, I’ll kick you. Its as simple as that. 99.9% of dogs dont pose a real threat. If that dog had been in the .1% of dogs that do pose a threat, your kid would have been toast before you could have lifted him above your head. Moreover, the dog would have actually attacked you.

    It sounds like you have an irrational fear of dogs.

    It was completely inappropriate for the dog to jump on your or your kid. I understand your fear and some of your reaction. I dont expect everyone to understand how to deal with dogs.

    However, now that the incident is over, its probably more appropriate to acknowledge that you reacted in the heat of the moment and reflect on this and realize that the dog lacked control, but was being friendly. Instead you wear your violence as a badge of honor. Sweet move, dude. You’re almost like bruce lee, kicking a defenseless animal.

    As for the people who expect all dogs to not lunge, or jump or bark, I agree to a point, but you clearly have little understanding of dogs. I was at a DC dog park once and my dog let out a bark and the civility police came over and told me dogs arent allowed to bark at the dog park. Multiple times at a dog park, my dog has run into, jumped on, or otherwise disturbed humans at the park. Many times these folks are upset that my dog did this. Its an offleash dog park, everyone. You cant expect the dogs to have the discipline of marines.

    • “I dont expect everyone to understand how to deal with dogs.” Exactly. People don’t have to understand. You just have to keep your dog under control – which means no parent or child or old person or anyone should ever feel a threat of any kind. Which usually means dog is on a leash.

      • No, it really doesnt. There are plenty of aggressive assholes in this city that taunt my dog while on a leash. Then they act like some of victim when my dog (while tail wagging) starts pulling on the leash and maybe going upon his hind legs. People, especially with children, act like my dog is a suicide bomber the way they avoid him. You’d think he was a pit bull from the way they react. If you saw him, you’d understand the extreme irony here.

        I assume the people who react to my LEASHED dog with hostility and fear are the same ones who would kick him if they “felt” threatened. As I said twice now, you kicking my dog will make me feel threatened as well.

        • Wow – if your dog is pulling on the leash and “maybe going on his hind legs” when he sees people, you are simply not in control of your dog. Not just a hostility issue, but not fun for you or your dog. Your dog is stressed and anxious. Training will make you both much happier.

    • Hey, I’ll make you a deal: you keep your dog on a leash when it’s not in an enclosed dog park, and I’ll keep my kid out of dog parks – but I still maintain that I have a right to kick any fscking dog in the head that growls at my kid and is out of control (if the above deal is held to, this would only happen on the street – where a dog should be on a leash in any case).

      And, yes, I have two dogs and I keep them on leashes at all times.

      And, yes, I have an infant baby, who I go for walks with.

      And, if the logic of me kicking a dog that is threatening my child is not clear to you then you are being purposely obtuse, so fsck off. And/or come back to me when you have a kid and I suspect you’ll understand a LOT better.

    • As the person who clearly started this whole dog-kicking furor, I will comment that I not actually currently own a dog, I’ve had about a dozen dogs over my lifetime (up to three at once), so I know how to handle dogs, I know when one is a threat, and I know how to handle a threatening dog. Now that the incident is over, I feel even less like Bruce Lee, but I would do it again if I had to. If you feel like kicking me, fine. I can take it, but at least my son won’t have to go to the hospital with a lacerated face.

      I’m not trying to be macho, but it’s a reality that I’ve had to kick a dog before. My uncle once shoved his fist down a pit’s throat while it was trying to bite him while he was jogging (this after he jumped onto a car to try to get away and was followed). My cousin once had to go to the hospital when she was 5 to get 50 stitches and lifelong scars: the side effect of an off-leash dog, one the owner claimed was “friendly”.

      I’m sorry that people have taunted your dog, but YOU decided to own a dog and live in an urban setting, filled with people. So, it’s your problem, not everyone else’s.

      Having also been to several of the dog parks in DC, I will concur that many dog owners in this city are insane. They expect no barking, no jumping, they get mad when my dog jumps on a bench and tries to sip their coffee or lick their iPhone, to which I laugh. I would posit that it is the idiotic dog owners in this city that are the bigger problem – the ones who want a dog but ignore it 23.5 hours of the day and then walk it while texting that other .5 hours. The result is an unsocialized dog to complement its unsocialized owner.

      • I would agree with nearly everything you said.

        Except for the whole its my problem, not everyone elses. No, its their problem. I dont taunt them or their children, or animals, or whatever they have and i expect them to treat me, my belongings, both animate and inanimate, with respect. As for their irrational fear and threats, well, I shouldnt have to deal with that either. No one needs to shift the blame of people being wrong or strange onto me.

  • Speaking of dogs and walks and green spaces and children, today’s the summer solstice! Peace out, everyone.

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