Let’s Talk About Bringing Your Dog In Public

As evidenced by last Friday’s Pet of the Week, I’m a big dog guy. I’m a firm believer that anywhere a child can go, dogs should too. For the last nine years, the ole cow pup and I have done a pretty good job proving that too. We’ve been to restaurants, MLB games, and in more buildings in Texas A&M campus than some students. But for all our work being good ambassadors, a guilty minority are seriously undermining our efforts. Some of y’all are determined to keep as many people and establishments as possible convinced dogs have no place in society. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of suffering the consequences of the antics of those that cannot behave. I’m sick of getting stared at like a leper by people because the last time they were around a dog, it was y’alls and it was a more terrifying experience than walking a meat tuxedo through a lion exhibit. More importantly, though, I’m sick of getting harassed by y’all and y’alls heathen ass dogs that behave like inmates at a riot.

Deciding to take your dog in public should be so easy. If you’re dog’s wild at home, they’re going be wild when you take them out. If you have less control over them than your spending habits, you’re going to have exactly that little control over them at the bar. Probably less, honestly. Dogs can’t perceive environments. It’s not like if you take your dog out they’re going to think “oh shit there’s 150 people here, maybe I shouldn’t try to lick every leg I see.” All they’re going to see is a lot of shit they’ve never seen before. It’s on you to let them know how they’re supposed to react to it.

This brings me to my second point. If the only time your dog sees something besides you under a blanket running back episodes of “The Office,” don’t take them in public. Matter of fact, don’t even have them. Give them to someone who won’t treat them like a drunk on house arrest. Part of the reason Belle does so well in public is there’s not a whole lot of shit that’s new to her. Every chance I get, she’s outside the house and socializing with her surroundings. She rides in the truck with me, she goes on walks after work, she gets taken out to pee more often than a retiree with a grapefruit prostate. It’s not easy. I’ve been late to hanging out with friends because I needed to walk her. I watch basically zero TV because if I kept up with all the shows I wanted she’d probably get so little exercise she’d be diabetic. But it pays off when I take her in public. She doesn’t wild out because she’s seeing everything for the first time. It’s just another day. Don’t punish the rest of us with you and your rowdy ass dog just because you can’t prioritize taking them places that aren’t you sitting on your ass slugging mimosas and snapping pics for the ‘gram.

It’s not only about giving your dog plenty of outdoor time before taking them to brunch, though. You can’t be letting them burst into everyone’s space like the nosy drunk at last call. Maybe the best personality trait Belle has bringing her anywhere is her general aloofness. This is true for all God’s creatures: be it the hammered douchebag desperately hoping to be the center of attention for petting my dog, the aggressively drunk girl who gives zero fucks that when she bent over to show love to ANYTHING that wasn’t the hammered douchebag’s needle peen her tit fell out, or the not fixed Labrador who just shoved his nose up my dog’s 2 hole with greater force than Rockefeller drilling for oil. If I’m not talking to you, she won’t be either. Live and let live is how she prefers to go about her day and a little common courtesy goes a long way.

Unfortunately, even solitude isn’t enough to take your dog out for happy hour. If your pup’s big enough to ride all the rollercoasters at Six Flags, they shouldn’t go with you every time. No hate for the big dogs in the world. I’d rather go to a bar full of well-behaved German shepherds than shitty chihuahuas. Still, if there are so many people I’m having to shuffle sideways to get past the front door, it’s probably not the best time for you to come up and chill with your 100 pound dog. There are definitely times and places for big dogs to enjoy being out and about. All I’m saying is $1 domestic Sunday Funday probably isn’t one of those.

You’d think all this would be common sense. It shouldn’t be that hard to take a minute, assess where you’re about to go, and decide if your dog can handle it without causing a bigger scene than an over-served bachelorette party. Society appalls obnoxiousness in all its forms; but particularly so when it’s a wild dog and an owner who either can’t control it, or thinks it’s okay. If the way some of you treat dogs is the way you will treat your future children, we all have a lot to learn. If you have to second guess bringing your pup, one or both of y’all just needs to stay home. We’ll all be grateful for your sacrifice.


  1. Seriously, though, people. You NEED to leash your dog in public. End of story, no questions allowed, it’s for your own good and your dog’s own good.


    1. I’m pretty sure the only thing my dog thinks is for her own good is cheese and rolling in poop.


      1. Your columns are the mangy-haired mutt of this site, that gets adopted and finds a loving home with readers.


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