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  • Robert Berkelhammer, M.Ed.

Dog Free Public Benches and Picnic Tables: Boundaries Matter "Lassie"

Does that public bench or picnic table have dog drool, dog urine, or feces on it? Do you and your family prefer to sit at more hygienic seating and picnic table tops in public areas? I do! Now, I understand why some picnic families bring table cloths for picnic table use. Boundaries matter "Lassie."

I have kindly asked dog owners to respect boundaries and remove their dogs from picnic table benches, picnic table tops, and park benches. These kindly stated requests have been met with a wide range of responses, from polite understanding to near hysterical anger. Occasional public boundary violations by dogs and their owners are witnessed at farmers markets, public parks, rest stops, athletic playgrounds, and taxpayer funded state and federally managed properties.

Innocent people are hurt or inconvenienced by boundary violations. Feces transmits disease. Drool has some dangerous bacteria in it, especially if certain dogs affectionately lick an open human sore or human body wound. Healthy boundaries promote peace, mutual respect, and joy. Boundaries teach children right from wrong, courtesy from disrespect, and protect individual and public health.

Dog owners love their dogs and stimulate them by a variety of activities in different locations. Dogs are comfortable and happy sitting by their owners’ side on the ground or curling up near a bench or picnic table. Dogs don't need to sit on benches or public table tops in order to be happy or stimulated.

Dog owners respecting proper boundaries in public create a win-win situation for them and their dogs. A dog learning to behave well in public will behave better at home for their owner. Good news for modern people learning to coexist in public!

Robert Berkelhammer is the Author of Pet Care Givers & Families: Getting the Most From Dog Playgroups, Pet Sitters, and Walkers. Also, see our MULTI-USE FAMILY PET CARE CONTRACT, a must-have organizing tool for you, your family, pet care professionals, and most importantly your pets!

Please consider helping me continue my important work helping pets as I develop as pet care professional and expert. All Donors will receive a free copy of the 16-page Family Pet Contract! Learn more

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