Monday, January 28, 2008

Unchain my dog?

   If you walk around a suburban neighborhood or pass through a public park on a lovely Saturday afternoon, you recognize that Americans have become a nation of people who eschew being outside simply for the pleasure of it.  Unless we are mowing the grass or heading someplace with a latte, Americans seem to enjoy their yards or parks far less than previous generations, who were less distracted by computers, cable TV, and long drives to work or shopping. 

Dog    Accordingly, it’s no surprise that politeness in handling one’s front yard often succumbs to the lure of “technology.”  A growing number of local governments are considering regulations on the use of an electronic fence as the sole restraint on dogs.  Such fences allow Fido to run unchained in the yard, but can surprise pedestrians who don’t know that the angry dog charging towards them will stop (probably) or that the canine that they are walking on a leash might be set upon by an unrestrained house dog.

   How about a land use law that, at a minimum, requires an electronic fence owner to place clear notices of the fence, if they persist in leaving Spot unconfined?  But then again, that would require the Americans to spend some time in their yards ….   

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