My family has decided to add a new family member to our brood, a new jet black Schepperke Mutt named Lily.
I initially recoiled at the thought of the additional responsibilities that a dog might require, but the stubborn persistence of the women in my life proved that resistance would be futile. They were going to outlast me and pester me in all kinds of cute ways until I eventually relented. And why not? At least I would be the hero, right?
So, I ignored my logical little shoulder angel telling me that a dog would make vacationing impossible, that I would be cleaning it’s poop, that it would be loud and powerful, and that my home would have the odor of canine.
And now that Lily is a reality, I can admit that none of those problems have been so overwhelming yet that I’ve regretted the decision. Lily is quiet and cuddly indoors and curious and energetic outdoors.
We keep her on a leash, despite our neighbor’s implications that walking a dog on a leash should be considered abuse. I hadn’t heard this argument before. Is it not acceptable to keep your pet on a leash?
The reason that I bring all this up is not to brag about my new dog or to complain about my neighbor, but to open a discussion about keeping children on a leash. I know this is an old phenomenon (leashing kids) because I remember it being popular in the early 90s. Even then, the thought of publicly restraining a child really disturbed me. How controlling do parents have to be that they force their children not to stray further than the length of a leash?
I recently saw a leashed three year old at the aquarium. It didn’t seem like this girl had autism or any common behavior disorders, and even if she did, I would disagree with leashing her. The whole time she kept trying to break free of the restraints and explore the aquarium, but her controlling mother would not allow her the freedom to do so.
It’s a small thing to rant about, I suppose, but seeing children treated like dogs really rubs me the wrong way. I’d like to think that my dog is smart and special, that she shouldn’t be kept on a leash either, but she’s just an animal who would chase a squirrel into traffic faster than I could blink.
My wife disagrees. She doesn’t see anything wrong with leashes for human children. What do you think?