Leash the Anti-Leashers


I read today’s Chronicle article on the new emergency dog leash law that is seasonally effective in stretches of Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. This law was enacted by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to protect the diminutive western snowy plover from the careless dogs (no blame there) and their careless dog owners (all the blame there) who put their canine run-and-be-free-and-shit-wherever-you-want concerns over that of the small local population remaining of the snowy plover–only about 100 birds. That’s right, 100 birds that need human oversight because the anti-leash humans can’t properly oversee their waggy wards.

Anti-leash activists (ah, California), such as the Ocean Beach Dog Owners fronted by attorney (dog-chaser?) Stephen Sayad, are rabidly frothing at their collective doggy-breath mouth about it. Up in arms, er, legs about it.

Understandably, many dogs off-leash are well-behaved and are trained to behave appropriately when off-leash. And their owners pick up their crap, too. I love the dogs that wait patiently at water’s edge for their surfer owner, or is it “guardian” now, to come back to land. Unfortunately, for all of the well-trained off-leash dogs, there are many dogs that when off-leash run haphazardly around the beach or the park, spooking other animals in THIER natural habitat, attacking other dogs, scaring kids who are also off-leash, and worrying wary parents.

Well, here’s the age-old “unfair” predicament for dog owners: the inability of more than a few dogs and their owners to behave appropriately leads to a leash law needing to be enacted that affects all, ruining the enjoyment of those off leash who do behave responsibly.

The anti-leash growlers spin leash laws as a ban on dogs. Perhaps the perpetual fog at the beach has obscured a clear perspective in their minds. This is not a ban on dogs at the beach or at Crissy Field–dogs are allowed on ALL of the beach if leashed, and on portions of the beach off-leash.

The anti-leash contingent needs to step back, stop baring their teeth and self-centeredness, and try to objectively UNDERSTAND the needs of the greater community, human and non-human alike, including the snowy plovers. (Also, stop stealing and vandalizing the leash warning signs posted–now you’re wasting more of our tax dollars, too.) There are still long stretches of Ocean Beach (Lincoln to Kelly’s Cove, where there’s plenty of free parking, or south of Sloat) and Crissy Field to allow your dogs to run unfettered. Isn’t that a fair compromise? There is a dog run in Golden Gate Park, and other city parks, such as Duboce Park, allow an overrun of off-leash dogs. These parks need some leash rules, as well, in my opinion: perhaps sets of hours during a day when off leash is allowed and other hours when it is not allowed so that other citizens can enjoy their public park without being hassled by off-leash dogs.

Again, compromise.

While you’re at it, pick up after your dogs! That’s right, don’t act like you didn’t see your dog take a crap–pick its (your) shit up!

23 Comments so far

  1. Elizabeth (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 11:29 am

    We should be more concerned with the GGNRA being a typical federal bureaucracy and not giving a shit about the city that gave them the land to manage in the first place. This is not the first time they have adopted new rules without providing adequate public notice or opportunity for public comment and it won’t be the last.

  2. 49Giants (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    “We should be more concerned with the GGNRA being a typical federal bureaucracy and not giving a shit about the city that gave them the land to manage in the first place.”

    Not giving a shit about the City? These regulations were implemented for the benefit of the City. I don’t know about you, but I think that if an endangered animal inhabits the 49 sq. miles of SF, we’d all be better off pitching in to help, no? The notice and comment period will come and all the dog-owners can bitch all they want then. But in the meantime, I think emergency regulations are in order. And really, what are we talking about here? Leashing a dog! I have a dog, and believe me, it ain’t that hard! Here’s what you do: you take the leash, you attach it to the collar, and tada! You’re done.

    Elizabeth, Pombo just called, and he wants your vote!

  3. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 8:14 pm

    I have little to say to Matt Rudoff other than the following: (1) the GGNRA, unlike most national parks, has a recreation first mandate that the current management does not like. They want to take recreation of all types away from San Franciscans; (2) most of the land the GGNRA holds was deeded to it by the City. The deed contain provisions that if the GGNRA deviates from its recreation first mandate, the lands revert back to the City. If you have a problem with the GGNRA enabling legislation or the deeds, go tell it to the lawmakers. (3) the Plover is not endangered, only threatened. In December 2005, US Fish & Wildlife delisted Crissy Field as critical habitat for the Plover. Thus, the Plover is not threatened by dogs and Crissy and Ocean Beach are not significant for its well-being. (4) At the hearing on the appeal in June 2005, Judge Alsup asked the U.S. Attorney (with your boy Plater sitting with them), whether they were claiming any emergency existed in 2002 or at the time of the hearing to justify the otherwise illegal closures. The answer was a clear and unequivocal “no”. Next the CBD petitioned the DOI to declare a state of emergency, claiming the less than one-percent of off-leash land in the GGNRA was destroying the rest of the Park. In December 2005, the GGNRA denied the petition on the grounds there was no emergency. (5) What, then, has occurred, if anything, between January 2006 and November 2006 to justify the finding of an emergency? Nothing, and nothing is cited in the “study” put forth by the GGNRA. In point of fact, due to the amount of human waste on the Great Highway, predators of the Plover (sparrows and crows) have come into the area but the dogs are keeping them from the Plovers. So, I give you the opportunity now to demonstrate what has not been demonstrated: the existence of an emergency over the last 10 to 11 months. Evidence, not emotion. You may hate dogs, but that won’t do it. They have not destroyed the world, people have. When you punish dogs for the wrongdoings of man, you are doing them a great disservice. Bring on your evidence, I’m waiting. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

  4. Matt (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

    Thanks for that, Steve.

    Not only did the 2005 U.S. Fish & Wildlife report not include Ocean Beach or Crissy Field, but the entire City & County of San Francisco.
    Check it out for yourself:

    By the way, the Western Snowy Plover is THRIVING in Utah.

  5. Bradley Allen (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

    Steve, taking the tact that Matt Rudoff (or anyone who question’s you) may “hate dogs” or wishes to “punish dogs” only cheapens your argument, and makes you look ridiculous. Foaming at the mouth, indeed. Why not address some of the concerns (like, unpicked-up dog feces, etc.)? This issue is less about dogs behaving badly and more about humans behaving badly.

  6. Nancy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 12:30 am

    I’m a fan of dogs, but more so, a fan of natural habitats and the efforts to keep them as such. City-dwelling dog owners (and I have been one myself) need to accept the rules and regulations that come with that responsibility.

    As I read the report, this is a SEASONAL measure, for a specific (and valid) reason, and if city dog owners don’t accept that, they need to take their pets somewhere else. To a private yard in a suburb, perhaps.

  7. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 5:51 am

    Bradley: I’ll address your point. The 1979 Pet Policy, which allows off-leash recreation in less than 1% of all GGNRA land, has built-in precautions for the environment. Anyone who does not pick after his or her dog can and should be ticketed under the Policy. Anyone with a dog bothering wildlife, people, or others can and should be ticketed. All the precautions are there, and the Policy was only adopted after considerable public input during the 1977 to 1978 timeframe, with the blessing of the Sierra Club. There is no problem with the Policy other than the fact that Lyin Brian O’Neill does not like it and will do whatever he can (including breaking the law, as the Court found he did) to, as he puts it, “keep dogs out of my Park.”

  8. Bradley Allen (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 6:49 am

    Thank you, Steve.

  9. Matt R. (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 7:22 am

    Steve, for a little to say, you sure said a lot. But thank you for your comments, further defining the illegitimacy of allowing dogs off-leash on a portion of Ocean Beach for a couple of months each year.

    First off, I will not “shut the hell up.” “Evidence, not emotion”? Practice what you preach: This is my forum and I will graciously allow others’ comments, especially when they put their paws in their mouths.

    A recreation first mandate does not exclude sensitivity to environmental and conservation issues that should necessarily override recreational concerns. Your statement of “They want to take recreation of all types away from San Franciscans” is quite the generalization. Also, recreation applies to humans, not animals. Animals, such as dogs and horses, are tangential to human recreation, and equestrians and dog-walkers–and mountain-bikers for that matter–have to obey rules and common sense in order to not infringe on other users’ rights, nor to endanger them.

    Yes, the plover (rhymes with lover) is “only threatened.” Hmm, seems that means to show at least some concern for the plover’s plight. The definition of “endangered” vs. “threatened” should be based solely on science and the recommendations of wildlife experts; unfortunately, the Fish and Wildlife Service, like all government organizations, is politically charged and its agenda ebbs and flows with the administration in power. Lobbyists and other concerns do affect the policy decisions, as well as interpretations of scientific findings, of the FWS.

    The fact is that this portion of Ocean Beach is a habitat for the plover, and it sure is critical to that local population of birds, if not so in the eyes of the FWS.

    Oftentimes, the “evidence of an emergency” doesn’t appear until the emergency has come and gone, taking the species along with it. Or, rather, the evidence of the emergency takes months and years to travel through the bureaucracy, and by then the issue is not an issue anymore. How convenient.

    To respond to your unfounded accusation of me as a hater and punisher of dogs: I like dogs more than cats. Had a dog named Pepper growing up. There’s dogs I like and dogs I don’t, just as with cats–and humans. Again, this issue has more to do with human behavior than dog behavior, including the inadequate job of waste management at the beach which attracts scavenger birds that upset the plover.

    But, candidly, I’d get more pleasure seeing the plovers scurrying at the water’s edge, pecking for sandcrabs in the reflective wet sand, rather than see dogs running around off leash. I think that pleasure needs to be protected, more so than the pleasure of dog and dog owner with the dog off leash–especially as the leash law is hardly much of a restriction since other long portions of the beach off leash is allowed. Your dog is allowed here–just put it on a leash for a stretch of beach. What’s the offense to you there, Steve? Is it that difficult? Are your and your dog’s hard-fought American freedoms restricted by doing so?

    Where would there be more potential harm? To you and the dogs, or to the plovers?

    A small sacrifice on your part will have a great benefit for some very small, “threatened” birds.

  10. Suzanne Valente (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 7:44 am

    The logical solution is to cite the less than one percent of owners/guardians who allow their dogs to chase birds and those who do not pick up after their dogs. We are all in support of that. I believe a simple analogy is applicable here. If we took the same tact with ordinary beachgoers, we would go down the following path: some beachgoers leave litter. Litter attracts ravens. Ravens are a documented predator of the plover (dogs, by the way are not). The simple solution to protect the plover is to cite people who leave litter at the beach. However, if we use the same logic the GGNRA is using for this situation with dogs, the GGNRA would instead conclude to protect the plover we must ban all items people bring to the beach like foodstuff, beverages or cigarettes, anything that could be left as litter. But, since this is too difficult for the GGNRA to enforce, we must simply ban all people from the beach. That’s probably a good idea, because people also disturb the plover. This may sound ridiculous to you, but the following is a quote from the woman who did the “study” that recommended the GGNRA leash all dogs on Ocean Beach, “Ocean Beach without the people is an incredible habitat. But people think of it as a sandbox or their backyard”. Reality check: the GGNRA is using the plover as an excuse to get us, the people, off the beach. The plover is threatened, not endangered. US Fish and Wildlife Service did not declare Ocean Beach as a critical habitat for the plover in part because there is no sizeable nesting or wintering population there and because Ocean Beach does not provide a unique habitat for the plover. In fact, the biggest reason the plover does NOT return en masse to Ocean Beach annually is the fact that the width of the beach is diminishing; the tides are coming up to the cliffs in the winter and leaving no dry, flat sand available as habitat for the plover. Did you read the news stories earlier this year about the serious erosion problems on many West Coast beaches? There are other measures available to the GGNRA to protect the plover from threats such as people, dogs, and predators. They are outlined for the GGNRA in the US Fish and Wildlife habitat designation, and that document does not mention the leashing of dogs as one of them. Exclosure fencing is one such measure. With all that information in hand, yes, I do object to the GGNRA telling me that I cannot play a simple game of fetch with my dog at the beach. I follow the rules, I pay my taxes. Ocean Beach is a part of the less than 1% of the GGNRA that the 1979 Pet policy allows for off-leash recreation. Those who do not want to encounter off-leash dogs have the other 99% of the GGNRA to play in. Don’t tell me I am being unreasonable, because I am playing fair, the GGNRA is not. Open your eyes: the GGNRA is working to ban beach bonfires, next it will be the surfers who disturb marine mammals, and fishermen who leave cigarette butts on the beach…when they are finished we will all be off the beach!

  11. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 10:03 am

    Suzanne has demonstrated that Matt R. and the other anti-doggers have one agenda, their agenda. For them to criticize us for attempting to retain what we were promised by the GGNRA and by the City is absurd. We have about 6/10ths of one-percent of GGNRA land (actually City land donated to the GGNRA will clear deed restrictions requiring recreation over conservation). When that miniscule amount of space was illegally taken away between 2002 and 2006, more pressure was put on City parks because people need to recreate with their dogs (140,000 dogs in SF and 100,000 children). Apparently, he either wishes to do away with dogs altogether, or force them from the GGNRA into already overcroweded and under funded City parks. He also simply rejects what US Fish & Wildlife had declared with respect to all SF property — none of it is necessary for the Plover to survive. He along with his boy Plater, as Judge Alsup noted in handing Plater his lunch at the hearing on the appeal, are always arguing about what the GGNRA can do, in terms of its discretion, to protect Park resources but not what the GGNRA can do for recreation. As he stated to Plater, “be careful what you ask for.” If you want more pressure on City parks, then you’re clearly with the GGNRA. But to attempt to justify the closure based on an emergency over the Plover is nonsense. The science is not there. Again, this is not an environmental issue (as much as anti-doggers try to make it so), it is a question, as he acknowledges, of what he prefers to see, birds rather than dogs. The two have co-existed and can continue to co-exist. They are not mutually exclusive, and the dogs continue to protect the Plover from its true predators at Ocean Beach. In the end, there is no convincing the dog-haters to the contrary. Instead, as Suzanne has so aptly done, all we can do is point out the facts rather than the dogma.

  12. Pritchard (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    Matt Rudoff, bravo! Our canine housemates, as smart as pigs (don’t discount the IQ of bacon), are the products of human culture and thrive under human husbandry. Husbanded accordingly, dogs’ recreation aligns well with protecting habitat. Otherwise, when dogs get mistreated as child substitutes they impinge on habitat. I prefer the sentimentalism of John Muir and David Brower to that of the animal-companion set. Also, I’d like to see the Venn diagram of daily car drivers and animal companions in SF. Would it look like the MasterCard logo or a monocle? And another thing…how do the dogs in Manhattan live without free-range GGNRA land? They must all have canine shrinks to deal with the dog depression.

  13. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 10:37 am

    “Pritchard” self-hatred has gone over the edge into animals domesticated by humans. There are professionals (which he refers to at the end of his diatribe) who can help him. He also apparently hasn’t read his Byron or even Eugene O’Neill on the wisdom of dogs over man. I wonder if he bothers to consider who is waging war in Iraq, dog or man. Slavery, genocide, pollution, graft and all the other evils are the sum of the ambition of man. Another dog hater who fails to see the world for what it is and why it is that way. Of course, neither he nor his cohorts ever bother to consider why the Plover became threatened in the first place. Pathetic.

  14. cd (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    I LOVE it when animal support contigencies collide! Matt, guess you’ve learned quickly now that nothing mobilizes commenters like a post about dogs. Watch this: Hey, I think pit bulls should be sterlized so that eventually we won’t have anymore because they are bred to be fighters and are owned too frequently by morons – nature over nuture here – down with the killers. (Blow back in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1).

    So you have to keep your dogs on a leash for a few months out of the year on a few parts of the waterfront. Let it go. It’s a reasonable and sensible protection that allows dog-owners to access the area while still keeping the birdies from getting munched on.

  15. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    “CD’s” comments need a bit of perspective, as he/she implies that people with dogs are out to take over the GGNRA. In point of fact, in 1996 when the GGNRA wanted to make improvements out at Crissy Field, O’Neill courted the dog groups to support him because he did not want to go through the process of producing an EIR. In return, he promised to double the amount of acerage for off-leash recreation. When the process ended, with a Finding of No Significant Impact on the environment from the proposed improvements, he renigned on the promise and began the anti-dog campaign that CD supports. None of the dog owners ever tried to hold O’Neill to his fraudulent promise. Most significantly, however, the FONSI found that off-leash recreation at Crissy Field had no significant impact on the environment. What CD and his ilk never do is come up with actual science that the Plover is in a state of emergency such that more cutbacks are necessary. How about it CD?

  16. Matt R. (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    CD: Thanks for stating the obvious so succintly.

    Steve: Your college freshman-level rhetorical devices are a disservice to your arguments (i.e., making a comparison between a leash law and the war in Iraq; trying to appear more well-read than the opponent, citing Byron and O’Neill without giving the quotes (and how do those apply to the argument in the first place?); unfairly calling people who support a leash law, but not advocating a ban, as a “dog hater”; attempting to compare the “evils” of man to the dumb happy good nature of dogs (ever seen dogs left to their own non-domesticated nature? Or even when they are domesticated?)).

    And playing in left field: I don’t understand calling a guy named Plater my “boy.” I don’t know the guy, never met him, nor have any idea what you’re talking about. Sounds like an enemy of yours, though. Sure hope I don’t end up on the same list, just stating my opinion on a tolerable leash law.

  17. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Matt: What do you belive the argument is and what evidence do you bring to the table. You can level all the labels you like but the point of the matter is that the GGNRA continues to act illegally. There are no facts justifying an emergency so as to avoid the requirement of the operable federal regulation of public notice and public comment before such a closure. The reason why is also obviously beyond you: in 2002, after the GGNRA thought it had gotten away with its illegal rescission of the 1979 Pet Policy, it engaged a Federal Panel to look at the issue of off-leash recreation. The Federal Panel then engaged the University of Arizona to conduct surveys (in person, by telephone, and online) of how Bar Area residents felt about the Pet Policy. The results were that more than 75% supported this very small amount of space for off-leash recreation. I dare say that if the federal government were violating your rights to do whatever it may be you are passionate about, you would fight back. Do you support illegal acts by the federal government?
    On the issue of literature, I’d be happy to send you what Byron and Eugene O’Neill have said. They are a bit long, but here is what O’Neill said: “Dogs are wiser than men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their days hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have and obtain the objects they have not. There is nothing of value they have to bequeath except their love and their faith.”

  18. Roger Rudoff (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

    As an owner of 4 dogs as well as being Matt’s brother I can attest that he is not a dog-hater as some of you unfairly malign him. My dogs have run around in his yard many times, they have even crapped on his floor when they were puppies.

    The fact is that dog owners DO need to pick up their crap and they cannot let their dog’s run down and chase birds, other people, or other wildlife at any time. It has nothing to do with the political background of leash laws in the GGNRA, it is just common sense and politeness. There are appropriate times and places for leashes, and it is not going to kill anyone or anydog to use them from time to time. Keep in mind this is a seasonal ordinance in a narrowly defined area to protect a habitat, not a full-time blanket ban. I am greatly amused by the over reaction of the dog owner coalition, their arguments smacks strongly of the same thread as the NRA’s arguments regarding aspects of gun control, where again emotion over rules common sense.

    Oh, and to the attorney who keeps expounding “Recreation First”; does that mean I can drive my 4WD and my Dirt Bike on Ocean Beach-that’s certainly a desired form of recreation for a large segment of the population? These poor motor loving souls are clearly discriminated against, perhaps even more so than dogs! Their jeeps and motorcycles are getting depressed in the city with nowhere to roam. Are you going to litigate for these rights also, or is this when your common sense kicks in? Just kidding-sort of….

  19. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

    The Rangers drive their 4-wheel vehicles all the time at Ocean Beach, even on the areas in which the Plover roosts. They did so everyday when they were ticketing and harassing en masse between 2002 and 2004. Give it a try and see how you feel when they arrest you. I litigate for your rights every day in representing citizen enforcers of Proposition 65 to that all the products that come into this State containing illegal levels of toxins are banned. The penalties we collect go to the State for health purposes.
    The point you do not appreciate and never will appreciate it that we have little space for off-leash recreation (despite being promised more in 1996 by Lyin Brian) and have every right to fight to keep it in place when faced with additional illegal activity by the feds. In 2002, the feds closed off a portion of Funston and Judge Alsup found they acted illegally. So too in 2004 and 2005 with the same finding. You must love the federal government to defend its illegal practices so fervently.

  20. Matt R. (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    Once again, Steve, your rhetoric is faulty. The park rangers and the beach patrol are not driving 4WD on the beach for recreational purposes, but for law enforcement. You earlier mentioned: “Anyone who does not pick after his or her dog can and should be ticketed under the Policy. Anyone with a dog bothering wildlife, people, or others can and should be ticketed.” That ticketing and enforcement can’t be done otherwise.

    Thank you for protecting us from the toxins. That is greatly appreciated–sincerely–but that commendable work has nothing to do with the leash law.

    It seems that a large factor in your passion about this leash law, without a dose of objectivity, is to take on the federal government. Good for you.

    And, yes, I do love the federal government–maybe not the congressional one in power until January, 2007, nor the illegitmate executive branch through 2008–but the idea of it anyway.

    Thank you for providing O’Neill’s quote: I think he was writing more about the worse parts of man, using the faithful and loving dog in comparison, than extolling the virtues of dogs.

    Well, as it appears to me that we’re like dogs chasing our tails, running around in circles (and ain’t that something to laugh about!):

    I give you the last word, Mr. Sayad.

  21. Steve Sayad (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 4:30 pm


    You are a piece of work, but I mean that in a complimentary way. However, having said that, you had yet to provide a shred of evidence justifying the current actions of the GGNRA. Nor has the GGNRA. As for allegedly “faulty rhetoric”, I have, to the contrary, provided you with facts. You, in contrast, as well as the other anti-dog bloggers, have yet to post any fact in defense of the alleged “emergency”. Perhaps you work for the NPS or some other branch of the federal government and just can’t bring yourself to admit that there’s no “there” there.
    You opinion on what Eugene O’Neill meant is what is faulty. Did you read the first sentence? “Dogs are wiser than men.” He then goes on to state why. Clearly, he was speaking of the virtues of dogs and the vices of men. But lest you think otherwise, here is what Lord Byron had to say on the subject. Take some time to think about it; I have to believe, in the end, that you’ll agree with him, and perhaps even understand why I value my right to train water rescue dogs (for WRD degrees which allow them to then aid the Coast Guard, the Navy, and Bay Area fire departments in water rescue of humans)in and about what are sovereign state tidelands held for the citizens in trust for recreational purposes. (This Public Trust doctrine is embedded in the California Constitution.)

    Here is Byron (first a eulogy then an epitath):

    “Near this spot
    Are deposited the Remains of one
    Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
    This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    If inscribed over human ashes,
    Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
    Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
    And died at Newstead, Nov 18th, 1808.”

    “When some proud son of man returns to earth,

    Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,

    The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,

    And storied urns record who rest below:

    When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,

    Not what he was, but what he should have been.

    But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,

    The first to welcome, foremost to defend,

    Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,

    Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,

    Unhonour’d falls, unnoticed all his worth,

    Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth.

    While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,

    And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

    Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,

    Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,

    Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,

    Degraded mass of animated dust!

    Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,

    Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!

    By nature vile, ennobled but by name,

    Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.

    Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,

    Pass on — it honours none you wish to mourn:

    To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;

    I never knew but one, — and here he lies.”

    Enough said, perhaps

  22. cd (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 12:58 am

    Steve, man, first off, I’m a girl.

    Second, I never really weighed in on the merits here. If I came close to doing so, it was purely because of the opportunity to add some snark to the discourse.

    Noble purpose? No. Amusing – why yes, always, thank you.

    I’d think even the most serious dog lover could find some humor in the clash of rights-advocating civilizations here.

  23. Mark (unregistered) on November 14th, 2006 @ 2:26 pm

    I think all surfers should be kept on leash. At least seasonally. It’s OK if they’re off leash when the waves are small. Sure surfers can be off leash responsibly, but it only takes a few irresponsible ones to ruin it for everyone else.

    Does this make me a surfer-hater? I don’t think so. I’m a surfer myself. And I have the dog crap on my feet to prove it.

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