Traveling with dogs can be a blast, they have a great time, they’re wonderful sentries and companions, fun loving, eager, joyful…. but it’s hard on the human. For the first time ever I didn’t stop at Harbin Hot Springs or Sierraville or any of the hotsprings that I love. A few days soaking would have been bliss. No dogs is the standard policy. No dogs may be left in one’s vehicle, no dogs unattended, no dogs on trails, no dogs in parks, no dogs in buildings, no dogs…… No on-location (safe and clean) kenneling, dog sitting, pet area, etc, etc, is offered and to make it worse dog napping is on the rise. California used to be a friendly place. I remember friendly dogs at Harbin, cute mutts on hiking trails, well behaved dogs in stores sheltered from heat exhaustion welcomed with a pat and a biscuit. Having once been a public sector servant I know that these policies are passed to provide the same requirement to all. They can’t say, no bad dogs, they can’t ask for self-enforcement of common courtesy instead they levy fines, restrictions, they mar the scenery with dozens of sings that must be paid for and maintained. Nature must be pristine, sculpted and controlled, unchanging so everyone gets to see the same thing.

It’s doubtful all this regulation will curtail the flippancy of non-caring humans, and even though dogs can read simple signs and words most don’t know how. The non-caring, non-stewarding human doesn’t give a holler about the results of their passage. Where’s the sign that says, no cigarette butts on this trail, you will be fined $100 for each butt, DNA testing enforced. How about no radios and TVs at campgrounds? No smoke plume campfires? No yelling and screaming, no cigar toking, no trash and plastic left in the fire pit, no revving super-sized trucks with all the lights blazing especially at 3 am, no unsupervised kids pawing everything in sight, no gunshots, no human waste piles, trash piles…. you get the idea. Most folks and their dogs are great. Isn’t it time we collectively ask the troublemakers to get with program and respect the land! Aren’t you tired of all the trash, violence, pillage and disregard for one another and for our environs? What happened to the Litter Bug, kindness towards strangers and leave a place better than you found it? Why pick on dogs, especially weary travelers, visitors and tourists with dogs? It’s time to be respectful, teach your dog good manners, teach each other and have them yourself or soon the next sign I expect to see is NO HUMANS.

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