Craig Allen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
By Jon Friedman

Let’s get this out of the way right now: I love dogs! I love their loyalty. Their cuteness. Their nobility. Their cheerfulness. Their cuddliness. Their sprightly behavior. Their spirit. Everything.

I just can’t stand so many of the dog owners in New York City. Especially in Manhattan, where I live.

Many of them are about as endearing as a ConEd bill. They are selfish. They have an attitude of entitlement. They have little sense of civility.

There are so many good reasons to loathe these kinds of dog owners. Notably, they are selfish. They walk around town, clogging up the streets for the rest of us, toting their (seemingly) 100-foot-long leashes, utterly oblivious to any schnook who might happen to be walking briskly to catch a bus or get to an appointment (by all means, feel free to call me a schnook).

They are asphalt bullies who have no regard for pedestrians. They insist, nine times out of 10, on walking in the center of the block, not on the right side. They don’t care if their actions force the rest of us to step awkwardly around them — and often therefore move directly in the path of SOME OTHER pedestrian coming from the opposite direction, who — ha ha ha — has also had to dodge some disrespectful dog owner.


The entire system breaks down once a dog owner spies a fellow dog owner in the street. Now, it’s an epidemic of bad manners. Invariably, the dog people smile warmly at one another, as if they have just spotted a long-lost cousin from the old country. They feel emboldened to have what the great Larry David ruefully calls a “stop-and-chat.” Here, the entire street is congested. When this happens, you have to avert this summit meeting and literally step off the sidewalk and into the street.

You’re lucky if some car, bicycle messenger, delivery guy, bike rider, or — the apex of awful people on the road — haughty CitiBike customer doesn’t immediately run you down and send you scampering for safety.

The bike riders and the dog owners deserve each other.


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