Canine Decorum in the Public Realm

Released: May 27, 2010.

Using the example of a recent gimmick to allow dogs into the stores in downtown Saratoga Springs, James Howard Kunstler examines the topic of decorum in the public realm. JHK believes that Americans struggle with boundary issues and evaluating appropriate behavior, which may explain the increased presence of pet dogs in inappropriate venues. Vicious dogs, which have become the latest “urban” accessory, add an even more troubling dynamic to the streetscape. The situation gets worse when dog owners leave their pet’s droppings in the sidewalk. Kunstler notes that dogs have always played a role in city life, but now we rarely employ dogs in the traditional roles that they were bred for. And listlessness leads to bad behavior in all mammals, dogs and humans included.

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