I was at an airport recently to pick up my kids from their visitation with their mother. Waiting at the gate, I saw an increasingly familiar sight.

Regulations at U.S. airports require pets be kept in carriers, not walked around the terminal on leashes. This largely goes ignored, and I saw it once again. A family no doubt so in love with their canine they want to pretend its human had this pooch out and about.

I see this more and more in airports and other places. It's happening in part because too many selfish morons are pretending their dog is a bonafide service dog, so staff grows increasingly reluctant to enforce the rules.

You may want to pretend your dog is a member of the family. I've had dogs that I loved too. I get it. But your dog is not an actual member of your family. Here's why.

1) There is no family member that is legally restricted from entering certain establishments such as restaurants that serve food and grocery stores that sell food.

2) The U.S. Census Bureau does not ask any questions about pets.

3) When you're elderly and can't make decisions for yourself, your dog will never be granted power of attorney.

4) When a family member is sick or very old with diminished quality of life, it is not legal in New Jersey to take them to a doctor's office and have them euthanized.

5) You will never give your dog away at their wedding.

6) You will never be legally allowed to leave any 6 month old family member alone for hours at a time and have only a walker come for ten minutes to let them out. You would be arrested.

7) You don't buy your family members. That would be called slavery.

8) Your dog will never share your DNA, or your last name. If you want to pretend your dog has your last name, that doesn't mean your dog legally shares it.

9) Family members are not legally required to be on a leash in public. Or allowed to fly in a container in the cargo hold of an airplane.

10) When your daughter has babies, you don't sell them to other families.

I once saw one of these selfish dog owners who thinks nothing of bringing their dog with them everywhere take their animal inside a bar. A bar where food is served. The staff should have kicked her out, but we live in this politically correct egg shell tundra where people are afraid to offend even the offensive.

What happened? The dog peed right in the middle of the floor, two feet from where people were trying to eat. What did the pet owner do? Insisted a bar worker clean up her dog's urine instead of doing it herself.

Delusional people roll their dogs around in baby strollers and dress their dogs in ridiculous outfits and take their pets into places they shouldn't, assuming everyone finds their animals as wonderful as they do.

I always think about people who are severely allergic to dogs not expecting they'll have to share a crowded elevator with one. Or the child who might suffer a bite. Or I think back to another selfish dog owner who had their pooch on a long leash inside a coffee shop in Lambertville and paid zero attention as the dog was allowed to wander. It got its leach wrapped around another customer who was clearly irritated but didn't dare speak up to this imbecile. If you want to pretend your dog is the same as your child that's fine, but don't expect the rest of the world to.

— Jeff Deminski

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