Curbing and dog pee

Dear Labby,

I live in a major city. I love dogs although I don’t currently have a dog because my son is allergic to them. However, I get the creeps when I see a dog pee in the middle of the sidewalk and then the urine runs down the path forming little artsy designs. Worse is when I see dogs pee on front door steps or near them and then children come out to play. Do I need to stop grossing out or should people be curbing their dogs?

Signed,

Considerably Repulsed from Exposure to Effusive Pee by Errant Dogs

Dear Considerably Repulsed from Exposure to Effusive Pee by Errant Dogs,

Yes.

You need to stop grossing out. And, people should be curbing their dogs.

First the etiquette issue: In an ideal world, dogs would be trained to urinate in the places having the least potential for contact with human skin and scent glands. But given how many folks can’t get their dogs to stop chewing the sofa or barking at the baby, I’m guessing most would count mastering basic housetraining as a victory.

I know that these days people sue–and even kill–each other over doggy deposits made on their property. While I find that extreme, I do recognize an individual’s right to a waste-free yard. So to the general public, I say this: Please do your best to keep your dog’s solid and liquid deposits away from lawns and sidewalks. (And please pick up the former, no matter where it’s left!)

But here’s why I’m not worried, C.R.E.E.P.E.D., about a piddly puddle now and then–and you need not be either. Usually a dog’s dander and saliva generates a more intense reaction than urine does among people like your son, who are allergic. And since the urinating is taking place in the great outdoors rather than in an enclosed area, chances of serious health consequences are fairly low.

I can think of 10 things you’d be horrified to find lurking around your front door steps. Dog pee isn’t one of them.