On Sept. 5, Marlene Lundquist wrote that perhaps Utah should be more welcoming to people who take their dogs with them when they travel or go up the canyon or to a restaurant. It’s a common objection dog lovers express.

Perhaps they should consider the other side of the argument — not everyone is a fan of your dogs, particularly if you’re one of the many thoughtless folks who take their pets inappropriate places, like restaurants, grocery stores and, yes, into the watershed area of the Wasatch canyons. Almost every time I’ve hiked in the mountains, I’ve come upon, or stepped in, doo-doo that some irresponsible dog owner has left on a trail. People who own dogs owe it to the rest of us to clean up after them.

I know dog people think everyone loves their pet. No, ma’am, we don’t. “Don’t worry, he won’t bite” has been said to me hundreds of times as I took my morning run. Several times, surprisingly, he did. And worst of all, why must people take their animals to the grocery store with them, sometimes placing them in a grocery cart? There just aren’t that many real “service animals.”

There is an appropriate place for dogs in society, but there are many places they should not go. I wish all dog owners would show the judgment most dog people do. Dogs are animals, not people. They are pets. Would you be comfortable with goats or cows sitting near the table next to yours at a restaurant or bar?

Please, don’t get me wrong — I’ve had dogs and cats most of my life, but they’ve always been my pets, not my children.

J.C. Smith, St. George