Dog lovers and the dog-wary agree that owners should take responsibility for their pets.

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A story last week about being leery of dogs in mutt mad Seattle seemed to hit a nerve, sparking hundreds of comments on The Seattle Times webpage and Facebook and inspiring dozens to write in with tales of their own dog-gone woes.

While a few people did question those that don’t like dogs (“What monsters don’t like dogs?”), a surprising number of readers agreed with the dog-wary individuals who talked about living in mutt-mad Seattle.

The story featured two people who are afraid of dogs  but don’t want people to know for fear they’d be judged “soulless” in a city where dogs outnumber children.

Here’s what a few readers had to say, edited for brevity and grammar. Read the full comments here and here:

  •  Dog owners who think everyone should fawn over their mutts are as offensive as parents who think the same about what they’ve spawned. Once upon a time, public space was for all and not where the entitled whine about their perceived slight when we don’t all fall into line with their own personal obsessions.
  •  I generally love dogs and want to get one. However, my opinion changed last year when I was randomly bit by a dog (that was larger than me) while hiking at Bandera mountain. The dog was spooked by the people and rough terrain up there, and it was not an appropriate place to bring this animal. I am a small person and I am generally scared of large dogs,and I now feel very unsafe around them, especially off leash at trails. I hope dog owners can make responsible choices about what types of hikes are appropriate to bring their dogs on, and also not leave poop bags everywhere.
  • I totally dislike dogs and find the prevalence of dogs and attitudes of dog owners to be one of the worst aspects of Seattle. But I’m happy to co-exist! I just ask you follow a few simple rules:1. Do not bring your dog into the grocery store, bar or restaurant. Many dogs stink, are not clean, and are not well behaved. If you think yours is, you’re probably overestimating things.2. In the mountains while hiking, don’t let your dog run around in areas with marmots, squirrels, mountain goats, etc. Don’t let it jump up on me while I’m hiking.3. Don’t let your dog bark or howl very much. If you’re walking your dog, don’t let it start howling at all the other dogs behind fences. It’s like a car alarm going off. You have an obligation as an owner to keep things quiet.
  • I am a dog owner and dog lover but am still scared by certain dogs. I do make an attempt to not have the dogs go up to strangers who show no interest, but every once in a while, they will. To those who have said it’s the dog owner’s fault, you are right. I will do better to keep them away from those who are nervous, scared, allergic etc.
  • Almost without exception, you could replace “dog owners” with “parents” and “dogs” with “children” and this article would apply equally well. It really comes down to people not caring how their own behaviors impact others. And you can do that with a dog, a child, your favorite smokeable, garbage, stereos, etc. It comes down to being considerate, and some people just won’t.
  •  I love dogs. But I have NEVER taken my dog into a store, a business or a restaurant, except his vet. I would never consider taking him with me “to run errands.”  He cannot stay in the car; that’s not safe.  He cannot come inside with me; that’s just plain rude and unfair to the business and their customers. I was stunned to hear a local friend, who is educated and mannerly, tell me she was taking her new dog to Home Depot to “get him used to being around strangers.” Inappropriate to the max. I do not want to fly and sit next to someone with their little dog on their lap;  in a crate is fine. I appreciate the need for true service dogs. Service dogs need a way of being instantly recognized as being properly certified. If you truly can’t go to the store without your beloved pet … then order online. But quit being so frigging rude by expecting everywhere wants your pet.