You Must be an ADULT To Walk a Dog! UPDATED!!!

Arrrrroooooo! Readers — This proposed law makes me want to lift a hind leg somewhere in Manassas, Va:

City leaders want to make it a requirement that only responsible adults be the ones walking their dogs.

“At the other end of the leash, there must be an individual who is competent to control the animal,” Manassas Councilmember John Way told NBC Washington’s Craig Melvin.

Way admits this has not been a widespread problem, however one woman recently reported having to jump on the top of a car to escape two stray pit bulls.  Way also ran into a similar problem while walking his small dog down a public street.

That’s the spirit! Cripple an entire culture because of two incidents. Prohibit children from having any responsibility, any role to play in the adult world other than being cute (and victims, of course). One question, Manassas: Will children be allowed to pour their own milk before age 18? Or are the dangers just too great? — L.


I just spoke to John Way, the city council member who is sponsoring this law, and he says that it does NOT specify an age that the dog walker has to be. Only that the walker be competent! So the reporter got it wrong in the story I picked up, and I’m sorry I repeated it here before speaking directly to the councilman. All is a little saner than previously thought! Woof! — L.

Kids and pets: What a dangerous combination!

40 Ways for Kids to Volunteer!

Hey Readers! This just came in over the transom (okay, over email):  A lovely list of really great ideas for how to get kids volunteering. For instance: Take shelter dogs for a walk. Babysit to help a single parent.  Form a clean-up crew to go in and help a senior clean her apartment.  And so many more!

This is a subject close to my heart. My son and I help out in a homeless shelter and he’s there sort of sub rosa. Most volunteer jobs — like most other jobs, even newspaper delivery — now insist that participants be at least 18 years old. Yes, for insurance reasons. And also for not-believing-in-kids reasons. Discouraging volunteering is  yet another way to discourage kids from taking responsibility and connecting with their community. So check out the list and be inspired! — Lenore

Should We Train Our Kids Like Dogs?

There’s something to that idea, according to the Motherlode parenting blog in  The New York Times: Take our cue from The Dog Whisperer and give our kids plenty of affection, discipline and  time outside with a bone.

Well, time outside, anyway.