Ok. This is an online post. You cannot hear my tone, but please imagine that I am saying this nicely and with absolutely NO malice in my voice. I am not writing this in anger, or frustration, or anything similar. I am simply going to make a point.
I very much enjoy hiking with my dog, who is a very, very good trail dog. He is very well behaved, rarely ventures from his number 2 spot on the trail, and after a great deal of effort, work, and a lot of mistakes on my part, he's turned into a dog most people enjoy meeting on the trail.
Seeing him get to run around free (usually he's stuck in a condo and only gets to go on sidewalk walks in the city), the goofiest grin on his face, he's an image of pure joy and it makes MY hiking experience just amazing.
Ok, maybe you don't like dogs. Why do I have to give up MY hiking experience to save you the 90 seconds out of your whole hike you see my pup because you don't like dogs in the wilderness?
Yes, I agree that I have a big responsibility and it's one I take very seriously. Am I perfect? Of course not. But I just can't get over the nastiness some people have over dogs on the trail.
It's an animal. Like a coyote, or a deer, or a mosquito, or snakes, or ticks, black flies...how is an unpleasant experience with a dog any different from that? Because I brought him there?
I don't like mountain bikes, but hey, on trails where they are allowed? oh well. Horses? Same thing. How about large groups? Or as Tipi said, the sound of helicopters, or nearby roads, or motor boats, or planes..........I guess I don't understand how the purity of YOUR wilderness experience trumps mine.....
Ok. I'm done.
Let the flaming begin :)