Farhad Manjoo wrote yesterday about the invasion of public spaces by canines and their owners. This has, predictably, kicked up a chorus of what passes for discussion these days.
This is silly. Manjoo raises some perfectly reasonable objections to dogs being off leash where they shouldn't, being present where they shouldn't, and being poorly controlled by their owners in public situations. (I say this as someone who will take his dog anywhere and everywhere that he can. After all, poorly controlled dogs are a problem for other dogs, too.) But this has nothing to do with dogs. You could write the same piece about children (Manjoo halfheartedly acknowledges as much himself), cell phone usage, bicycle riders, wearing perfume, leaf blowers, and probably a dozen other things that people do or have in public, that can either be handled with some basic consideration for the people around you, or not.
To single out dogs (or any of those other things) as being a particular scourge on society is to miss the point entirely. We should be talking about basic manners.