Any dog owner who's been in San Francisco since the dot-com boom busted has seen them: self-centered, irresponsible dog owners refusing to consider how they and their dog(s) affect the lives of others. Emboldened by the anti-social philosophy of the SF SPCA and the single-minded, reactionary politics of San Francisco Dog Owner Group, these folks have flocked to our City, and they have single handedly made life for the rest of us more difficult.
Things are about to get worse. On January 22, 2007, Guy Clark, the gay African-American proprietor of Guy's Flowers in Duboce Triangle, had his storefront vandalized. This was no ordinary graffiti incident: the infamous "KKK" was tagged on his door.
The primary suspects of this hate crime are--you guessed it--irresponsible dog owners. According to an article published in Bay Area Reporter on January 25, 2007, Mr. Clark had been requesting that dog owners not, ahem, "spoil" the merchandise for many years. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Clark about 10% of them become combative when asked to mind the store, reacting in boorish ways:
- Some have called Mr. Clark the "N-word";
- Some have thrown dog poop on his door;
- Others have questioned his employment status;
- One irresponsible dog owner even harassed him while the police were taking the hate crime report;
- And now the KKK-bomb was dropped.
Unfortunately in Mr. Clark's mind, there is no longer any way to separate out the irresponsible dog owner from the racist hate monger:
"I could see a dog owner getting very offended, a minority telling them to curb your dog," said Clark. "They feel insulted that a minority is telling them about etiquette."
When facing such a public relations fiasco, you'd think that the self-appointed leaders of anti-leash groups such as Sally Stephens of San Francisco Dog Owner Group might think twice before aligning herself with the dog-owning faction of the KKK. But apparently the siren-song of irresponsibility is too strong of a pull. In response to this terrible event Ms. Stephens found it in her heart to offer this bit of wisdom to Mr. Clark:
Guy's Flowers was voted best flower shop by the two city weekly newspapers last year for Clark's low prices and lack of hard selling. Too bad Sally Stephens can't take a brake from her hard spinning and recognize that just because the KKK owns dogs doesn't mean she has to defend them.