Be Responsible, Respectful, Safe: Ask First!
Can I get a drum roll up in here?
I’m so happy to present the brand new DINOS Public Service Announcement: Ask First!
Check out this retro-tastic poster from my favorite design geniuses over at Design Lab Creative Studios:
You can get the poster for free on Flickr. Just right click, hit “save as” to download, and print!
There are also translations (Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese) of the poster available on Flickr.
Or you can purchase quality prints of the poster, in various sizes, on Cafe Press.
As a companion piece, you can download and print this brand new Ask First handout.
And just in case you want more…there are Ask First tees and stickers.
Ok, that’s the business end of things, but let’s get to the heart of the matter:
Why Ask First?
Because whenever you see a dog, you should always ask permission before you approach them.
Never assume it’s OK for you or your dog or your kid to approach a dog without asking first. I mean, you know what they say about assuming right? It’s the truth.
When you see a dog walking on leash, sitting in the waiting room at the vet’s office, walking next to his owner in a pet store, working as a service dog, or just about any where, you should ask before you let your dog greet them or you make a move to pet that dog.
Just ask first.
It only takes a very brief moment and with just one question, “Can I/my dog/my kid say hello to your dog?” you’ll be respectful of others, responsible for your actions, and you’ll be safety first.
The nice thing about asking is that it’s something all of us can do at any time. All you need is your voice. It’s that simple.
This may seem silly – it is common sense after all – but I think that we’re all overdue for a reminder. Most of us are teaching children to ask before they approach dogs, but the adults need a refresher course too. And we all need to recognize that this applies to dog-dog greetings as well.
Let’s help people form a new habit. If they’re reminded enough, perhaps more folks will remember to ask permission before they let their dogs or themselves run over to say “hi” to a dog. They’ll stop making assumptions and start making responsible choices.
I know it’s a long shot and it won’t reach the truly reckless dog owners out there, but a friendly reminder can’t hurt right?
By the way, dogs don’t have to be a DINOS for this to idea to apply. Even dogs that are really social and able to meet others at any time deserve to be treated with respect. And all dog owners have a right to say “no thank you” for whatever reasons they choose.
It’s our right as dog owners to decide what’s best for our individual dogs and ourselves. Asking first allows all of us to make that choice.
In fact, this applies any time any of us are out in public with our dogs. Before you let your dog jump up to greet a child: Ask First. Before you let your dog pull his retractable leash over to a senior citizen: Ask First. Before you allow your dog to approach anyone unfamiliar (you never know who is afraid of dogs!): Ask First.
So why not Ask First and be responsible, respectful and safe around all dogs, all the time?
If you think the public could use a little refresher on this idea, please print out a poster and hang it in a vet’s office, a pet store, a school, an on-leash area, or any place where folks need a reminder to Ask First!
And if you do, snap a photo and share it with Team DINOS on Facebook!
p.s. Some people have asked why there aren’t any yellow ribbons in this poster. I chose to leave them out because the public needs to learn to control their dogs, obey leash laws, and ask first around ALL dogs, not just ones that might be wearing a ribbon!