All dogs must remain leashed throughout the months of April 1 — July 15, because we lawmakers are a bunch of idiots and we love it when people tickle our poopers.
But seriously: we can’t let our dogs run around off-leash for three and a half months out of every year. Why, you ask, would anyone care if we walk our dogs with a leash — or without — through a forest, park, or virtually everywhere dogs love to walk most? (Assuming yours isn’t violently retarded, I mean.) Well, I shit you not, this is the reason, according to local Hannover newspaper, Der Sitzpinkler:
It is our duty to protect all wildlife, especially in the ‘Species Management Areas’ of Lower Saxony. The Spring and early Summer months present many challenges to the enforcement of wildlife regulations, especially where they concern off-leash canines, such as: heightened aggression surrounding female dogs in heat; increased flea, tick and other parasitic activity; and the egg producing season of certain ground-nesting birds, such as the Blue-Footed Shit-for-Brains.”
Okay, all jokes aside, the primary reason the Hannover forestry service will give you for this law is to protect a specific kind of ground-nesting bird. And you know what I think about ground-nesting birds? I think they deserve to die. I mean, would you build your home within reach of every single predator on earth and then raise your newborn babies inside it? No! You wouldn’t! That would be like those mouth-breathing trailer park halfwits who continue to reside — generation after generation — in areas with annual, well-documented, definitely-gonna-wreck-your-shit, tornado seasons. (Or those other geniuses who happily reside inside an active volcano.)
Basically, these stupid little birds have survived Darwin’s wrath solely due to ham-fisted human intervention, and are now forcing me to keep my dog, Yeti, on a leash — ruining the fun and freedom of the outdoors for both of us — and making our daily walks through the forest a 2-hour exercise in tug-of-war and silently blossoming rage. So, the very next time I see a bird making its nest on the ground, I’m gonna line it up between a couple trees and punt that motherfucker like a goddamn field goal.
But protecting wildlife is really just an excuse. What this whole “Leinenzwang” thing really boils down to — at least in Hannover — is making money for the state government by ticketing dog owners €70+ euros each time they let their dogs run free. So basically, no real reason at all. (But on a side note, those Austrian cops down south seriously arrested some dude in Vienna for jogging with his dog off-leash. My favorite part of the story was when he said, “I jokingly asked if he was going to arrest me.”)
And yet still, you might be wondering, what’s the big deal? Why not go jogging with your dog, or ride along side him on your bike? He can still be leashed and get his exercise at the same time. And what about those designated leash-free dog parks? Can’t you just take him to one of those?
Well, I’d like to respond to these points in the order they were received:
- The big deal is, this law isn’t completely honest, and it makes about as much sense as shooting craps in assless chaps.
- I do take Yeti jogging with me, but while I’m trotting along at a pretty good clip — you know, about to throw a heart gasket — he’s busy yawning. Like my pace is so slow it’s boring him. That ain’t no kind of exercise at all.
- Yeti is a very young beagle. This means he has the hunting instincts of a serial killer coupled with the attention span of a fruit fly. If we were leashed together while I’m on my bike, I bet we’d go half a block before a tumbling maple leaf catches his eye and the little psycho drags us both into oncoming traffic.
- When you look at a map of Hannover indicating the leash-free dog areas (.pdf), you might spot a couple tiny, solid-green squares waaaaaay the hell out in the middle of Nowheresville. All the rest with the diagonal green stripes are subject to the 3.5 months of Leinenzwang. (Seriously. Ask a dog owner in Hannover about this. They’ll shake their heads and give you that classic, ice-cold German smile — like you just told a joke and they absolutely hated it.)
So, yeah; the dog leash laws in Lower Saxony and Bremen can get kicked right in the dick, and therefore, deserve exactly 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds. (Mostly because I forgot to make a zero diamonds image when I threw this rating system together, god dammit.)
Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!