What about dogs?

  There you go again, raising the non-issue of cell phones in the backcountry (-Heard around the West," 10/25/99). As a frequent backcountry traveler, I simply haven't encountered the problem. In any event, it seems the phones could easily be avoided by those who are offended. Perhaps you should report instead on the increasingly unavoidable backcountry intrusion of domestic dogs. If only dogs could be switched off like cell phones! If only they spent 99 percent of the time quietly stashed, like cell phones, in their owners' pockets or packs! But no, they are constantly barking, harassing wildlife, begging, crapping, poking their noses in the crotches of passing hikers, menacingly asserting ownership of the trails, even pissing on my kayaking gear at river access areas.

Those silly, nasty, neurotic pests should be left at home.

Douglas Woody

Afton, Wyoming

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