Knee-jerk reactions to dogs in Eastbourne shopping centre

From: Angela Webb, Seaside Road, Eastbourne

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 3:15 pm

Over the decades, I have been amazed and appalled by the attitudes of some readers, and now two such letters appear on the same subject on October 29.

Their reaction to James Roberts’ decision to allow dogs into the Beacon shopping centre is knee-jerk and unthinking.

It’s ironic that one reader says this has not been thought through, then reveals she has not put on her thinking cap at all.

James Roberts, director of The Beacon, with Barkley and other four legged visitors to the centre with their owners (L to R: Finn, Bonnie, Barkley and Ringo). Photo by Peter Cripps SUS-211018-094259001

When I read the article, I realised Mr Roberts was referring only to the walk-through, ie the mall.

The idea that shops will follow suit is ludicrous.

A two-minute chat with the management verified this.

Any notions that Sainsbury’s and M&S will tolerate customers letting their dogs spray anywhere in-store are crazy.

Every unit has a right to exclude dogs if they wish.

Shades restaurant has decided to permit dogs, ie in a small section of seating in the mall, which I feel is a nice compromise.

If a couple or family bring their dog and its handler stays by the shop entrance, the others can show them their items before purchase, making the shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable.

The reader’s comments about Labradors in Sainsbury’s is puerile sarcasm and small children will not lose their fear of dogs by keeping away from them.

As for dogs spraying, they always sniff an object first, so keeping their heads up by means of a short lead prevents this.

Many British pubs welcome dogs because the customers control them, otherwise the soft furnishings would stink to high heaven and they would be banned.

I’m not naive about human nature but, like Mr Roberts, feel people should be given the benefit of the doubt and they will ensure their pet does its business away from shopping areas.

This is about dogs, not horses which are herbivores and poo round the clock.

L Pepperall’s claim that the majority of owners are irresponsible is wild conjecture as it’s impossible to prove.

Huge sums would be spent just rounding up the dogs in Britain, never mind the farcical exercise of paying people to walk around counting dog droppings.

Finally, if Mr Roberts’ decision becomes a disaster, he can rescind it.