The picture above is how I envision a happy dog: outside, ample room to run with his peers, getting fresh air and exercise, perhaps coming home to a nice meal and a warm place on a comfortable rug near a fireplace.

This is not how many dogs in Columbus are being treated, however.

Many readers will recall our "Dog Days of Summer" issue last August. In it, we wrote about everything relating to dogs in Columbus. We informed readers about how to make a dog happy and safe living in the city. We also included a blurb about their acceptance at local malls including Tuttle and Polaris.

Back then, dogs were allowed to roam free (on a leash) throughout the places. People who feel it's fine to carry around a living thing in a backpack rejoiced; I did not.

I love dogs - so much in fact that I don't think they should be treated as accessories or subjected to the meaningless frivoloties that consume the lives of their owners. Dogs don't belong in boutiques, restaurants or malls; they belong outside, in a nice yard, with many nice shade trees.

Recently, I've been winning the dog war. Some malls have restricted canine access, and people are finally realizing that places of commerce and furry creatures don't mix.

Then, at the Ohio Art League Spring Juried Show, held at Fort Hayes last Friday, I spotted two dogs...

The picture above is how I envision a happy dog: outside, ample room to run with his peers, getting fresh air and exercise, perhaps coming home to a nice meal and a warm place on a comfortable rug near a fireplace.

This is not how many dogs in Columbus are being treated, however.

Many readers will recall our "Dog Days of Summer" issue last August. In it, we wrote about everything relating to dogs in Columbus. We informed readers about how to make a dog happy and safe living in the city. We also included a blurb about their acceptance at local malls including Tuttle and Polaris.

Back then, dogs were allowed to roam free (on a leash) throughout the places. People who feel it's fine to carry around a living thing in a backpack rejoiced; I did not.

I love dogs - so much in fact that I don't think they should be treated as accessories or subjected to the meaningless frivoloties that consume the lives of their owners. Dogs don't belong in boutiques, restaurants or malls; they belong outside, in a nice yard, with many nice shade trees.

Recently, I've been winning the dog war. Some malls have restricted canine access, and people are finally realizing that places of commerce and furry creatures don't mix.

Then, at the Ohio Art League Spring Juried Show, held at Fort Hayes last Friday, I spotted two dogs...

The first dog, of course, looked nowhere near as happy as the ones pictured above. It was a small lapdog carried in what looked to be a Jansport bag. And, of course, it was shaking - ney, convulsing - when anyone approached it. The poor creature clearly wanted out.

That dog was soon escorted out of the building.

The other looked to be a golden retriever-lab mix - a medium-sized animal who seemed very friendly when I met him standing near the table holding the cheese tray. He was furry and well-behaved, though from what I gathered, he had not entered a piece in the show.

For nearly an hour, he was unleashed and allowed to roam freely among the sculptures, paintings and installations placed on the ground in the main viewing area.

Mostly, he hung by the cheese.

Not sure why the artist brought the dog, but he clearly was not interested in the art, which was fantastic, by the way.

But back to more pressing matters, namely the institution of a new organization I'm calling the Canine Liberation Front. This group is dedicated to protecting dogs from mistreatment and keeping them safe and happy with much exercise.

Soon we will number in the thousands, helping dogs everywhere from being stuffed into backpacks! Soon they will run free with much fresh air!

Join me!