This is Marble, rat terrier… suburban terrorist


My little friend Marble and I are banned from the Woodbury Farmer’s market. We took a Sunday walk to the open-air market as we have for several years. This time we were stopped at the entrance by man who was on the lookout for canines. “Sorry, it’s a health policy; we can’t allow dogs in the Farmer’s Market.” We turned around and walked back home.

Allow me to describe Marble. He weighs twelve pounds and is fifteen inches tall at the shoulder. Marble is a black and white bundle of pure affection. He loves all people. He has never harmed a soul in his eight years. Little Marble is a magnet for the dog lovers there, small kids, especially. He gets ear rubs and pats, and always a smile

Marble was on his leash (above, taken minutes after our banishment) and kept close to me. I had a “poop bag” in my pocket, just in case.

I can’t understand a rule banning dogs at an open-air market. Well, I suppose a big, bloodstained, growling pit bull, maybe. But rules are rules and exceptions really can’t be made. Once-size-fits-all, zero tolerance is the best a government funtionary can do. I see it this way: if you can’t allow common sense to interpret a rule, then you’re admitting it is unreasonable.

Funny thing, yesterday I had truly scary event with Woodbury animals. A flock of fifty Canada geese were deciding whether to waddle across a 50 MPH road. The man in front of me slammed on the brakes. So did I. And I watched the car in my rear view mirror slam to a screeching stop just a handful of feet from my rear bumper. Woodbury refuses to ban the geese. It won’t remove them.

I’m not going back to the Farmer’s Market. I’ll just buy my fresh produce at the grocery store. The quality is the same. Really, it is. I walked to the market each summer Sunday to enjoy the companionship of my little friend.

Happiness is more important than compliance.




  1. I’m reminded of the student who was suspended because he had a steak knife in the back seat of his car park in his school’s parking lot.

    If I remember the details correctly, he helped his family move over a weekend and apparently a knife fell out of the box it was in. A security guard walked past his car and saw the knife. Since the school had a zero-tolerance policy on knives, the student was suspended.

    Of course, the student’s intent wasn’t considered. Neither was the fact that the student was on the honor roll or that the knife was in the locked car.

    I totally agree with your conclusion: “if you can’t allow common sense to interpret a rule, then you’re admitting it is unreasonable. ”

    Maybe not another “Hell meet hand basket” moment, but we know the road there is paved with good intentions.

  2. So, I’m a bit confused.

    You understand the need for the rule, e.g., that snarling pitbull, but then you’re immediately asking for personal dispensation?

    And the grocery store will allow Marble in? Or, your rule is that you won’t frequent places that don’t allow dogs. But you’ll make an exception for the grocery store. 😉

    And if we all lived by your motto, “Happiness is more important than compliance,” the world would be, ahem, an interesting place.

  3. I have always loved seeing people at the market with their friendly dogs. To me, the market is a family place and my family includes a dog. Dogs today don’t get socialized enough and it’s just as important for them to be out and about as it is for us. I think a market in a public place on asphalt does not really have any grounds for “health” concerns with dogs. Then they should ban birds too – their flying poo is more dangerous than a little dog drool.

  4. Sorry John and kimtodd623 but i’ll have to stand by the farmer’s market. Why? Because too many dog owners are terribly irresponsible. These are ANIMALS that need to be trained and controlled, not children, yet they treat them as such. And until somebody brings a class action lawsuit against whatever companies sell those ridiculous expando leashes that have a that trigger which allows dogs to run off and uncontrolled and attach other dogs and people while an owner stands there going huh? I went to my son’s LaCrosse game the other day and there was an uncontrolled dog who went after another dog. The owner quite clearly did not have any control over the dog in general, it was TOOOOOO big for her and she had one of those leashes. I was so tempted to go over and say 1. get this dog some obediance training, 2. get a decent lease before you get sued and 3. quit bringing your dog to these places where people want to watch their kid’s game. Now with that said, there was a really wonderful tame yellow lab sitting and very attentive and trained and he was a joy to watch. But that is not the norm out there.

    If your dog is well behaved, then good for you – you got them trained and they are appropriate! Yay! But in the end, sometimes the policies have to be put in place for idiots and there are many out there. i am glad they did it for all the irresponsible owners out there and the safety of my children.

  5. So, we turn the Farmer’s Market into The Canvas Supermarket?

    Krista, the man said “health policy” not “danger” policy. There is very little risk of a dog making a human unhealthy.

    But my point is a cowardly one-size-fits-all approach. Why not let people bring their dogs, and if one is a problem, then ask them to leave. Instead, we have a passive-agressive policy to ban all dogs (and dog people).

    I can take my dog to Woodbury Days, where food is sold in stands. We sit on the sidewalk during the parade. With other dogs and people. We walk in the park.

    It’s arbitrary. And more than silly, really.

  6. I am very sad I can’t bring my dog to the Farmers Market. What a lovely Sunday morning it made to walk with the whole family up to the market and buy scruffins for breakfast and pick up fresh flowers and produce for the week. Even the guy selling the scruffins is happy to see the dogs! And tell me how my mannerly dog is a health concern in an open air area? Sounds like a crock of you-know-what to discriminate against dog lovers and our canine companions. More and more restaurants are allowing mannerly dogs, why can’t the farmers market? You have just taken a big joy away and we are very unhappy with the new rule. I hope they consider changing it. There will definitely be fewer visits, if any, to the Farmers Market this summer! 😦

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