City needs bylaw to make teens leave home sooner

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
June 17, 2017 - 5:00am

Most days, I’m certain that the power of the press is much over-rated. The media get way too much credit for influencing what people think.

For that reason, I try not to take myself too seriously, or get all self-inflated over having a regular soapbox on which to bother people with what I think.

Then there are days when it seems as though I could say or write the stupidest, most obviously untrue thing ever, and people would think I was serious.

And so it was this week with an editorial I dashed off on the two-dog rule. It was based on an application from a resident for a variance to allow him to keep three dogs despite the City bylaw that says two is the max.

At the end of said editorial, maybe as a shot at small yappy dogs, I proposed that instead of limiting the number of dogs per household, the City of Kamloops should base the limit on poundage, like 40 or 50. That way, people could have as many dogs as they wanted as long as they met the total weight limit.

For example, five dogs of 10 pounds each, or one dog of 50. By implication, no Great Danes or other big dogs allowed.

This seemed like such a silly idea that it never crossed my mind anyone would take me seriously (maybe I’m just not good at multi-tasking). I did, however, conclude with the sentence, “That would make at least as much sense as what’s going on now.”

But, apparently, I should have included a disclaimer, as in, “Warning! The above idea is really stupid! I was just kidding! Really!”

More than a few failed to see the humour. More than a few think I’m an idiot, not that that’s anything new.

“My one lab weighs more than 50 lb. and is not a problem at all,” wrote Jana Mae. “Large dogs are not the issue, a weight limit would be ridiculous.”

“What if you have a 38-pound dog that puts on five pounds?” asked a concerned Randy Valin. “Sorry, too big he has to go… Do you try to be this stupid Mel or does it come naturally?”

I was tempted to reply that I have to work at it, but Crystal Chamberlain beat me to the punch.

Pat N Brian Fadenrecht wrote:

Wait a minute — you may be on to something there.

Some were obviously more concerned about my suggested upper limit rather than the poundage thing itself. 

Well, Shannen Marie Caroline, maybe you should connect with Pat N Brian Fadenrecht and negotiate on the age limit at which children have to move out. But rather than an age limit for children, Amanda Shannon wondered whether a limit on the number of them per household would be next, and maybe they’d have to be under 50 pounds.

Others invoked the wisdom of Solomon. “50 pound per household limit? Hahaha. For some that would be a half a dog,” wrote Barb Tompkins. But Jessie-anne Barringer figured the half-a-dog limit “makes zero sense.”

And perhaps the unkindest cut of all, from Jim Pinkney: 

Mixed in with all the opinions about my mental deficiencies was a lot of genuine debate about the two-dog rule but the exercise has left me wondering how far I can go with this. I’m thinking of writing next week about recently seeing Elvis buying poutine from a food truck. True story.

But, seriously, a bylaw that puts a weight limit on kids and sets deadlines for when teenagers have to move out is worth considering.

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