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Monday, October 15, 2012

Stupidity kills dogs

A guy I know just "lost" his second dog in four years.  He didn't really lose them; he allowed them to be killed.

This man was "anti-leash."  Because of that, both dogs are dead.

He had his first dog for a couple years and it met a tragic end.  So he got another one, same breed, which recently met a similar end.

He took both  through classes with me when each dog was about six months old.  I'm not sure why he did that, since he refused to follow my advice, which was, "Use a leash in public" and "Don't allow your dog to run the neighborhood."  These were quick, brilliant dogs, by the way, but I could tell that each of them lived in a state of mental confusion as to what was expected of them and who was in charge.  During training, the man was slow to react when necessary, and he was too harsh when he finally did. Naturally the dogs gave up and quit listening most of the time, and when they did, they behaved with spastic submission.  The man was not cut out for this breed of dog!

The man is a jogger.  I'd repeatedly see him going for his afternoon jogs in the borrow pit alongside the busy highway, his dog-of-the-day ranging way up ahead or way behind him.  I'd cringe each time I saw them, but knew that stopping the car to counsel him was a waste of time.   The message simply wouldn't sink in.  I believe the man did, in some warped way, actually care for his dogs; he took each to work with him every day, and they were sociable with customers.  That's why I can't figure out his refusal to leash his jogging partners, safely contain them at work, or  keep them in a fenced yard when they were at home.

The first dog died because it was running loose, unsupervised, in the guy's workplace parking lot.   A  forklift operator accidentally dumped a load of pallets on her.   A few months later the man procured the second dog, which lived for about three years before getting  hit by a car near his home.  This dog had repeatedly been seen by neighbors, running loose and alone down the middle of the busy, curvy  road.

If these had been human children, the guy would be in jail for manslaughter or negligent parenting or something.  But because they were dogs--and "expendable"--he can just go get another one.  I pray that he does not!

Leashes work miracles
Many of you know Lizzie, my rescued pit bull.  You know how obedient and angelic she is (most of the time).  She could be considered "under voice command" when we're out hiking the backroads, but I prefer to have her on a leash.  It's not just for her safety either.  It's for the additional bonding that happens between us, as she refreshes her memory each time about who's in control and who she should trust with her life.  It's the best "attitude adjustment" exercise in the world.  My dogs are always calmer, more relaxed, and happier at the end of a leashwalk than they are when they come back from running loose in the woods.

Leashes do more than save lives.  They GIVE lives.  A leash allows your dog to accompany you throughout your daily activities, instead of being left at home.  The leash offers safety, security, serenity and reassurance.  It's your dog's key to a more interesting existence...and one less likely to end in tragedy due to human negligence.

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