Monday, February 20, 2012

If You Love 'em, Leash 'em!

I live within the city limits of a small town (population 21,000 or so) in a mostly rural area.  Within the city limits, there is a leash law for critters of the furry persuasion.  (I maintain that there ought to be leash law for some of the two-legged varmints who currently roam the streets with impunity, but this post isn't about them.  But they know who they are.)  This is a ordinance that is routinely ignored, which is a shame.  I've heard any number of excuses for it, but my least favorite has to be "I don't like to confine my dog.  He should run free."

Really, Jacko?  This isn't Elsa the Lioness we're talking about.  Dogs running free get into all sorts of trouble - some involving rabid raccoons, some involving eating rotten trash, some involving other people's property, and some much, much worse.  My beloved Spooky is a wonderful animal who has successfully raised a happy cat from kittenhood, but she's not especially street-smart.  I love to watch her stretch out and run and one of the flaws of my town is that there's not a dog park anywhere around, so I understand the desire to take her off-leash somewhere.


Life is a risky proposition and we're responsible for our four-legged ones, who don't always know what's good for them.  This weekend, the Spookster and I were enjoying the sunshine and strolling though the neighborhood, just watching the daffodils and commenting on the boldness of the squirrels when disaster struck.  An unleashed, no doubt loved, pet came running top speed toward us, barking fiercely.  He left his front yard, crossed into the road where WHAM! he ran smack into a passing car that was between us and the dog.  The car was going too fast (and didn't stop - a topic for another time) and the dog turned and ran back to its people, who were congregated in the driveway.  I'm screaming, Spooky's pulling at the leash, they're grouped around the other dog - a huge commotion.

I have no idea if the dog is okay or not.  (Let me emphasize the dog hit the car, not the other way around - the wheel did not go over the poor thing, but there's no way he wasn't hurt badly by the encounter.)  Here's the worst part - well, aside from that awful noise and the dog's yelp - the whole thing was avoidable.  Dogs don't understand boundaries.  And invisible fences don't always work and they NEVER work on a dog that doesn't have a collar on (a visitor's dog, for example).  Leashes DO work.  If you love your dog, please - use a leash.

So if you love your dog, or animals in general, or if you think our veterans often get a raw deal - please read the linked story and toss a buck or two toward Sadie's cause through PayPal.  (That's Sadie at the top of this post, by the way.)  The story contains an update - people are coming through for this vet and it's a great, a truly FANTASTIC, way to embody the concept of paying it forward.  Really - how often do you get a chance to make a difference like this with a couple clicks of a mouse?  It doesn't have to be much and you can say that you did more to support the troops than make "tsk, tsk" sounds.  If you can't do that, you could always drop off a couple of cans of food or some toys at the Humane Society of your town.  Tell 'em it's from Sadie.

1 comment:

Didge said...

I think this is a great post! Somewhere and I always leash our dogs, Brink and Topher.

They are two large breed dogs that aren't mean, but, also aren't around small animals so they don't realize how gentle you have to be.
There's a couple of families with small dogs that just let them run around. They often run right up to our two, causing a lot of stress all around.

It frustrates me that cats are allowed to roam free but dogs aren't. The cats bring fleas and all sorts of trouble into our yard.