Is Your Puppy in Peril?


I just heard another story about how a family’s beloved dog (who was just playing outside) was brutally struck and killed by a passing motorist.  This little dog’s family was outside working in the front yard when the tragedy occurred.  They thought that “Poochie” would NEVER wander into the road.  Besides, they were watching him.  But it happened so fast!  And instead of watching him play, they watched his life end.  So many stories remarkably similar to this one and, in almost all of them, the driver who hits the dog is portrayed as some evil monster who was using the neighborhood as a training track for the Indy 500.  I certainly do not advocate speeding through neighborhoods, but I do believe that most drivers will not deliberately seek out a dog to run over.  If the dog had not been in the street, he would not have been hit.

Don’t think I have no empathy for the owners of this dog.  I understand (better than you think) what they are going through.  Many years ago, my four-month-old Great Dane puppy was hit by a car when he found a weak board in my fence and decided to explore.  He had only been outside a matter of minutes.  Luckily, he was not killed, but he was injured, and I felt guilty because I knew it was my responsibility.  Had my fence been sturdier, he would not have gotten loose.  He depended on me to keep him safe and I let him down.    

Let’s face it…  Dogs are completely defenseless when matched against a car; no matter the speed that car is going.  Getting hit by a car is not the only peril that a loose dog faces.  He is often the victim of abuse, poisonings, and shootings.  When we adopt a pet into our family, we take responsibility for him.  He puts his trust (and his life) in our hands.  To protect our precious pets, we must do a few simple things:  When we are not with our pets, we must keep them safe inside our home, or within our adequately fenced yard.  When we wish our dogs to be with us outside of our yard, we must have them on leash.  Notice that I said ADEQUATELY fenced yard.  Fencing should be checked frequently for rotten, warped, or broken places.  Check for holes the dog may have dug underneath the fence.  Also make sure that your fence is high enough, and built in such a way that the dog can neither jump nor climb it.  If you follow these guidelines you will not have to bear the heartbreak of finding your canine companion dead or maimed.

Did you realize that if you are not following these guidelines, you are probably breaking the law?  Most communities have laws that regulate the care of dogs – including leash laws.  Animal control ordinances not only protect dogs, but they also prevent many of the situations that lead to anti-dog sentiment.  They lessen the rate of dog bites and the spread of disease (like Rabies).  They help prevent the dog from being the focal point of neighborhood battles…  Bowzer can’t rummage through the neighbor’s garbage, defecate on his lawn, or terrorize his children, if Bowzer’s owners obey the leash laws.  Bowzer remains safe, and a goodwill ambassador for his species.  Good Boy, Bowzer!  GOOD OWNERS.

Copyright © 1986 & 2012 ~ Georgia Alyce O’Boyle, HAVENLEA DOG TRAINING CENTRE

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