Preaching to the Choir
Posted at 09:15AM - Comments: (19)
I had this thought on Tuesday, July 5, and I’ve been thinking about it on and off since then: Is any progress being made at all in the world of dog ownership?
This was prompted by my brief custody of two small stray dogs, the ones I found trotting down my street the morning after fireworks were going off all over town.
Fortunately, Otto was with me in the yard as I watered our roses and azaleas, and the dogs came in my gate to greet him; I was able to close the gate behind them. They wouldn’t come to me at first; once they realized the gate was closed, they trotted up and down the fence line a few times, to confirm they were, in fact, trapped in my yard. They also raised their legs on every bush and fence post, allowing me to see that they were both males. Both dogs appeared to be American Eskimo Dog- or Pomeranian-mixes.
After 10 minutes or so of exploring the yard, the smaller one approached me, wagging his tail. I was able to feel underneath his thick coat to ascertain that while he was wearing a collar, there were no tags on it. His coat was matted and dirty. Then the larger dog came up to me. He, too, was matted and dirty. He did not have a collar on.
I called my local shelter, and the receptionist took my address and said she’d send an animal control officer to pick them up. When he arrived, he scanned both dogs; no microchips. He also determined that both males were intact. He was kind enough to call me later to tell me that he had found their owner; the dogs live about 10 blocks away, and had supposedly escaped the night before during the fireworks. I say “supposedly,” because I saw the same two dogs trot by my house a few days later. When I went out my front door, they bolted in the direction of their home.
I just keep thinking: No ID, intact, matted, and free to wander (and be hit by a car).
And I think about WDJ’s readers: involved, concerned, educated owners, who surely have ID on their reasonably groomed dogs, who are, if not neutered, are at least minimally trained, well-socialized, and safely enclosed. In your letters and comments, I see ample evidence that there are many owners who are aware of the need to both vaccinate their dogs and limit those vaccinations; to train and socialize their dogs; and to provide more than the minimum of care.
I’ve been wondering: How can I help to reduce the “class” differences between dogs like the ones wandering my neighborhood and the ones owned by WDJ readers?
I’d love to hear about things you do to help educate, guide, and inspire owners to improve their dog care practices.