This week we witnessed a dog harness horror. The owner had the best of intentions, but things went badly awry.
A caring dog owner adopted a rescue dog from a shelter. With the dog’s history of winding up in the shelter, she did exactly what she should have – she purchased one of the no-escape, Wrap-N-Go harnesses from us.
To make sure her new, beloved girl was absolutely safe, she even had a friend sew extra industrial-strength Velcro™ on the harness’ straps. She wanted to make sure her dog was always under her control. The new dog, we’ll call her Angel, had a habit of reacting poorly to other dogs on walks. Angel’s new owner was concerned her habit of lunging would result in slipping away.
Too much security
As a result of all the extra security, the harness was difficult to remove. Angel’s owner brought her into the shop this week for a new harness. Angel’s no longer the skinny mite she was at adoption, and might need something a little bigger.
Angel is, with people, a well-mannered dog. She has short fur, like a Boston Terrier or Miniature Pinscher. When we fit dogs for harnesses, we like to put them up on the counter on a nice, soft rug. “Up” so the dogs are easy for us to see what we’re doing. The rug is so they don’t think they’re at the vet’s office.
We put Angel up on the counter and started wrestling to get the harness off. It wasn’t easy. And what it revealed wasn’t good.
Dog harness horror
Angel’s fur was gone in patches and her skin rubbed red and raw under the logo of the harness. We asked if, by chance, Angel had been wearing the harness full time, 24/7, no relief. She had.
Because the harness was difficult to remove, it turns out they didn’t take it off. Ever. Poor Angel. And poor owner, who was horrified, and guilt-ridden over the raw patch on her dear dog.
Know better, do better
There’s a reason we recommend dogs go naked in the house. Nothing can get caught, and nothing can rub if the dog is wearing nothing. You can see what’s happening with your dog’s fur and skin. And make sure nothing like this will happen to your dog.
Angel’s owner felt absolutely terrible. She asked us to throw the old harness away. And she got a different, secure harness that is easy to put on and take off.
Angel’s going to be fine. Better than before. We love stories with happy endings.