Lately it seems like every day we see a news article about a small dog being stolen. And every day we see something about dogs going missing. Please, people – go with your dog!
Growing up without a fenced yard, we got in the habit of going out with our dogs every single time they needed to. Even after the fence, with a multiple-dog household, we went outside with them all the time. And it’s proven useful on more than one occasion.
Like the time the workmen left the garage door open and we caught our dog before he ran into the alley. Or the time the skunk took up residence on the porch and, luckily, the treats in our pouch were more interesting. And especially the time our dog found a chunk of rat poison in the yard and was chewing away on it. We knew which dog had the runs because we were there. Not glamorous, but useful.
Just in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen stories about dog being stolen from yards – even though the area was covered by a door camera. We can’t even imagine how the people felt when they saw their own footage of someone opening their gate and just picking up and carrying their dog away.
The thief’s motivation could be any number of things. Some kind of ransom or reward, selling the animal, keeping it, or nightmare scenario, getting bait dogs for a fighting ring. The last was the one we used to hear about all the time. Not as much lately, although we doubt dog fighting has decreased. There are lots of sick people in the world.
We know it’s not the most convenient thing in the world to go out with your dog every single time. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. It’s much easier to let your dog out. We get it. Especially since it’s January in the Chicago area.
Even if your dog is wonderfully well-trained to come to you, you can’t predict the squirrel in the yard. Which reminds us of a story from years ago. A relative’s neighbor let her dog out by itself every morning. One day, the dog took off, rather than efficiently doing her business and coming back inside the house. And our cousin’s neighbor was left roaming the neighborhood in her pajamas, yelling for her dog: “Whoopee! Whoopee!” A reminder to also be careful what you name your dog.
Think of the possibilities
How would you feel if something happened to your dog? Because we were there and grabbed the poison out of her mouth, the vet knew what kind it was and what to do about it. Our dog didn’t run out and get hit by a car because we were there. Because we were there, we knew which dog was sick.
We know the odds are minimal of anything bad actually happening. But, like the old saying; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Go with your dog.
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