Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Your Dog Should Be Kitted-Out for a Walk

Here are some photos of my dog out on a walk yesterday to illustrate how you should have your furry friend kitted-out for a stroll.  Remember, your leash/ harness combo should be something that both you and your dog are comfortable with.  When picking something out, in addition to comfort, you should keep an eye towards sturdiness, fit, manageability, and safety.  As you look at these pictures, keep in mind that properly restraining your pet doesn't have to be a bummer-- it can be a way to keep both you and your dog safe, secure, and even fashionable.

[caption id="attachment_35" align="aligncenter" width="158"] My girl on her non-retractable leash and sturdy harness from Puppia.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_35" align="aligncenter" width="225"] My girl on her non-retractable leash and sturdy harness from Puppia.
My girl, happy in her summer finery.[/caption]

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Take Care of Your Business: The Importance of Keeping Your Dog WellRestrained

If you have read my [sadly infrequent] blog entries about pet parenthood, you are aware of my distaste for people who don’t take care of their animals as well as they should.  Whenever I see someone picking up a bag of Kibbles ‘N Bits, I want to punch them—you shouldn’t feed anyone in your family food that isn’t nutritious, that includes your furry family members.

Another of my pet pet-peeves is when owners don’t have the furry companions properly restrained.  A good pet parent knows that having your dog on a non-retractable leash and, where appropriate, in a harness is the best way to keep your dog under control.  When you’re dog is properly restrained, you can keep them from darting into traffic, charging other creatures and people, and quickly pull them back in the event of an attack.  Unless you are on your own property, which is well fenced in, it isn’t prudent to let your dog go off-leash.

That point really hit home for me yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon, since I had the day off from work, I took my pug to a local elementary school to romp around and go to the bathroom (yes, I brought poop bags to pick up after her).  School wasn’t in session and, per the school’s electronic marquee, the school’s office was not open.  Apparently some of the school’s teachers were there, cleaning out their classrooms for the summer.

In any event, my girl and I were alone and romping around the school’s lawns: her smelling everything and me making sure that she wasn’t smelling other dog’s mess or dead birds.  As we were walking and waiting for her to find an appropriate poop spot, one of the teachers who was apparently working in her classroom, exited her room (which faced the parking lot near where we were) with a male terrier she had brought with her . . . that was NOT on a leash.

My dog, caught off-guard, gave a warning bark.  The terrier then charged at my dog head-on; infuriated, my girl was barking and snarling as the hell-hound barrel at her.  Luckily, pug-a-geddon was avoided because she was in a harness and I was able to pick her up and holder her firmly in my arms while the dog ran at us.  He ended up charging at us twice, but was shooed off twice as well.  I’m glad to say that the dog didn’t bite me or, since she was in my arms, harm my girl.  I did, however, sustain some serious scratches from my own dog while trying to keep her safe from the charging terrier which, had they been worse, would have been the responsibility of the terrier’s owner.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="341"]Image My Wounded Arm[/caption]

The terrier’s owner didn’t bother to come after her dog during this ordeal.  Instead, she shouted at him to come back while loading her SUV and yelling at me that he doesn’t bite and is harmless.

For those of you that think “he doesn’t bite; he’s harmless” is a valid argument, let me disavow you of that notion: dog’s are animals and animals do not reason like people; they can act in inexplicable ways.  The best way to account for your dog’s quirks is to keep him or her on a leash at all times.  Remember: you are responsible for your dog’s behavior or the consequences of your behavior.  Calls of “he’s harmless” mean nothing to a woman with a screeching pug in her arms that is ripping her biceps asunder.

Please, keep your dog’s properly under control!