Keep Your Dog On A Leash

It is unfortunate that many people believe leashing an animal is inhumane. To leave an animal tied up in the yard all the time is cruel, but to let them run free in the neighborhood can be just as cruel or even fatal for your beloved pet.

Many will argue that their dog is so well trained that they would never take off on them and that they are always in control of the pet. This may be true in some cases, but who wants to take the chance that their dog could get distracted by another animal, like a squirrel, and just dart off into the street or road. Obviously there are some situations or places where a leash is not really necessary, such as a fenced yard, but when walking along busy streets it should be mandatory. I say this not only for the dog's safety, but for the people in cars as well.

Just yesterday, my husband and I were on our way to town when the unthinkable happened; we hit a dog. We were approaching a corner that is known to be a dangerous blind spot. There was a Chevy Cavalier waiting to pull out, a truck coming towards us and a woman jogging on our right. From the far side of the Cavalier, seemingly out of nowhere, two small dogs came racing across the street towards the jogging woman, right in the path of our car. There wasn't much that my husband could do, just steer the tires away from them, but we heard that horrible sound... THUMP!

We immediately pulled over and he jumped out with the order for me to stay in the car. Animal lover that I am, I had to see if they were alright.

One of the dogs, both long-haired Chihuahuas, was lying on his side and struggling to stand up. It seems we had missed him completely with the tires, but he was hit by the undercarriage. The other dog wasn't hit at all but he wasn't happy and was barking like mad. I quickly grabbed a blanket out of our car and used it to grab the injured one, who was slowly trying to limp away. Yes, thankfully he was walking, although a little clumsily.

Of course, we didn't want to leave the other dog running loose but I couldn't get anywhere near him. He kept barking and backing away when I got close. There were two other women who had stopped and were trying to find the owners, so we left them to try and catch the dog.

We headed towards the nearest vet clinic. On our way, I was relieved to feel the dog breathing underneath the blanket. We found an animal hospital within a few minutes and rushed the little guy inside. The doctor started examining him while the receptionist looked up the ID number on his tag. It turns out the owners were from a neighboring province.

After a thorough examination, the vet declared that nothing seemed to be broken. He was a little wobbly and likely in shock but otherwise unharmed. We thanked her very much and left with her assurance that they would keep a close eye on the dog and do everything possible to find the owners. We were very relieved.

We arrived home a couple hours later, but were still concerned about that poor dog. We called the vet to check on him. She told us they had done some X-rays and found everything to be okay, but he did have a bad concussion. The owners had arrived a half hour after we left to claim their lucky little dog. Apparently they had just moved to town and were in the backyard with the dogs and decided to let them off their leashes. Perhaps they weren't paying close attention to them, but the dogs wandered off.

We were all lucky that no one was seriously injured. As I said, a leash is not just for the dog's safety. What if we had swerved to try and avoid them? We likely would have hit the woman jogging on the right, or the truck coming towards us on the left. If we hadn't swerved at all, one or both of the dogs would be dead. We have a Chihuahua of our own and would have felt absolutely horrible had we killed either of those dogs.

To those who think leashes are inhumane, please think again. For everyone's safety.

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