Horrified by Irresponsible Dog Owners
Please accept my apologies from the start. I am writing mostly on emotion at the moment and will do my best to make my point along with some useful information by the end. My morning started very early today. Hello Monday! My precious puppy, Daisy, and I have a morning routine. I wake around 8am every morning, we go for our morning walk, when we get back home we have breakfast, yada, yada, yada. This morning at 6am, I woke to find Daisy standing over me, her nose an inch away from mine, tail wagging furiously. This has happened before when she has had the extremely rare need for an emergency potty break. I stumbled out of bed, dressed, and off we went for our morning walk. I know that you are all thinking, what has made me so emotional? Well, here it comes...prepare yourself.
Once outside, Daisy began erratically sniffing the ground, hot on the trail of a scent. She zig-zagged back and forth like a crazy possessed dog. This is when I saw the source of her anguish. There were two dogs, collared and tagged running loose in the neighborhood, one a terrier mix and the other a boxer mix I think. This alone irks me but the horrific topper was that the boxer mix was wearing an old pair of 'granny panties' tightly tied in a knot on his back just above his rear legs. There was a huge ball of feces trapped in the panties and next to this poor dogs skin. This dog, obviously in heat, was 'southern engineered' a pad for the bloody discharge present while in season. She had been trying to rid herself of this bundle. The panties were ripped a little on the inside of her right leg and pieces of feces were falling out little by little as she ran around. The terrier mix and boxer mix were playing and immediately spotted my Daisy. Of course, Daisy wanted to play as well, after all she had woken me probably for that reason. As rage filled my soul, I forced a reluctant Daisy back into the house. I then went back outside to try to help the boxer with her problem.
Although these dogs seemed to crave and want attention, they were very skittish and I couldn't get them to come close enough to me to release the panties or read the tags for a contact phone number or address of the irresponsible owners. Both dogs were very dirty, seemingly well fed (which is the only positive thing I can say), but I fear mostly neglected. They soon saw another owner walking his dog down the road and my opportunity to help them this morning ended.
Being awake 2 hours early, I quickly prepared myself for work, walked Daisy as usually without seeing these poor animals again. I will say that AS SOON AS I get off work this afternoon, my first priority is to drive around this neighborhood in search of these two dogs. I will continue to make my rounds until I can see them again. My hope is to find out where they live and have a chat with their owners about being responsible dog owners, positive reasons to spay and neuter their dogs, and if need home living conditions demand report them to the proper authorities.
I know at the beginning of this I promised useful information, but sadly I must go to work now. I will add to this with an update about these dogs and some options for dealing with a female in season this evening.
I hope to receive some great advice from all of the responsible dog owners that may read this while I am working today. Until later then....
So I am now home from work. I drove around the neighborhood and extended area a couple of times and caught no sign of the dogs from this morning. No worries, I see them about once a month running loose. This is the first time I saw a reason to worry about their welfare. Sometimes dogs escape their yards (especially when there are 2) and run to play. All the other times I have seen them, it has been during the normal 8-5 work day and just thought the owners did not know they had gotten out.
Now that my rant is over for the time being (with the promise of an update when I see them again), let us talk about the reproductive cycle of dogs.
Your female dog will first go into 'heat' between 6-9 months of age and will generally go in 'season' for mating twice a year(usually spring and fall). There are 4 stages of the reproductive cycle which lasts approximately 21 days. It is extremely important to seclude her from the male population during this 21 days if you are not interested in breeding.
Proestrus is the beginning of the cycle and will last anywhere from 4-15 days. During this time you will notice that the vulva swells. A clear then bloody discharge appears and your female dog often acts nervous. Every dog is different. Some will keep themselves immaculately clean and you will not notice any discharge while others do not. For those that do not keep themselves clean. You don't try to modify human items to control bloody discharge...Puppy panties are available at your local pet store or probably even Wal-Mart which will allow your dog to defecate normally as well as protect your home from blood stains. During this stage your female will not accept mating.
Estrus is the middle of the cycle and the time when pregnancy is possible. Your female dog will accept mating. A little test to decide if she is ready is to mate: She may stand with her tail held to one side when a male dog is around and rub her down the back of her spine, firmly, and if she raises her tail enticingly, she is ready. During Estrus(heat or season), the discharge stops, eggs are released, and her vulva swelling changes from a stiff swelling to a softer widespread swelling. This stage will last approximately 3-8 days. During this stage there comes a split. This split depends on whether or not pregnancy occurs.
Diestrus is also the period of false pregnancy. Hormonal changes will continue whether your female is pregnant or not. The uterus walls thicken and sometimes mammary glands will enlarge and produce milk. She will begin to exhibit 'mothering' behaviors of toys and no interest in mating. In the case of a false pregnancy, this will last for 6-10 weeks or 90ish days. The reason that a false pregnancy occurs is that her hormonal system assumes she will become pregnant each time she comes in season.
Anestrus is the period of sexual inactivity between heat cycles. Your female dog will have no interest in mating, no hormonal activity, a time when the reproductive tract is resting until the next cycle. This stage last approximately 15 weeks or 75 days.
Gestation of the canine lasts for 58-63 days. Your dog will show no visible signs until the last 3 weeks. You will notice her belly swelling, her teats enlarge, and a reduction of activity.
Okay, I feel better now about my ranting this morning (and a little during the middle) by hopefully providing some useful information. I am now motivated to write a follow up on preparation for birth and a Whelping checklist. Whelping is the actual delivery of pups. Follow this hub or just check out http://www.familydogadvice.com for the follow-up information.
One last very important thing that I must get off my chest. PLEASE do not even think about breeding your dog unless you know that you can find homes for the litter...it will be YOUR responsibility to socialized each pup before leaving your home...Be sure that your female dog is emotionally and physically mature(typically this will be around 2-3 years old, completing at least 3 seasons)...Prior to breeding, be sure to have a vet check both sexes for disease...Do Not Decide to breed just because you want her to have the experience of childbirth. It is a very unnatural experience for your dog to breed once then never breed again.
Now that I have crawled down from my soap box, I really hope to hear any advice as to how I should address the irresponsible dog owners when I find them.
Ta Ta for now, if there is any new information about the neglected dogs I will add on to this hub.
Just an update.
What has it been, a little over a week now? I have driven around the neighborhood everyday after work and have not seen those 2 dogs. I am not concerned because I have lived here for 3 years and have seen them about every 2-3 months during the last year. I have not given up! They will get out again and want to play with Daisy during our walk. (and I will let them in the absence of feces all over the place) This will be my best opportunity to get an address off of the tags.
Hope you will follow along to find out the outcome.