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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pet Ownership is a Responsibility? Really? Naw...

I wasn't looking to blog today, but something happened when I was out at the Farmers Market this afternoon walking the dogs and I'm still fuming to the point that I need to have a little vent. Even though, at the time, I didn't hold back either.

First, let me give you the visual of the scene. There I am, with all four dogs, none under 50lbs and one about 112lbs on leash. We were chilling out having a bit of water when a woman came up and asked me where the other dog was.

"Excuse me, other dog?"

"Yeah," She shrugged, last year you had another dog and the big guy was a puppy."

"Oh, she was a foster dog," I say realizing what she was thinking of, "She has a permanent home in Douglas these days"

"Ahhh, you do rescue?"

"Sometimes. We work with HERD of Wyoming." I said as I reminded Tucker to stay put.

She seemed to light upbefore saying, "I need to talk to you about finding a new home for our dog."


"Yeah we have a border collie who is out of control and we think he'd do great on a ranch."

After some questioning I found out that her husband always wanted a red and white border collie and after their first kid was born decided to get a pup. This pup and oldest kid are now 5 and have two younger human siblings. In five years there has been absolutely no work done with this dog. He literally lives in a crate in their apartment while her husband is at work. He comes home, feeds the dog, takes him outside where I was told he has no leash training and if he gets away they have to go pick him up at the pound in the next couple days. Then he comes back, goes in the crate until it's next potty break and/or breakfast. He has never been trained beyond crate training. Nothing, ever. For five years.

Even after I took a deep breath I couldn't stop it... I tried, but I couldn't do it. "Seriously? No wonder the dogs crazy and chases anything. You're lucky it hasn't chased you."

She kind of looked baffled. And that stupid look just set me off more. "So now that you have neglected, and by neglect, I mean abused this poor dog you want to pawn the problem you've created off onto some poor rancher? The last thing a rancher needs is a seclusion crazed border collie chasing his livestock. No, what needs to happen is that you and your idiotic husband who thought that 1) A border collie would be a good apartment dog for you and your spawn and 2) proceeded to drive said border collie insane need to take some responsibility for this dog. Not by re-homing him. I bet you've even listed him of Craigslist asking for a "re-homing" fee, haven't you? Yes, they had. No, no, no, you need to suck it up, take the dog out of the crate and start working it and giving it the home you should have five years ago.

Alas, with disgust I gave her both my card, and the information of the rescue I work with. Because, I have to face it. I know they'll end up leaving it at the pound one of these days. They're the kind who don't see the role they've played in the damage done to this dog. It might as well be someone else's issue, and honestly, if they did ditch it at the pound, it would at least have a chance at a better rest of it's life.

These people who look at my dogs, especially our border mix Tucker and don't get the correlation between their good behavior and the work we've put into training them just amaze me. They think that it's a luck of the draw to get a good dog. It helps, but you have to work for it.Just like kids. They don't grow up to be great people without parenting along the way. I fear for this couples kids.

The soaking rain I got on the way home, to finally cool the air helped cool my temper to. That and running into one of my training clients with her pup as she worked with him on not jumping made me realize that yes, some do see the responsibility in pet ownership.

Thanks for reading... Really. I feel better knowing that at least a couple might see it how I do.

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