Most all of us who have dogs love them with all our hearts. There are times, however, when love is not enough.
Since the end of November there has been an ad running in the local paper asking for information about, or the return of, Remington, a three year old black lab.
It has appeared so often the paper did a story on the owner. In it he waxed nostalgic about how he missed his buddy, how they had bonded, how empty his bed was without him pressing his legs against his back. He went on to remember their hunting trips and how he hopped into the back of his pick up, how he'd go out at night and always came back.
Whoa. Let's back up here. One, it's against the law for a dog to run loose in this county. For many good reasons including the heartache of his not returning. What grabbed my attention, however, was the comment about the pick up.
Having seen a dog in the middle of a Los Angeles freeway one time, I've never been able to shed the image. Fortunately cars behind me saw cars swerving to miss it and were able to slow traffic enough to rescue the pooch. My guess is he fell out of a pick up.
You see it all the time. Some states have tethering laws, others do not. Even that isn't fool proof for a dog could actually hang himself.
This morning's paper told the story of a woman and her kids who witnessed a dog being dragged behind a truck. The driver had no idea. Even though in pursuit, the woman didn't catch the truck before the dog slipped his collar and they finally corralled him in a parking lot. We was alive, running on adrenalin, but his nails were gone and his feet worn down. The woman and her kids rushed him to the vet emergency clinic where he was successfully treated.
In a conversation with the owner, it was learned he "lost track" of the dog in Interstate 90 before exiting into city traffic. The woman didn't see him until they were several miles from that particular exit. One lucky dog. Maybe. He's home now and will recover. Hopefully never again to be allowed in the back of a an open pick up. Or be "lost track" of!!
Bacchus was truly spoiled. When he grew too tall for our Expedition, we got him a van. The picture shows how he travelled. Even at that we weren't totally conscientious because we did not secure him to his 'chaise'. Most of the time he slept on his blankets and didn't wander but if he wanted to stretch his legs he could.
I cringe every time I see a dog in a pick up. There are so many things that can cause a tumble. You see them in beating hot sun and pouring rain and snow. When we had occasion we had to take Bacchus in the pick up he had the entire back seat. He was cramped compared to the van but he was safe.
It's a practice that will probably never change but I sure wish it would. Dogs should be banned from the back of open pick ups. Full stop.
The next dog that suffers the fate of the golden retriever of which I write may not be so lucky. I would not like that on my conscience!