Forgotten Dogs

There is at least one in every community. A dog left chained to a doghouse, tree or tethered to the ground. The dog may have water and food but sometimes the water is just out of reach. You can see the worn impression in the dirt around the dog where it’s packed the ground down from constant pacing and attempting to get exercise. Its ears may be raw or partially chewed off from flies, its body covered in fleas and often skinny.

How do these dogs end up in this situation? Many times a family acquires a new puppy however they are not prepared for the actions of the puppy. The puppy starts jumping on the children, biting and exhibiting destructive behavior. Instead of seeking help from a qualified trainer, it’s easier to deposit the puppy outside. Once in the backyard out of sheer boredom the puppy continues its destructive behavior chewing hoses, tearing up plants and digging. The best solution is of course to tie the dog up. In the best circumstances a caring family will ensure the dog has shelter of some sort. However because the puppy is now isolated, the behavior becomes worse. Soon compulsive barking starts. Every time they attempt to feed the puppy he jumps more, bites more, and barks more. When they do let him off the chain he runs hysterically around the yard from lack of exercise and they see this as uncontrollable behavior. Eventually any attention stops and the puppy becomes abandoned. As the saying goes, “Out of sight out of mind”. This is only one scenario. There are many more.

Dogs, like humans, are not solitary creatures. Dogs are pack animals. When we take a dog in to our home, we become a substitute for what would be its “pack” in the dog world. Dogs left outside and forced to experience isolation suffer sadness, frustration, loneliness, depression and sometimes aggression.

Many times people have the best intention to care for outside dogs, however, once the dog is outside it’s all too easy to forget required care, feedings and adequate shelter. Even though it is not the intention of most people to ever neglect or abuse and animal, it’s much more convenient to become involved in other activities in life and forget the needs of the backyard dog. People have a way of “disconnecting” from situations they are not comfortable with. Outside water freezes quickly, in the summer more water is required. I too often hear that the animal is a child’s dog, and the child’s responsibility. Children do not understand the commitment it takes to own and care for a pet.

Dogs were domesticated by humans for several different reasons. And what a dog offers is something unique to many other animals. Love, companionship and steadfast devotion. Before someone makes a decision to chain a dog, a stronger decision must be considered. People who chain dogs don’t need to own dogs.

Please be aware the following video is graphic

youtube video \"chained to you\"

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