So my neighbors got a puppy. A cute little scruffy off-white thing that seems like he’ll be about 15-20 pounds (I can’t tell, I don’t really know how old he is, maybe three months?). Anyways, they’re gone all day, so this puppy is not only locked in their backyard, but he’s also tied on one of those rubber-wrapped wires. Well, this morning, I was awoken by the poor thing screaming bloody murder. I seriously thought he was injured.
I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and ran out the backyard so that I could look over the fence and see what the hell was going on. At first I was confused, he was just sitting there, and when he saw me he started wagging his tail. I rolled my eyes and thought “great, another neighbor who leave’s their dog outside all the time, so it’s going to bark for no goddamn reason…” But then I tried to get it to come closer, and it wouldn’t move, which I thought was odd, he was so happy to see me. Then I saw the line, doubled up, behind him.
I went out the front door and rang the doorbell, I didn’t expect anyone to be home, but I wanted to scream at them if they were. No answer. I went around to the side and saw the poor thing, stuck. Then the other neighbor’s dog came up to the fence and started harassing both the puppy and me. PS: Leaving your dog outside all day makes it aggressive, do you really want a pissed off dog? News Flash: it’s pissed off at you!
So I called the San Diego County Animal Control emergency number and told them there was a puppy in distress with no access to water, shade, or shelter, and they said they’d come straight away.
Ironically, the officer arrived just as I typed that. He went in and freed the puppy from his predicament, and said all he can really do is leave a note that the dog needs to be tied a different way.
I’m disgusted. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right, and it shouldn’t be legal! If you are going to be gone so long that you need to leave your poor dog outside alone all day, don’t get a fucking dog! A dog is your dog all the time, you don’t get to just treat it like a “thing” that you pay attention to when you want or feed when you have to. I wish people could understand the absolute love and joy that I get from my dogs, and how much I (willingly!) sacrifice for them. I wish people would stop treating dogs as something they’re just “supposed” to have, and only do the bare minimum.
Irresponsible pet ownership is only eclipsed by deliberate animal abuse or neglect in my book. I realize that in other parts of the country it’s different. I’m from Maine, it’s cold as hell up there, no one in their right mind would leave their dog outside all day in the winter… okay, most people. I’m sure they still get the occasional asshole that doesn’t realize that if he’s freezing his hairy ass off, so is his dog. I know that in the South, a lot of people have dogs for working on farms and hunting, and I get that that is a working relationship, those people have dogs for their livelihood. But just because you have a sporting dog, doesn’t absolve you from treating it right. That dog had better be used for sport if you’re going to treat it that way. Simply having one doesn’t mean you get to be a dick.
Then there’s the mild areas, weather-wise. “Oh, I can leave my dog(s) outside all day because they won’t freeze to death!” These are the people I despise. I don’t even have words, it makes me absolutely sick, the way people here get dogs, leave them in the yard, and turn them into antisocial, aggressive, dangerous monsters. God forbid one of these things gets out! There’s a Labrador two streets over that is absolutely vicious. A Lab. At least 75%. Labs are not aggressive dogs, they’d attack you with kisses before anything else, but this one is absolutely fucked in the head. He’s completely nuts. The result of growing up outside, having no stimulation, likely being teased by passersby, and trained to be aggressive by his owner(s). It makes me sick to my stomach.
I’m not saying I don’t go totally overboard with my dogs, I realize that I’m the crazy dog lady and that I’m a bit obsessed, and that not everyone is up to being so wrapped up in their dogs, but I have to point out, I have some happy, loving dogs. I love sitting at my computer and doing work while one (or both) of them is snuggled up in my lap under a blanket having a snooze. When I finish school and go back to work, one of my requirements is that I be able to bring my dogs, or else telecommute. And I’ll get it. Guaranteed.
Unfortunately, I have to go again because the poor puppy is howling once more, and I want to make sure the thing isn’t dying, so if you’ll excuse me…
PS: if you don’t ever hear from me again, I’ve probably been arrested for theft…