Archive for June, 2014

One sunny afternoon a mother and her adult daughter were out for a walk with their dogs. The daughters Dog ‘Marie’ a lab mix, had been with the family in one way or another since she was a puppy and was now 11 years old with an excitement for all people and a desire to play like a 2 year old. The other dog ‘Anne’ was a 7 year old lab mix that the family had rescued a week and a half earlier. Anne had had a rough life up until this point. She had spent her life living in a van with at least 14 other lab mixes, some of which were probably her pups. The family was excited to give her the loving forever home she deserved. As the four walked along on their, now, routine evening walk the mother and daughter talked about their days and noted all the dogs who were out. Marie whined to go play and Anne barked her assent. As they passed a building in the complex the daughter noted yet another person heading out for their evening dog walk.

The quartet continued on their regular path through the complex, the ‘girls’ as the dogs were lovingly called by their masters did their business, played, and enjoyed the late afternoon sun. As they rounded the building the daughter noticed the woman they had seen earlier at the end of the path, some ways away, with her two dogs. She commented on the fact that as usual, it seemed, one of the small dogs was off leash, running circles around its master as she talked on the phone laughing, either at the dog or the conversation.

The group continued on. As they approached the next path, Marie stopped to do her business. The mother and Anne continued down the walk before stopping to wait for the rest of the group. As the daughter headed to catch up she noticed the same woman as before, now on this path heading their way. In the next moment the off leash dog raced down the path toward Anne, their companion barking at the end of his leash. Before the mother or daughter knew what was happening, before they could react, Anne had grabbed the charging, in her mind, animal by the scruff of the neck and shook it repeatedly. As the mother pulled Anne back to stunned to react, the owner chased up and pulled on Anne’s leash. The daughter raced in with Marie to grab Anne’s harness. As she grabbed the harness and yelled No, Anne dropped the dog.

At the end of this terrifying scene, the small dog’s owner was in tears, the mother had shakily taken both Anne and Marie to the house and the daughter worked with shaking hands to ensure the condition of the small dog. The dog seemed to be mostly startled and slightly damp but otherwise Ok, Thank God!


THIS may sound like something out of a horror story. I know it seems that way to me but I was there, I am the daughter in this tale. Too often I see dogs out and about with their owners off leash. It seems even more common for small dogs especially if the owner has two small dogs. One will be on leash and the other off. There seems to be this ill-conceived notion that this is OK because they are small dogs. Most places, have laws regarding leashing your dogs and it seems to me it is one of the most ignored laws. I see two or three dogs off leash a week, running laps around their owners and barking, even growling at my dog and I.

Sadly this is the situation that led to the above day of terror. There never would have been an issue if all animal parties had been on leashes. In response to the above we took ‘Anne’ back to the rescue center not willing to endanger her or the many off leash dogs in our community. She is an amazing girl, happy, sweet, awesome at the off leash park in our community.

My point, I don’t care how sweet, or how little your dog is, when out for a walk LEASH IT. I don’t want anyone to experience the terror that all of us felt that day. In my talk with the other owner she kept telling me, in response to my comments regarding her dog not being on a leash, that her dog never ran away, that her dog could ‘barely move’ and yet she chased down the walk just fine. Her little baby is at home, mine is in a shelter whining and sad waiting again for a forever home; for someone who will love her for always and give her a good life. I will always love her and I will never forget the sad whine nor the look on her face when we arrived back at the shelter.


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