Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Differing points of view

First the facts: I went to Pet Supplies Plus because Cody chewed through any collar that could possibly fit him. A light spring rain is falling and my reptile magazine fell out of the sack while I was loading the car. While I was bending down I heard a lady call “sir! SIR!” and proceed to tell a gentleman in a red truck that the big yellow Labrador wagging his tail shouldn’t be out in the rain.

This struck my funny bone because I was enjoying the sprinkle, so I know the dog was happier than a pig in poo. My friend Sue’s Lab will run out through the SNOW and ICE and plunge into the pool. It’s kind of funny till she tires and throws herself in your lap for a moist snuggle.

He said something back (yes, I rolled down the window to listen but he was soft spoken) and she yelled “YOU’RE WRONG, TAKE CARE LITTLE FRIEND” and I assume the first was directed toward the gentleman, the last towards the lab.

Now I believe in crating your dogs when they are in the car and that’s how I do it. Oh, I’m guilty of the occasional uncrated trip to the drive through, but for the most part, for safety’s sake, my dogs are crated. But if that lady’s goal was to educate the fellow on dog welfare, she missed the entire target, not just the mark. Yelling at a stranger in public isn’t going to solve anything, other than make for certain his mind is sealed the other way.

Perhaps a better way is to change public policy-a 90 pound, untethered ANYTHING that extends over the sides in the back of a truck is a hazard. This fellow probably wouldn’t drive home from Home Depot with a loose air compressor in the back of his truck. Find the real, and the most common risk, and address it.

If she were concerned about that particular animal, she could have taken the guys tag number and reported it to the police. I don’t even think she made herself feel better by yelling, because she didn’t look happy when she went inside.

I love the Animal Planet’s new ROAR program. Reach Out Act Responsibly...I especially like that last part. Making a difference in an organized, constructive way may not be the flashiest solution, but I bet it’s a better one than yelling at strangers.


Rachael said...

I agree. If I was going to say anything to a complete stranger about the way he cares for his dog, in that situation, I would tell him what happens to dogs who fall out of the back of pick up trucks. Getting wet was the least of that dogs worries. I worked at an Animal ER for two years.....WHY do people think a dogs place is in a truck bed?

Debra Kay said...

Unfortunately, some poor dog is going to have to go through someone elses windshield, the media will have to pick it up, then something might get done.

The truck bed thing came from our rural roots-in Oklahoma that's how dogs in the country got around...at slow speeds on country roads with little traffic. Dallas isn't quite the same situation.

Another pet peeve (hah) is loose dogs "guarding" trucks-that has no place in public places. Bad for the public, BAD BAD publicity for the breed in the truck bed.