"But my dog likes to run free."
"It's not fair to keep an animal in the house all the time or in a fence."
Ok...those are excuses I heard from old neighbors who let their dogs roam.
They refused to put the dog on a lead or chain, and would let them out the door to run.
That was, until I took a couple of their dogs to animal control.
One had been hit by a car and limped around the neighborhood for a couple weeks
before I could catch it. They never took it to the vet to mend it's broken leg.
The shape that it was in, I assume the animal control put him to sleep.
Yes, some dogs like to run.
But you need to put the safety of your dog ahead of their happiness sometimes.
The danger of them getting into garbage or chemicals that may kill them,
being hit by a car, or someone just plain taking them, well outweighs
the sad face at the window.
In 1996 we adopted a Boxer/Shar-pei mix from the local Humane Society.
My littlest helped pick him out. She was 2 and her word for "other" was "boo"
(I have no clue why), and she didn't want the one puppy we looked at,
she wanted the "boo barkin one" (Other barking one).
And so we took BooBarkin home! He has grown up with my 2 daughters,
and been my best friend. He has "his end of the couch" and of course
"his side of the bed" complete with the pillow he lays his head on.
I literally curl up to him and go to sleep, and he loves that!
Boo loves to sneak out and go for runs.
Luckily, this has only happened a couple of times, and it's usually because
he knows he can sneak past the kids, as they're going through the door,
and take off. We moved in with my mother and he knows she isn't as quick
as me to grab him. He is such an opportunist! The story below explains why
we now ONLY use the back door, which is surrounded by the 40ft by 40ft
fenced area. He doesn't slip out that door because he knows it's all fenced
and he isn't going anywhere!
Well, last September, in 2001, my 6 year old was headed out the front door
and Boo saw his opportunity to make a run for it. I chased him on foot for a while,
then got in my car because he headed for the busy road down the street from us.
As I came around the corner I saw a pick-up truck off to the side of the road
and Boo laying in the street...he had been hit by the truck.
He was shaking, I think in shock, and his front leg was split open to the bone.
A couple of cars stopped and a man helped me put Boo in my car,
I was shaken up, crying and couldnt lift the 65 lb boxer mix.
I frantically rushed him to our local vet, they got him in the back and on morphine
while they checked out his leg. Finally they let me come to the back to see him
and discuss what needs to be done. I walked into the room, he's laying on the table
still half in shock, covered in blood, and on morphine, but when he saw me
his tail started to wag. One nurse pointed that out to the other...the sight of mommy
made his tail wag...he just might be ok. We had to wait for 24 hours to decide
anything because they heard rattling in his lungs and needed an Xray.
That was the longest 24 hours of my life. I didn't eat for a couple days, I had to decide
that if he couldn't be healed that I would have to let him go, let him be put to sleep.
My best friend in the world could be gone the next afternoon. My eyes are tearing up
The Xray showed his lungs to be clear, but the leg was broken at the ankle, the elbow,
and in the middle. They said that it may not heal properly, and that the best thing for him
would be to remove it. The day after the amputation he came home.
Could you imagine coming home the day after having your leg cut off??
AND having to go outside to the bathroom a few times a day?
That night my mom came in and he picked up a toy and "ran" to his grandma
the best he could, he is always so happy to see his family.
Well, one year and $700 later, he hops around on 3 legs like he's never had a fourth!
He is still King of the toys with our other two dogs, and still loves to rough-house
and play chase, still jumps up on the couch to look out the window when he hears a
school bus, and makes a mad dash for the back door to greet Katie when she gets home
from school. He still gets up in my bed, but not as often as it's hard for him to balance
on a waterbed, and jumping down from it is a challenge when that one front leg sinks
in the bed. But he still loves sleeping with mom.
We now have a 40ft by 40ft fence in the backyard, by the back door,
and we only go in and out of that door. This way if he sneaks past grandma or Katie
he cant get out of the yard. On the few occasions that the front door has been used
he STILL tries to get out! And once a neighbor boy opened the back gate
and all 3 dogs took off running (two of them following Boo).
It took me 20 minutes to catch that darn 3 legged dog, he's still quick!
He just loves to run free. But if he was to get hit again, I'm afraid it would be the end
of him. He can't lose another limb and still get around.
Kathy and Boo's Story