Dogs on Chains

12:51 PM Posted by GloryBug

If There's Anything I HATE, it's Dogs on Chains

Today, on the way to driving Z to school, I saw a little puppy stuck on a four-foot leash attached to a fountain in the front of someone's yard. Puppy yelping and all that.

I live in one of THE best neighborhoods in town. So good, in fact, that I will probably shortly not be able to financially continue to live here. Suffice to say, it's not a barrio.

I drove past slowly, and the homeowner came out and stared at me aggressively. I didn't say anything, I just shook my head.

Later this morning, I drove past again, and the puppy was still there. Again, the homeowner stared/glared at me. This time I stopped. The guy approached my car and said- 'Do you have a problem?'
To which I said, yes. I do have a problem with people who chain their dogs.

But here's the key, and it might help other people who care about animals- I did not say it in an aggressive way, even though I was approached aggressively. I said it in a sympathetic way... and added that I used to have an animal welfare organization in Santa Barbara years ago.

So how it turns out is this- (his story) He found this abandoned puppy on his worksite and took it home. He was working in the yard, and wanted the puppy to be near him, but didn't want him running in the street, since he'd recently had a hit and run on one of his cats.

Context is everything.

Having a dog restrained, but near you, such as working in the yard, is a really good thing. Eventually they will learn to shadow you while you work, without running into the street. The fact that the puppy was yelping was not because it was being restrained needlessly, it was yelping because it was not near enough (in it's opinion) to it's new owner. Those are all good things, if the owner deals with them correctly.

End being- his work entails things that VvonV and I might need, so it's a good resource. People are less likely to cheat or screw people over when they live down the block from each other.

Rich people and poor people alike, good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods alike- you never know what people are doing with their pets. You can't assume just because you live in a good neighborhood that people are not abusing their pets. The key is whether or not you will confront what appears to be pet abuse, and how you approach it. If I had approached this in a confrontational attitude, I doubt I ever would have found out what the real situation was. I probably would have been told to fuck off. And I would have left thinking that this was an animal-abusing person.

I think this is a flaw that a lot of animal activist and vegetarian people have. That they get confrontational when there's no need to. I can't think of any situation that's ever been resolved peacefully when approached aggressively. There are a lot of people who have been long-term vegetarians because of their association with me, and it was never confrontational. Providing free vegetarian food without a sermon seems to me to be pretty effective. Telling people that 'Meat is Murder' might be true, but it will only isolate the people you are trying to reach. Cooking vegetarian food, and being generous with it will make better of an impression. People rarely change their viewpoints when they are put on the defensive. I have no doubt this applies to many other topics than animal rights or vegetarianism.

Being involved with animal concerns or vegetarianism often sucks, because you are constantly being bombarded with reports of cruel things that just break your heart- but there are other things that happen once in a while that make you feel better. Today was one of those days for me. It was nice to hear that someone was doing something to allow their pet to be near them while they were working.

All that aside- Yes, I do hate the chaining of dogs. I can't think of a better way to develop a neurotic, aggressive, unhappy dog that will happily bite your child's face off. If you have to chain your dog, you do not need to have a dog. I doubt that chaining your husband or wife (which is also pretty common, though it rarely involves physical chains) would have better results.

Bottom line, in my opinion, is that chaining of dogs is cruel. If you have to chain your dog in order to force it to stay with you, then you are better off not having dogs. And they'd certainly have a better life not being around you. Give them to someone who doesn't chain them.

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