When dogs aren't garden gnomes, or humans for that matter

I used to be the sort of person that loved a good fight, or crusade. If someone even hinted at maligning a friend of mine - I was there! If someone disagreed with me about an issue close to my heart, I pulled out my proverbial soap box and got down to business! I adored Julia Sugarbaker. I loved a good rant. (I still do, really. If you're ranting - link me!)

And then I grew up and realized that you change more hearts than minds, that it's better to come alongside someone than rail against them, that it's better to help people understand each other than staunchly defend. It's just more effective.

But sometimes people are wrong and sometimes they just don't get that they are wrong, and sometimes there are big repercussions from wrong beliefs and so, because I don't want to rant on Facebook, I'm just going to make my case here.

A friend of mine posted a link in favor of anti-tethering legislation. (Yes, we're talking about dogs). And a man commented underneath that what was better, to leave a dog outside with access to food and water and God's green earth, or stuck inside in a box no longer than his leash.

Well, if you're talking about humans, there's no question. OK, neither is good, but no human being wants to be confined. And this guy, well meaning as he is, wouldn't want a dog confined.

Except that dogs aren't humans. Dogs are den animals. And dogs do just fine in a crate (with a few exceptions). Dogs don't like to mess their dens so they don't potty in them, but a dog can wait 8 hours to go to the bathroom if they need to. Or longer. Because they aren't humans.

What dogs can't do is be chained outside for hours, days, months, years on end, with no interaction, with the sun beating down on them or the rain chilling them, with no den to go into. Their water dishes get overturned. Squirrels run by and all they can do is bark. People run by and they bark. People keep walking and they think the barking works so they bark longer and harder. They get left outside like a garden gnome, just there to decorate the lawn, and they go crazy, truly mentally ill. Then one of these dogs breaks it's tether and chomps on the first thing they see, because they're starving, or frantic, or just plain nuts at this point, and we put the dog to sleep. If it's a pit bull, which it probably is because they're the leading dog chosen for garden gnome status these days, we may even ban the breed and say it's inherently vicious.

So I don't like to point out that people are wrong anymore, I really don't. But if you don't sometimes point it out, then people can't adopt the cute little pit bull at the shelter because their home owners' insurance will drop them or their landlord won't allow it or their town has a breed ban. And then the cute pup gets euthanized for just having stubby legs and a fat head.

Because we didn't know tethering was a bad idea. (And yes, there are good ways to tether for short amount of times, but I'm talking about all day, every day, forever.)

So just this once, I'm pulling out my soap box. I promise to put it back under my bed after this blog post.

PS Janet Reid just posted about a great pup that needs a home if you're on the east coast!


Kathleen said...

excellent rant friend

December 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM
Jennie Bailey said...

I saw this article and immediately thought of you! http://gardenandgun.com/article/licked-death-pit-bull?page=0%2C2

December 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM
Christina Farley said...

It's good to rant sometimes. That's why I love having a blog. I get to say whatever I want. (okay, almost whatever I want!)

December 15, 2011 at 5:18 PM
Ms. Yingling said...

Have you read Peg Kehret's Ghost Dog Secrets? It's a mystery and is about dogs that are being abused but helped by a young boy. It would be great for your middle grade read-a-thon!

January 2, 2012 at 6:13 AM
Lily Cate said...

Ugh. I live in a neighborhood of garden gnome dogs, but don't we all, sadly?
Everyone on our block besides us has at least one dog, usually two or three, and I have never seen any of them out for a walk, or at the huge, beautiful dog park four blocks away. (which gets lots of use, just not from my immediate neighbors)

March 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM
Michael Nelson said...

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October 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Mystery Robin said...

Thank you so much, Michael! I'll be posting again, soon. :)

October 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM

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