Dog Blog

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yesterday I almost witnessed an easily avoidable tragedy.  I was walking on J Street toward Peet's Coffee and spotted a low-slung basset/shepherd mix with her family sitting out in front of the coffee shop.  I intended to makes friends with the dog and chat with the owners, but before I could get close enough to do that, the dog spotted someone across the busy street and stepped right out from between the parked cars into the stream of traffic.  I screamed to alert the owners, but it was too late.  All I could do was cover my eyes and wait to hear the screech of tires and the yelp I feared was imminent.  But it didn't come.  By the grace of doG, she made it safely to the other side of the street.  And even more fortunate for the mother she had spotted across the street and the father who took off after the dog, his two young children who stepped out into the street right after their dog were not hit by a car.

Satisfied that the dog was out of danger, I gave Bonnie some affection, educated her owners that scent hounds cannot be trusted off lead, especially near busy streets (they had adopted her from the SSPCA six years earlier but were clearly ignorant of the breed's traits) and went on into the coffee shop, but I was still shaken by the incident.  Patrons were gawking to see what had sparked all the commotion outside.  Seeing a dog and child run over would really have spoiled the otherwise beautiful pre-St. Patty's Day Saturday, not to mention the dog's and her family's day.  I didn't ask them if they were Irish, but they were certainly lucky...this time.

All this drama and near disaster could easily have been avoided if only the leash that lay on the sidewalk where Bonnie had been moments before had actually been connected to her collar.  I saw another dog later that evening loping ahead of its owner across a busy street without a leash.  The dog already had a bad limp.  I wondered if that was from previously getting hit by a car.  I get so irate whenever I see someone walking a dog off lead near traffic.  I have seen a dog killed that way, and it's an image that I cannot erase from my memory.  It does not serve to demonstrate the intelligence and obedience of the dog, only the stupidity of the owner.       



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