LOVE 'EM & LEASH 'EM
If you care about your dog's safety, s/he should always be leashed when near traffic or even in your front yard if likely to rush out into the street or run after other dogs. My neighborhood association has warned neighbors to keep their dogs tethered while in their front yards in response to a recent attack on a bypasser's dog. The other day when we were walking Peaches and Beau down the next street, a pit bull rushed across the road at them, but fortunately the dog was very friendly. It can still make your heart stick in your throat when something like that happens.
How do you feel about retractable leashes? One veterinarian I have visited insists on exchanging my retractables for their leashes when I'm there because a client apparently got a rope burn from one. It is admittedly a danger, among others, if the leashes are not used properly. I still use them with my bassets because they are so doggone slow, and it allows me to walk ahead and let them catch up after they've finished smelling every blade of grass in their path. Here are the reasons from Dogster why I and others still prefer retractable leashes.
On another note, when I was at my local pet store the other day, I met Misty the Walker Hound, who had only three legs. She was so sweet and kept rubbing against me for affection, which I gladly gave. When I asked how she lost her front leg, I expected the answer might be cancer, but I was told she fell out of a truck. I'm not sure if the people were Misty's original owners or her rescuers, but I hope I didn't look as disgusted as I felt to learn that information. Misty was lucky to have lost just her leg. Many more untethered dogs in trucks lose their lives. Still, I see this nearly every day, a dog bouncing around in a truck bed while his oblivious owner races along as though he didn't have a care in the world about that animal's safety, which of course he doesn't. I underlined those pronouns because the drivers are invariably macho males. The dogs are often hunting dogs like Misty. This was a hunting trip gone very wrong for poor Misty, apparently. For the owner, too, because now his fine hunting dog has only three legs.