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Trust is it really worth it

December 3rd, 2006, 01:17 PM
This is a cross post from another site. I thought it was very important.
> Trust - A Deadly Disease
> Author unknown
> There is a deadly disease stalking your dog, a hideous, stealthy
> thing just waiting its chance to steal your beloved friend. It is not
> a new disease, or one for which there are inoculations. The disease
> is called "Trust".
> You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it could not be
> trusted. The breeder who provided you with this precious animal
> warned you, drummed it into your head. Puppies steal off counters,
> destroy anything expensive, chase cats, take forever to house train,
> and must never be allowed off lead!!
> When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage advice of the
> breeder, you escorted your puppy to his new home, properly collared
> and tagged, the lead held tightly in your hand.
> At home the house was "puppy-proofed". Everything of value was stored
> in the spare bedroom, garbage stowed on top of the refrigerator, cats
> separated, and a gate placed across the living room to keep at least
> one part of the house puddle free. All windows and doors had been
> properly
> secured, and signs placed in all strategic points reminding all
> to "Close the door!"
> Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door closes nine
> tenths of a second after it was opened and that it is really
> latched. "Don't let the dog out" is your second most verbalized
> expression. (The first is "No!")
> You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling will get
> out and disaster will surely follow. Your friends comment about who
> you love most, your family or the dog. You know that to relax your
> vigil for a moment might lose him to you forever.
> And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy becoming more
> civilized every day, and the seeds of trust are planted. It seems
> that each new day brings less destruction, less breakage. Almost
> before you know it, your gangly, slurpy puppy has turned into an
> elegant, dignified friend.
> Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you take him more
> places. No longer does he chew the steering wheel when left in the
> car. And darned if that cake wasn't still on the counter this
> morning. And, oh yes, wasn't that the cat he was sleeping with so
> cozily on your pillow last night?
> At this point you are beginning to become infected, the disease is
> spreading its roots deep into your mind.
> And then one of your friends suggest obedience classes, and, after a
> time you even let him run loose from the car into the house when you
> get home. Why not, he always runs straight to the door, dancing a
> frenzy of joy and waits to be let in. And, remember he comes every
> time he is called. You know he is the exception that disproves the
> rule. (And sometimes late at night, you even let him slip out the
> front door to go potty and then right back in.)
> Years pass- it is hard to remember why you ever worried so much when
> he was a puppy. He would never think of running out the door left
> open while you bring in the packages from the car. It would be
> beneath his dignity to jump out the window of the car while you run
> into the convenience store. And when you take him for those wonderful
> long walks at dawn, it only takes one whistle to send him racing back
> to you in a burst of speed when the walk comes too close to the
> highway. (He still gets in the garbage, but nobody is perfect!)
> This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently. Sometimes
> it only has to wait a year or two, but often it takes much longer.
> He spies the neighbor dog across the street, and suddenly forgets
> everything he ever knew about not slipping out doors, jumping out
> windows or coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a
> paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy of
> running...
> Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever- Your heart is broken at the
> sight of his still beautiful body.
> The disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.
> Every morning my dog bounced around off lead exploring. Every morning
> for seven years he came back when he was called. He was perfectly
> obedient, perfectly trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being
> hit by a car.
> Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the trust for
> things that do not matter.

December 3rd, 2006, 03:33 PM
Very sad,and seems to happen all the time,I cant tell how how many emails I get from people who say their dog was trusted and never ever went on the road,until he/she did and died.

December 3rd, 2006, 03:37 PM
WOW,a powerful message to each and everyone of us:pawprint:

December 3rd, 2006, 05:54 PM
A similiar version is written with a greyhound as the center of the story.

I do know of a senior greyhound who the owner had been trusting for years to go from the car to the house unleashed , Suddenly at 13 years old the dog took off after a small critter, and a large volunteer hunt took place to find the dog, it was 3 days later when they found him luckily alive with minor injuroes and very dehydrated and he spent the next few days at the vets. The owner had signed an adoption contract promising never to allow the dog off leash except in a fenced enclosure, the adoption group could have legally seized her dog even though in every other way she was a good caring owner, in this case it did not happen as their was a good bond between owner and dog and at his age it was felt it was in the best interest to leave him in his home, but many people have had their dogs taken away from them under similiar situations, because they violated the adoption contract

The greyhound forum has an amber alert section and it is sad to see how many are never found and how many end up killed or hit by cars, Maya's brother, who lives in Maryland was one of those dogs and hit by a car and luckily survived and a few months later they were able to have a reunion, she adopted him from a shelter rather than an adoption group and therefore did not know that as a breed they should never be trusted off lead, but had to learn the hard way.

I have watched police dogs and movie dogs who recieve very intensive training in their careers more so than any pet recieves screw up, any oet owner that believes their dog has 100% recall is fooling themselves and hopefully they will never learn that the hard way.

Is it worth it no

I know of people who still allow their dogs to enjoys good runs even though the live in apartments and are uncomfortable with using dog parks where mised assortment of dogs are, they find alternatives, such as renting time at a riding stable, or at a farm, or dog training facility that has an enclosed area for their dogs to safely run and play in, or groups get together and rent a specific time slot at a dog park or ball park once of twice a week.

Purebred rescues pretty much have a no offleash clause in their adoption contracts for some time now, over the last few years I have seen increasingly more all breed and even many shelters and humane societies including as well, and hopefully it will in time change attitudes that dogs cannot have fun unless they are allowed to run free without enclosures much in the same way cat owners are slowly learning that allowing their cats to roam is doing a disservice to them.

I know a lot of dogs owners won't agree with me just like many cat owners refuse to believe keeping a cat indoors or using a cat pen is better for them, it takes time for societal attitudes and notions to change, in 10 to 20 years many people will be on the other side outlooks will be far different than today. Just like 40 years ago when most people did not have fenced in yards and was common to simply opened their doors and let the dogs loose on their own and if lucky they opened their doors again to let the dogs in,

December 3rd, 2006, 07:14 PM
Very sad but a good reminder.

December 3rd, 2006, 10:11 PM sad. Yes, we have also fallen into that trust trap, as we allow our girls to run from the house into the van & visa versa. I will certainly think twice next time. Have you found information about dogs who live in electric fenced areas doing this also, I wonder?

Thank you for sharing this important reminder! :love:

December 4th, 2006, 04:50 PM
This is such a sad story and does serve as a good reminder that the risk is always there - whether or not your dog is intentionally being let off-leash.

Having said that, I think its entirely unrealistic to go through life trying to keep your pet(s) in a "safety bubble". I personally believe that having somewhere "safe" to let you dog run (ie: that's completely enclosed) will turn most of us into lazy dog owners. Why bother training a reliable recall or train around distractions when your dog will only ever be off-leash in that enclosed space? I think most of us would fall into that trap. And IMO that's just as bad because when your dog accidentally gets free, they are more likely to completely ignore you than someone who's taken their dog off-leash in a variety of environments/distractions.

I'd rather have a dog that's reliable off-leash and doesn't think every squirrel needs to be chased because he gets plenty of opportunity to do it safely (a fence doesn't always mean safety IMO). I'd rather have 1000 real life off-leash distraction drills behind us to increase the likelihood that he will listen regardless of the distraction than none because he's only used to being off-leash in a controlled environment (that's either distraction free or that keeps him from reaching the distraction).
People say to me all the time, can you live with the consequences if something does go wrong? The only answer I have to that, is its cruelty to keep Dodger on a 6ft leash. His breed is meant to hunt in the fields, all day, everyday...taking that away from him would kill him (whether by stress or successful escape attempts). Yes I take the risk but I'm not careless about it.

jesse's mommy
December 4th, 2006, 05:10 PM
I'm with you Lissa. It really is unfortunate when tragedy's happen, but accidents do happen and it doesn't just happen with our furbabies, it happens with skin babies too. It's up to us to be the best parents/teachers to our babies. As for Jesse, when she is in our backyard -- which is enclosed except for the lake access, she has questionable recall. Sometimes she comes, sometimes she doesn't. I think she knows the area and knows there is no danger. However, whenever we go to the dog park (remember the dog park we go to is on 23 acres so she can run away) or if we have her out front, she does not leave our side. No matter how many dogs, kids, squirrels, cats, etc. are around, she does not leave our side or comes as SOON as she is called. She knows WE are her safety net. But not all dogs are like this. There are dogs that will run at a leaf blowing past them.

December 4th, 2006, 07:41 PM
It's a nice/sad story and a good reminder to be watchful, however i'm sure I'm not alone in waiting for the day I can go for walks with Riley off leash. Wandering through the forest and not have to untangle the leash every 2 steps. At the moment if he wants to run I have a 30ft tie out that I attach to my waist and I make sure he is learning commands while knowing he has to stay quite close to me. I love the training, but probably because it is all working towards the image I have of the long walks. I will never fully trust him (too much hound in him for that) but I need a goal to make all this training worth it. I really enjoy watching our progrssion and I would feel selfish if all it lead to was leashed walks and him having to stay in his run. At some point you have to assess the dangers and decide what you are comfortable with doing and knowing the consequences that may bring, and this story is a big reminder of that.

Rob n Cody
December 5th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Thank you for the reminder....although i shouldn't need it. Nearly lost my girl this way a number of years ago - thought she was fine until she was teased across the road by an evil squirrel. Thankfully the car saw her and managed to slow down enough that it was more of her bumping into the car, than it actually hitting her. The Gods were smiling on us that day, but you never know when they might find something better to do.....