Dogs and Cars

Dog Love Car

Dog Love Car

Have you ever noticed that there’s a universal dog call? It’s not a whistle, or even a can opening, it’s the well-known phrase; “wanna go for a ride”? Across the board, I’ve rarely seen it not work & that’s a VERY important fact if you happen to rescue loose dogs off of highways a lot, which I do.

I’ve been faced with some very skittish pups in some very dangerous places, trying to get the to come for a treat just so I can get them away from traffic. It can be scary as hell & it’s rarely as easy as I’d like it to be. However, one very early morning, on my way to teach an EMS class, I passed a huge dog running up the highway the opposite direction. Lucky day, I thought because it was a weekend & there really wasn’t another car anywhere. So I made a u-turn, drove a hundred yards past the dog & pulled over with treats in hand. This poor. huge fellow was completely panicked; you know the look, just in survival mode & ready to plow through me just so he could keep running, it just about broke my heart. He passed my car, I jumped in & pulled ahead & tried it all over again without luck. Being a firm believer in Einstein’s definition of crazy, I used my serious voice to my dogs riding along with me (to keep them in the back seat), pulled up next to the dog, opened my door & said, “wanna go for a ride”? Then “get in the car”. And you’ll never guess what happened next; yep, I was flattened by 120 lbs of scared dog, leaping across my lap & settling into the front seat. He was so tall that his head pushed up against my car’s ceiling & so scared that the whole car shook along with him, but he was safe! I got his owner’s number from his collar (thank you for being a saavy dog owner), found his worried-sick family & delivered him to them in just a few minutes. They told me that he had run off after a fox the night before & here’s the interesting part; he lived a good 8 miles in the opposite direction in which he’d been traveling. So much for all those pets you here about making their way across 5oo miles to their old home, I think they are the rare exception.

With all the great precautions a responsible dog owner can take; micro-chips, collars & up to date tags with phone numbers, they still have to be safely caught for someone to get them home. Scary huh? Another thing we see a lot in my area are people vacationing with their pets without any tags or ID, or if they do have tags, the phone number doesn’t have an area code.

So please do your best not to have your pet wander but always be prepared for the chance that they will & make it as easy as possible to get them home to their cozy pet beds & loving family.

Working Military Dogs To Be Honored

We all respect the soldiers who fight for our country & I hope that we honor their service & commitment appropriately. I also have another wish, one that is finally coming true; the historic Military Working Dogs Monument will be erected in San Antonio Texas the coming October. Currently, the monument & a host of military dogs are touring the country & you can keep up with their travels & find a city near you to see them at http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/events_new/military_dogs.html

For generations, dogs have served in the military, providing life saving skills for our soldiers while living, working & dying alongside them. Some are lucky enough to retire & be rehabilitated into civilian life, to live out their days with loving families. Too many are injured & killed while serving our country, but now they will all be honored for their loyalty & sacrifice, for performing an important job without ever getting to have a choice in the matter.

Dogs are like that; they live the life we provide for them, without complaint, & in return, they give us their hearts & unquestioning loyalty. We should be so good as to deserve this gift & I hope that those of us who care, who try to be the person our pet believes us to be, can make the lives of all animals better.

One of my favorite authors, Robert Crais, just released a book called Suspect. It deals beautifully & painfully, with the life of an injured, traumatized military dog & her likewise injured & traumatized handler. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, not just as a great novel, but also as a great education & enlightenment into the hidden lives of dogs.

Whatever your opinions are on war & the politics that cause them, I know we can agree to honor ALL of our soldiers; sons, fathers, mothers, daughters & the working dogs who have tried to keep them alive since World War 2. I also know that tonight, when I tuck my sweet, non-working dogs into

their cozy dog beds, I’ll remind them how lucky we all are to have those brave troops who went far from home just to keep that home safe.

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