Tag Archives: safety

Stolen

Last week, a 14-year old boy took his 14-week old Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, Billy, to the local dairy and tied him up outside because the dog was not allowed inside. (Dairies are ‘convenience stores’, for those of you located overseas). While the boy was inside, a man and his accomplice stole Billy.

I can only imagine the panic and heartbreak of the boy. It would be hard enough as an adult to discover your dog has been stolen.

Thankfully, the security camera at the dairy captured the theft and, probably because of the age of the boy and Billy, there was widespread public outcry, particularly on social media, to bring Billy home with the public encouraged to identify the offenders and to report sightings of Billy.

The photo of Billy was circulated widely over social media

I am pleased to report a happy ending. The NZ Police, acting on information from the public, saved Billy and we are waiting to hear if charges will be laid. Police officers also visited the boy and Billy, who received a soft toy NZ Police dog to help him recover from the ordeal (this photo was also widely circulated on social media).

This incident serves as a wake-up call to all dog parents and caregivers. It is so tempting to want to include our dogs in everyday activities and, since most of us are time poor, being able to run an errand while walking the dog seems a perfect solution.

Sadly, it isn’t. There are unscrupulous people who think it’s okay to steal dogs and many of them get away with it. They don’t necessarily treat the dogs as pets, either. Some could be abused or used as bait dogs – a totally frightening scenario for anyone who loves their dog.

I recently had someone tell me that it’s okay to tie their dog at the local supermarket because the security guard is watching. But what happens if the security guard gets called away or takes his break? How do you know that the dogs are safe outside?

I admit that over the years I have caught myself thinking I could possibly pick up takeaways and bring the dog for a walk, too. I have always stopped myself because of the risk.

Remember, it’s our job to keep our dogs safe and secure at all times. I certainly do not blame the boy – he made a mistake and he’s learnt such a hard lesson. We can all learn from Billy’s story – leave your dog at home unless you have a companion who can wait outside to supervise.

One solution, of course, would be to have more dog-friendly shops…

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Benefits of having a dog in your life

Daisy portrait

Some of the great benefits of owning a dog are:

  1. Reduction of stress
  2. They make you exercise
  3. They provide unconditional love
  4. And on top of this, they boost self esteem (even after a bad day at work, they love you!)
  5. When life is hard, they teach you the value of play
  6. Because they love you, they provide safety & security
  7. They provide a sense of belonging – you’re packmates!
  8. On top of everything, the act of petting a dog is proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate

Enjoy your weekend.  Have you hugged your dog today?

Dogs in costume – some warnings

In the United States, the big holiday of Halloween is approaching.  For this holiday and for others like Christmas and New Year, some dog owners may be tempted to dress up their dog in costume.

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Did you know that there are no safety requirements for dog costumes? Netting, sequins, wire, and elastic which are found on many costumes pose a choking hazard.  If ingested, these items can cause bowel obstructions.  In addition, a dog who runs away for any reason can get caught up in bushes and trees.

The lesson?  If you want to dress up your dog, please ensure you are supervising them at all times!