The Damage Dogs Do

August 27, 2013

I’ve had a lot of posts on here lately singing the praises of Livestock Guardian Dogs.  And they deserve good press.

dogs

The same could be said for herding and other working dogs, guard dogs, and companion dogs.  They all serve a useful function, and the world would be a poorer place without them.

But there’s one kind of dog that is a real problem, and that’s stray dogs.

It’s a curious phenomenon, but when people move to the country they have the idea that they can get a dog and just let it run loose, and that’s okay.

I’m here to tell you that it is NOT okay.

If your dog is running loose, you can’t keep track of it, and you have no idea what kind of trouble it might be causing.

A Tale of Two Dogs

Our previous neighbors that lived across the street had two dogs.  That house only has a small front yard, so not much space separates their place and ours.  The road runs between us, and that’s pretty much it.

The bigger dog claimed not only her yard as her territory, but the road and our front yard.  On occasion this was annoying, mostly because she had a habit of carrying off the cat’s food dish from the front porch, and I’d have to go hunting for it.  And she chewed up the newspaper if you didn’t pick it up out of the driveway pretty quickly.

picture of white dog

However, I considered those minor bad habits a good trade off considering her major good habit… keeping all the stray dogs away!

She was one feisty dog, and it didn’t matter to her how many dogs she was facing, she stood her ground and let them know in no uncertain terms, “Thou shalt not pass.”  So although our front yard isn’t fenced in, we didn’t have to worry about stray dogs in our front yard.

But Then There Was the OTHER Dog. . .

The smaller dog was a problem.  She was a house dog turned outside, no doubt because of her bad habit… she urinated anywhere and everywhere almost non-stop.

Why should I care?

Well, mostly because included in her frequent potty stops were both our front and back porches.  She ruined Toby’s dog bed and all the rugs on the back porch.

dog-bed-ruined

She climbed like a cat, and knocked stuff off shelves, and tore wool out of the bags it was stored in.  She peed on the furniture and pretty much made the porches uninhabitable.

dog-on-grill

She was small enough to crawl through our 4”-square woven wire fencing, so we couldn’t keep her away from the back porch or the animal pens.  She was destructive.  She was underfoot.  She chased after the livestock.

She was a very cute little dog, but she was also a major problem.

So there were mixed feelings when we found out the neighbors were moving.  Glad to be rid of the small dog, but sorry to see the big one go.  We were getting rid of one major problem, but losing a good guard dog, even though she wasn’t ours.

Well, I missed her more than ever this morning.

Where’s The Cat?

Every morning we open the front door, and there on the porch is our big white cat, waiting to be fed.

picture of white cat eating

Not this morning.

Instead, there was an ominous looking white lump out in the front yard.  The Farmer went to check, and sure enough, it was Spot.

cat-dead

Dead.

We’d had him for 11 years, since one of the neighbor’s kids found him as a kitten cast into the ditch along the road, and they bought him to our door and asked if he was ours.  He was a great mouser and kept pretty much to our property.

But sometime last night something came up on the front porch and attacked him.  No, I didn’t see or hear it, but there were tufts of his white fur on the porch, sidewalk, and out to where he lay in the front yard.

cat-fur

It wasn’t a coyote looking for a meal.  Something broke the cat’s neck, and left him there.  And I’d be willing to bet that something was a stray dog or two.

I’m so torn between mad and sad, I feel like exploding.  Some irresponsible twits are letting their dogs run loose, and our cat paid the price.  If our cat was on their property, it would be one thing, and I couldn’t fault the dogs.

But I most certainly DO find fault with dogs that are coming on our property and killing our animals.  And the ones at fault are the OWNERS of those dogs.  Dogs will do what dogs will do, and if they are loose and form a pack, it’s mob mentality and problems will happen.

Now I’m going to have to tell our son that his most favorite animal is dead, and we’re going to have to dig a grave tonight and bury his pet.

Wonder how these people would feel if it was THEIR pet found dead in THEIR yard?

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