As I sit here blogging, the only sound coming through the open windows today is that of dogs. They are barking, wailing, crying, yelping, and whining. Not Ollie of course, who is sitting next to me peacefully enjoying watching me at the keyboard. The sounds are coming from some of the houses nearby, with the dogs shut outside, living in dog-runs, or just lonely in the garden. Some are muffled sounds, those of dogs shut in the house, and barking at any passing car or pedestrian.
Most local dog owners love their pets. They look after them well, and walk them twice a day, in all weathers. But there are some who seem to have forgotten what having a dog is all about, and I am left wondering why they ever got one. (Or more than one) Leaving a dog shut outside or in the house all day when you go off to work is not acceptable to me. I don’t care whether or not you leave them adequate food to eat, or enough water to drink, it just isn’t right. And your dog barks or cries all day, even if you are not there to hear it, or have no concern about how this upsets your neighbours. This isn’t just an issue about noise, but about concern.
I worry about those lonely dogs. I picture them running around inside, or shut in a pen outside, wondering if and when their owner will ever return. Even those owners with more than one dog don’t seem to understand. Dogs raised by humans want human company. They want the presence of the ‘pack leader’, and often the other dogs are just annoying, a distraction at best. Leaving them to go shopping, to attend an appointment, or visit someone for a few hours is one thing. But leaving them home alone all day, every day, that’s simply not on.
If you don’t want the dog anymore, or just can’t be bothered to consider its feelings, then give it away. Someone will take it eventually. They will probably care for it better, and if nothing else, keep it company.