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Posts Tagged ‘outdoor dog’

 In a back yard that abuts mine, a large dog lives isolated in a small area confined by the high walls of a chain-link fence. It contains a dog house sitting on a raised wooden platform. A narrow strip of grass surrounds the platform.

 Like most prisons, this one was built in a remote area, a corner of the owner’s back yard that is as far from the house as possible. As dog prisons go, this one would be described by people inclined to use one as nice. It probably was expensive.

Naturally, the dog barks at all hours of the day and night, but nobody ever responds. Far worse is when he yips, whines and yelps, pleading for attention he doesn’t get. I’ve never seen anybody play with him, walk him or even speak to him.

The pleading tends to happen when the owner lets her other dog outside to run around in the yard. It must be especially hard on the prisoner to watch this other dog, who is allowed to run free several times a day, then return to live inside the house to enjoy the company of someone who obviously cares about him.

What possible reason could this person have for keeping an intelligent being, a social animal eager for affection, in a condition of deprivation inflicted only on the most dangerous criminals of the human community? The cruelty and waste of it are appalling.

The dog isn’t able to protect anyone, and isn’t kept for companionship. What benefit does the owner get from ignoring the lonely creature caged outside in all types of weather?

This dog’s owner spurned friendly attempts to engage or educate her about how to bring her dog indoors. But sometimes, such owners can be convinced to improve conditions for their dogs or even surrender them for adoption into a better situation. For help exploring these possibilities, check the national nonprofit, Dogs Deserve Better at www.dogsdeservebetter.com. If you can do nothing else, consider sending a little money to any nonprofit working to eliminate neglect and cruelty to pets.

Whenever this dog barks or whines, I imagine a special hell for its owner and all those like her. It consists of a small, outdoor prison, where the woman would be isolated and confined for her entire life. No company, no comfort, no appeal. And whenever she pleaded and hollered for attention, no response at all, except for the deep satisfaction felt by neighbors at the sound of justice being done.

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