Thursday, June 9, 2011

They're COUNTRY Dogs. one of the stupidest and most common excuses for not taking care of your dogs, and I hear it all the freaking time.

Guess who just moved into the country?

Okay, it isn't REALLY rural, not quite, but we are quite a drive from "town," live on a half acre on a street with four houses, and the defining feature?  Nobody takes care of shit out here, including their animals.

When I was a kid, dreaming about living in the country someday, "country" to me meant crops, chickens, cows, horses, tack, barns, hay bales, and a riding lawn mower.  Country meant cooking from scratch, fixing things by hand instead of running to the phone book, chopping wood when you wanted a cozy fire.  Country meant parking in the grass and driving down dirt and gravel roads.  It meant my grandparents and great aunts/uncles up in the Midwest.

This does not fit that description.  Don't get me wrong, I love where we just moved.  I could just do without the neighbors.  Or neighbors at all.

These people, like so many others, feel dogs are outside animals only (even in the 100+ degree Texas heat), and don't need vetting, collars, ID, or to be contained in any way.  Hey, they're country dogs.  They don't stay in a yard, they roam around.  Yeah, they just automatically know to stay out of the street, and they'll take care of themselves, they'll be fine.

Do you know where dogs like that end up?  Dogs like that end up dead.  I drive past dogs like that on the side of the road all the time.  Those are your ranch dogs.  Those are your fucking country dogs.  No, that isn't an excuse.  Country isn't an excuse not to take care of your pets (And they ARE pets, not working dogs).  It's just laziness.  There's no difference between those dogs and urban dogs, just how they're treated.  Not an excuse.

Our neighbors have three dogs.  One older adult female, maybe 20 pounds or so, and two medium/large breed mutt puppies about her size, that couldn't be more than 2-6 months old (one is younger than the other).  Multiple times we've come home to these dogs digging through our shed, trying to feed themselves.  Today I awoke to the adult barking non-stop at my bedroom window - because the cat was in it.  If I walk my dogs outside of the yard I have to make sure they are out of sight first, and worry they'll come pick a fight.  They are extremely territorial toward other animals, and I recently watched the female chase a liver german shorthaired pointer top speed down the street because he got as far as my house.  Down the middle of the fucking street - a dog more than twice her size.  I've nearly hit the pointer with my car.

These dogs do not have any idea how to stay out of the road.  These dogs have fleas, dry skin, don't wear collars, and don't even get brought in for storms.  They don't get vaccinated, they barely get fed.  These dogs WILL get hit by cars, tangle with predators or other dogs, or die of any of a million diseases while outside and unprotected/unsupervised.  I am terrified that if that little dog picks a fight with either my pit or lab, she'll lose.  My dogs love other dogs, but I don't put much stock in their resisting a fight if she attacks.   And guess whose dog will be blamed?  Oh, it won't be the little dog!

I have brought up my concerns with them twice in the short time I've lived in that house so far.  They spend most of their time in my next door neighbor's yard because she feeds them, but they actually belong to her grandchildren across the street.  The child's solution, endorsed by the grandmother?  She's going to get a collar soon, and tie her up outside.

NEVER.  TIE.  A DOG UP.  OUTSIDE.  In Texas heat, 24-7, without supervision.  Don't fucking do it.  You're just feeding the predators on a lead, if the rope/chain and heat exhaustion don't kill the poor animal first.

But you know, they're country dogs.  They don't go inside.  Bitch, please.  I keep two 50 pound dogs in my house and you can't take your little dogs inside for thunderstorms and hail?  You do not deserve to keep animals, and your kids aren't old enough to.

Sooo there's nothing I can do.  If I call animal control they either won't do anything, or will seize the animals and they'll go to our local pound.  Then they'd either be picked up at an expense and the neighbors will cause trouble for us, or they'll be put down.  I can't take them in, and I can't convince them to take them inside.  And you know what?  The children's mother was right there, not saying a damn word to them or me during all of this.  No wonder they think it's okay to tie up a dog.  They're like 8 years old and younger.  Mom should be setting a fucking example, not letting them toss their puppies outside and neglecting them.

Breaks my heart, and pisses me off.