Is Your Dog A Good K9 Citizen?

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I walk a lot of dogs -- big dogs, little dogs and everyone in between. It's something I have always enjoyed.

Like most people, when I'm out walking a dog, I'm so busy enjoying the scenery and the dog that I am oblivious to the world around me. That's the way it used to be anyway.

A couple of months ago I was happily walking a big Husky named Autumn. We were beginning our second lap around the wooded area where she and her owner walk every day.

We had gotten off to kind of a shaky start. She wasn't real sure why I, a stranger, was showing up at her house, and she was wondering where her mom had gone. But we were making the best of it and were beginning to enjoy each other's company.

It was about then that I could hear someone calling for their dog. It worried me because of Autumn's size, although she was on a leash. I was afraid that if a small dog running loose was to come and confront her, the smaller dog could be hurt.

Well, my worries soon changed when I looked up and saw a huge Great Dane running in our direction at full speed. Autumn and I had no chance to escape. The Great Dane was on us and had Autumn lifted up off the ground and was shaking her backside like a rag doll.

I didn't think it could get any worse until I saw another matching Great Dane headed at us, also at full speed. Fortunately, the owner was right behind them and he and I were able to free Autumn from their horrible grip.

Amazingly she was still able to walk. Because of her size, her thick, Husky coat and a generous layer of fat, she survived the attack with only a few deep puncture wounds and some very sore muscles. If she had been a smaller animal it would have ended quickly and badly. And if I had a weak heart, I would have died on the spot.

It's very important when you're walking a dog or dogs around a public area that you have control of your dog. Some dogs can be voice controlled. The rest need to be on a leash and handled by a person who is strong enough to handle them. A small child or person handling a big dog can be easily overpowered in a bad situation.

Even if you know your dog, you don't know the character of the others you may come in contact with. It's up to all of us to help our dogs be good K9 citizens.

So when you're out with your dog, be polite to your fellow dog walkers as well as those who walk without a dog. Keep control of your dog, pick up their poop, and everyone will have a better experience.

PENELOPE

Penelope is a 2-year-old Pit Bull. She has a beautiful tan and white coat that requires little grooming. Penelope is very shy and fearful of people when she first meets them. Penelope needs a special person who understands her breed and has the skills to help her overcome her fear of people. Please come and meet Penelope at the shelter. Penelope will require a home visit prior to adoption.

OZZY

Ozzy is a friendly 1-year-old Chow Chow. He has a brown coat that has been trimmed down; he was left with a long, bushy plume of a tail and the handsome Chow head. He walks proudly on a leash but still needs to learn basic commands. Ozzy can be somewhat of a leaper. He can jump over a 4-foot fence, so he will need a taller fence to keep him at home. Ozzy likes to be on the move; he would do best in an active home with plenty of exercise.

SCOUT

Scout is a 3-year-old tri-color Australian Shepherd. When Scout came to the shelter, his coat was extremely matted and to the point of being painful for him. Scout likes to be brushed, and would need regular grooming to keep his beautiful coat shiny and clean. Scout is very shy and is fearful of people when he first meets them. Scout needs a special person who understands his breed and has the skills to help him overcome his fears. Please come and meet Scout at the shelter. Scout will require a home visit prior to adoption.

WILMA

Wilma is a 4-year-old Yellow Labrador. She came into the shelter as a stray. She is a wonderful girl with that great, Lab personality. Wilma is what we call the perfect size -- not too big, not too small -- just right! Wilma is a loving, well-mannered girl who is cooperative and responsive on a leash. Because she came in as a stray, we don't know much about her past. We do know she is not house-trained and has had several litters of puppies. Wilma would love to have a new family to spend her time with. She loves children and is good with cats and other dogs. Please come meet her at the shelter.

MIDNIGHT

Midnight is a 3-year-old neutered black Pit Bull. His short, shiny midnight-black coat is soft and clean-looking. He has an adorable, expressive face. He is an active dog, definitely not a couch potato. Midnight is a real people pleaser; he is a happy, good-natured dog who would be a good companion for an active person. Midnight will need some work with walking on a leash and other commands, but he is very smart and learns quickly. Midnight has been introduced to some of the dogs at the shelter and is doing well. If you are interested in Midnight, we encourage you to bring your dog in to meet him. Because Midnight is a Pit Bull, a home visit will be required prior to adopting him.

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