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Clever Neighbor Takes 3 Sad Dogs on Jogs of Joy

Clever Neighbor Takes 3 Sad Dogs on Jogs of Joy


By Josie Love of Colorado (USA)

I often walk my dogs past one of the neighborís homes where three dogs live on quite short chains. The dogs are for guarding the property and when a person approaches the gate, they bark quite ferociously. They are doing their job quite well, but I had never seen them off the chain. Though they appear to be in good shape, with protection from the weather and enough food, I know they are depressed and downtrodden with their dreary existence.

I made a promise to myself to one day get them a bit of freedom, and I gradually began talking to the neighbors and befriending them. After a while, I started bringing the dogs small treats and some blankets and trying to get to know them. One of the dogs seemed particularly sad. A large dog, he was loud and a bit frightening. One day, after a discussion with the neighbor about walking my own dogs, I suggested that maybe I could walk one of his one day. To my surprise, he agreed.

The Littlest One Didn’t Know How to Walk

I started with the smallest one. When I first took her off the chain and onto the longest lead I could find, she didn’t know what to do. She began by walking in circles as she had on the chain. We walked for a while, and every few feet she would stop, jump up on my leg and lick my hand. She was so grateful. The next time, I took two at once. You could see in their eyes how much they appreciated it. I finally managed the large one. He was scary at first, jumping up at me, and I thought he was going to bite me a few times, but he just gets over-excited and tries to nip me. With the large one, itís not a walk, we have to run for a while to get rid of the excess energy that he builds up from being restrained 24 hours a day.

I make a point of walking them once a week for an hour each time. We go to a stream for a swim, and walk through a field for about three miles. Itís time consuming, and sometimes inconvenient, but I believe it is the most appreciated thing that I do every week. Now, when I go into their yard, they donít bark. Instead they start to cry. They are not the mean guard dogs that they appear to be. They are just lonely animals with little social contact, who have nothing to do but bark.

Is A Chained Dog Waiting for You to Help?

The animal protection laws here allow the tethering of dogs without restriction. They can be tied up on a short chain for their whole life, as long as they have food, water and shelter. Dogs need so much more than this. If you are reading this and know of a neighborhood dog who lives on a chain, perhaps you too can begin taking steps to improve a very sad life. †Do it with kindness in your heart and know that any initial fear you may have may soon be replaced with a tremendous sense of relief for animals who have never been able to use those beautiful bodies that were born to run.

How You Can Help

Dogs Deserve Better is an organization devoted to ending the practice of permanent dog chaining. †They offer informative and sensitive brochures, in both English and Spanish, that can be mailed or delivered to people who keep dogs on chains. You may see information about ordering the brochures here. †Or click here to see before & after photos of some of the dogs who have been unchained.


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Photo Credit: © William Lee O'dell |

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5:31AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

ThanQ for the very simple Reminder - each one of us COULD be so very important to just One Being, we CAN ALL BE a source of Joy and Inspiration. Just LOOK outside of yourself-

5:52AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

So cruel to leave dogs permanenly chained like that. Thank you for the small break you provide them, pity the stupid owner is too mean to give them a better life, it should not be allowed really.

12:34PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Please heed the advice of the writer...part of being human is overcoming our fear of rocking the boat. A dog in my neighborhood was tied to a short chain in front of a tiny doghouse for months. I was hesitant to interfere, since he appeared to be well fed and sheltered, albeit sad and lonely. One day the dog was gone. Did he die? Run off? I don't know and never will. Anytime I walk my own dog past that house, I feel a terrible sense of regret and shame knowing that I could and should have done something. Don't be afraid to act.

2:48AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

A very inspiring story. Thank you.

4:37PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

bless you, bless you, bless you! Josie, again you prove there are no small acts of kindness -- the change we seek starts within each of us. and, too, for those dogs, the happiness you've brought into their lives.

8:29PM PST on Dec 4, 2011

beautiful story, thanks, sad but inspiring and reminding us all we can make a difference!

8:47AM PST on Nov 30, 2011

great article :) thanks for sharing :)

10:50PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

Thank you Josie! Freedom to move is an animal's greatest joy.

9:16PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

6:32PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Josie Love -- you're the best -- the fact that you gave it a thought and acted on it is just wonderful -- it means so much to these dogs -- you can imagine what a huge difference these walks make and the interaction with you and each other and with everything around them -- this has got to be done more often. If only their "caretakers" would follow your example -- can't they see that their dogs need such activities? What's going on with them?

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