Why tying your dog to a chair could end up in a deadly tragedy
Just a few days ago, I witnessed a frightening situation that prompted me to write this article.
I once took Skai, my previous dog, along with me to change my car tires. When we dropped the car off there was the option of staying in the greasy shop waiting room with trashy magazines or go to a local coffee shop to do some computer work.
We walked for a few blocks to go the coffee shop. There was no sidewalk, just a curb and I was thinking what would happen if a distracted driver didn’t see us. I made sure that Skai was on the side away from the road until we arrived at the destination.
Shortly after we settled down, I saw four dogs, little chihuahua crosses, arriving. Their people picked a table and decided to tie all four dogs to one chair outside. I was worried, but made a choice of not saying anything, hoping that all would be fine.
Only a few seconds later, one of the dogs got spooked, which frightened the three other dogs and suddenly all four started to run towards the busy main road just 10 feet away with the chair chasing them and making a terrifying noise.
I jumped up and was lucky to grab the leashes. My heart was in my throat. I have heard from my clients whose dogs were killed in traffic right in front of them and know how horrible it was.
I was upset and angry at the same time, especially when the guardians (perhaps the wrong word here) came back and were rather annoyed at being told that tying a dog to a loose chair was a dangerous idea.
“They are my dogs!” one of the owners barked at me. I guess she felt guilty and didn’t want to be reminded that she messed up.
It took me a while to settle down. Dogs are at the mercy of their humans and it is hard to watch their irresponsible behaviour and witness the tragedies that follow. That is why I decided to share this story with you so you can share it with others.
Please never, ever, tie your dog to a light piece of furniture, such as a chair or anything else that could be dragged. In an ideal world, it would be much better if we could take our dogs into stores, but if it is not possible and you need to step away for a minute, ask someone to look after your dog outside. (It is unlikely that such a person would be a dog thief, right?)
There is one more problem with tying dogs up to any objects. If they get spooked or even if they just want to say hi to walkers by, a regular nylon or leather leash is very unforgiving and can cause neck injuries.
That is why I love the Gentle leash. It is light and has great shock-absorbing properties. If you are interested in learning more about neck injuries by collars, click here for an article called “One jerk can cause a lot of damage."
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM