For heaven’s sake, people. Do you not know that the dog you have chained out back or relegated to some small pen is a living, breathing and very loyal creature if given half a chance? Dogs are trained to detect diseases. They defend and save the lives of our military. They find lost children. They can be a child’s best friend, but not if it is relegated to a life on a chain or in a pen where it has no chance to bond with its family.

A chained dog learns all kinds of bad behaviors. And when someone does pay attention, he is overjoyed and rambunctious. Big dogs knock small children down because someone hasn’t taken time with them. And they bark. This is what happens when a dog is neglected.

And is your dog house weatherproof? Is it facing into the prevailing wind or facing east where the morning sun can warm it? Is the blanket wet and frozen? (Straw is the only bedding that wicks away moisture.) The dog needs shade too. Is the dog door opening so large that the dog has no chance of keeping warm? Can the wind blow underneath, sucking away any body heat the dog can muster? Does it have a flat roof to retain body heat?

A dog is more than a lawn ornament, and if this pertains to you, then the dog needs a new owner.

Andi Elliott