It’s About Education not Condemnation
Adrienne Calvert – Toronto: Today I found myself in an uncomfortable situation that required a split second decision based on pure gut instinct. A beautiful Shepherd tied up to a bike rack was being bullied by a drunk unstable man that appeared to be completely out of control.
I had just left the office and was crossing the street to run some errands when I saw a gorgeous dog being provoked. The dog didn’t act out which was a blessing because with all the police patrolling on the corner, overseeing the street construction, the dog wouldn’t have fared well if he had reacted, albeit with a justified response. (on a side note, how is it that there were police on the corner while a reckless public drinker was breaking the law and reeking havoc?!) I waited around and kept the drunk and his flailing whiskey bottle away from the dog. I watched while this dog, tied up outside in mid thirty degree weather, heavily panted through his halite. I decided to take action, to go next door and buy a dog food bowl and two bottles of water. With the help of a passerby who saw me struggling (you know, to hold the bowl and pour the water while juggling my blackberry, purse and bags) I provided fresh cold water to the dog. I stood guard and was joined by a City Worker who had been watching the situation with concern from his truck (thank you kind stranger). We waited, for a fairly “reasonable” amount of time, until the dogs owner came back, who was understandably uncomfortable being greeted by two strangers. The owner was polite when I explained that their dog had been tormented by a man under the influence of some strong booze and that I had bought the bowl and provided the dog water. The owner quickly thanked me and rushed away.
We are in the midst of a week, or lets face it, months long heat wave in Toronto. Today’s recording breaking temperatures hit a sky rocketing 35+ degrees. In my opinion a dog should not be tied up outside in this weather but at the very least if you have to run into a store provide some shade and water. People need to also understand as much as we are used to the often polite and safe feel of this City, there are unstable people around every street corner. If you’re not watching your dog, chances are some one else will be, and the sad reality is that someone may not have the best intentions in mind.
This rant is by no means a rant at the dogs owner. The dog was obviously well fed and well trained. Just because I choose to love my dogs one way does not mean hers is any less. However, the dog was in obvious distress, that’s when I stepped in. This is about educating people, stepping up and speaking out. How many people walked by today and side glanced while this dog was being harassed? How many people didn’t even take the time to look?! It cost me $3.00 and maybe 20 minutes of my time. Yes, I needed that time but at the end of the day, what are your priorities? If you see an animal or person in distress, ACT. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. There was nothing I could do for the man clearly in a bad state but there was something I could for the voiceless dog.
Do not leave your dog unattended. It’s not the dogs actions you have to worry about it’s the people with poor intentions out there . I have seen people randomly kick tied up dogs just because they thought it would be funny. If you’re not there, you can’t control the situation.
Do not leave your dog outside in this heat without water and shade. Even with all the precautions it only takes a matter of minutes for an animal to become deathly ill with heat stroke. Do not leave your dog outside unattended in the summer heat.
If you see something that is not right, get help, be the protector, the voice, the do-gooder, be someones hero. These actions may seem small at the time but they are what will make the world a better place.
BE THE VOICE FOR CHANGE, EVERY DAY
* The images used in this article have been deliberately altered to protect the dogs identity*
*Always be smart, be safe. If you see a situation that you can not safely intervene, call police, animal services or 911*