The other day my neighbor called to say that a pack of dogs was chasing the horses (hers and ours.) I went outside to see. The dogs were on the run between our fence and my neighbor’s fence. The horses were madly running around.
I saw the black and white dog Border Collie enter our corral. She immediately began trying to herd Scooter and Hannah, as is the nature of her breed. She dreadfully underestimated her intended livestock. Scooter whirled around and chased the dog. When he got close to her, he reversed, and tried to kick her brains out.
Animal Control was called from my cell and I was able to apprehend the wayward dog, Jenn. Her buddies ran off. Fortunately she had a tag. The number on the tag was a Denver number, so I had to make a long distance call to someone who actually lives down the street. I left a message about her dog and said Animal Control was going to take her away.
The officer was a very nice man. By the time he arrived, the owner of the dog was on the phone crying hysterically. The dogs had escaped while she was caring for a sick dog. The officer returned Jenn to her owner, and I assume all was well.
This incident could have had disastrous consequences. My classmate, Marybeth, lives in rural Wyoming near Jackson Hole. She has a Border collie, Lacey, who goes everywhere with Marybeth. Lacey was not as fortunate as Jenn. A horse kicked Lacey in the head resulting in loss of part of her upper jaw and several teeth.
Loose dogs also kill livestock. One dog in the ‘hood was a marauding wolf hybrid who had an irresponsible owner. He and his housemate got out and had a killing spree of goats, chickens and rabbits from the north side of town to the south.
In our college neighborhood, I dread walking my dog thinking that loose dogs might harm us. I carry my phone, and special spray just in case. I have called Animal Control on the trail before, to the nasty language of the dog owner. I never knew the request, “Please leash your dog,” could lead to such foul language.
Folks, “voice command” does not exist. When your well-mannered dog escapes your control, it reverts to the wild side, and does not obey your voice command. Please keep your dogs leashed, or within the yard of your home behind a fence, as is the city ordinance here.
We were impressed with Scooter after the herding incident. He really went after that dog. I always felt Scooter would protect me when I was riding him alone. Once before, a loose dog came running toward us while riding in an open space. I turned Scooter around to face the dog, a Husky. The owner was running fast to get his dog. Actually, Scooter caught it, and detained it until the owner could catch up.
Dogs and livestock can co-exist. It isn’t the fault of the dog when it chases other animals. It is incumbent on the owner of the dog to keep it from doing harm, and to keep it safe from cars and bullets.