[Dear Annie]


To celebrate 1994 as the Year of the Dog, Director and volunteer dog walker, Lucie Tomson, has asked her dog, Annie, to help out with canine concerns. Annie, a border collie, does her best to help her fellow dogs with their questions.

Annie's picture Dear Annie:
Ever have one of those days that starts off great but ends horribly?

One Sunday morning, my owners let me out the front door as they mumbled something about being too tired from the night before. I was a little bit surprised and waited at the front door for them to come out and when they did not, I decided to check out my friend next door, Dan. Dan was not outside, so I just kept wandering the neighbourhood to see who was around. This was great fun.

Then I saw this person walking toward me and went over to say hello. He was pretty nice, but I was a bit surprised when he put a leash on me and put me inside this van. I did not like the smell of this van. It smelled like a lot of other animals had already been there. Then this person took me into a building that was full of other animals, and I was put in a kennel in this room with other dogs. Some of the other dogs were nice, but some were just plain nasty. The floor was hard and cold, the room was noisy and it did not smell very nice. It reminded me of the veterinarians's office, so to be honest with you Annie, I was really nervous and I just could not stop shaking.

My ordeal came to an end when someone got me from the kennel and took me to another room where my owner was waiting. I was never so happy to see him in my life.

Why did his happen to me?



Dear Pete:
I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. What happened to you was not your fault. Your owners contravened a by-law regarding dogs running at large. There is a law in most cities and towns that dogs are not allowed to run at large. Your owners were trying to take the easy way out and have you exercise yourself, but by doing so put you in a very dangerous position.

Worse things could have happened to you. You could have been hit by a car and seriously injured or killed. You could have been stolen by people who want animals for research or to sell you to someone else. If you were sold to another family or, heaven forbid, an unscrupulous breeder, there is no telling what your new home would have been like. I also hope that you did not catch anything from other dogs that were in the same room as you. Not all owners inoculate their animals annually, so there is a small possibility that you could have contracted an illness in this situation.

It seems that your owners were contacted quite quickly so I would assume that you had either dog tags, a tattoo or a microchip. A microchip is ideal since some dogs do get away by struggling out of their collars, and now most shelters have a microchip scanner. Either way, the sooner any animal is returned home, the safer it is for the animal.

I hope your owners have learned their lesson and give you the time that you deserve for walks and let you out only in your fenced yard.

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