If you have dogs, you probably step outside without a coat and sensible shoes like I often do. It might be to fill a water bucket or scoop the yard or let a dog out to potty at 3 a.m. Whatever the reason, you know that chill that hits you at certain times of the year – the one that makes you curse into the night air and start jumping around while willing the dog with your mind to hurry up.
For me, this chill has taken on new meaning due to people moving into a nearby trailer and tying two dogs up to trees in the front yard. The dogs are tethered 24/7 on very short ropes and have no shelter (the trees are very small and provide no cover). They get rained on, sometimes all day, and then the chill comes at night and they stay tied to their trees, wet and cold. Although the dogs are usually quiet, sometimes they cry – pitiful yelps that go on for a good while. The sound is almost unbearable to me, I can’t imagine what it’s like living in that trailer but the people never come out to shush them. In fact, I’ve never seen the family interact with the dogs at all but presumably they are giving them food since they are still alive.
I have no problem with responsible tethering (or crating or kenneling for that matter). But a dog tied, without shelter, day and night – that’s not responsible tethering. That’s cruelty.
Now when I step out in the cold and the wet, I think of those two dogs suffering next door and the owners, just a few yards away, safe and warm inside the trailer. It breaks my heart. And I wonder how it could be that it doesn’t break theirs.