When I was in school my family had a dog. This was before the strict leash laws were enacted.
Our dog wasn’t fenced or otherwise tethered. Like other family pets, our dog would sometimes follow one of my brothers or sisters down the road and do a little exploring, but he seemed to otherwise stay in his own space.
The neighbor’s dog was the same way. When you complained to a neighbor about their dog digging in your flowers, the neighbor acted promptly and did not become defensive or offended. They made their kids and pets follow the rules.
Most did not mind another responsible adult correcting their child or pet when their parent was not around. I have fond memories of those days gone by.
I take special delight when I read of the heroics of family dogs across the country. One such story reran on one of the television stations that featured a German shepherd who the owner sent out to meet the emergency responders to a burning house hidden by the thick woods and thus was hard to find.
The untrained dog ran out of the woods to a patrol car and led it to the emergency. The dog then returned to the road to lead the fire truck to the scene.
The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office currently has two drug-detecting dogs that are highly trained. We also have a special deputy who worked at the Sheriff’s Office for a number of years who has two tracking dogs he utilizes for us when needed. With his dogs, he has tracked lost Alzheimer’s patients, children and criminals.
We very much appreciate our canine friends in law enforcement. Our deputies and canines are put through some rigorous training to become certified in this field of expertise. The dog handlers and their families become attached to their dog partners. The dogs also become attached to those families.
In years past, we have had dogs that were trained to sniff out various illegal drugs, and also to track down and help in subduing violent suspects.
Our local hunters talk about their favorite hunting dogs as if those dogs were their children! Like one hunter said about his bloodhound, “I wouldn’t take $5,000 for that dog even if I needed the money.”
These dogs’ prowess in the field is told again and again. Their feats seem to grow greater and greater with each telling.
The bragging doesn’t rest exclusively with the hunter. Grandpa and Grandma will tell you about their cocker spaniel that fetches the newspaper and wakes them every morning. That same dog alerts on every car that drives through the neighborhood and comes alive when someone or something sets foot on the property.
Most every dog is a good watchdog when it comes to protecting their home. These pets are very loyal to their owners.
Unfortunately, there are those who do not take care of their pets in their feeding and in protecting them from the elements. These folks can be criminally charged and should be reported.
Our local animal shelter has done a good job the last several years in enforcing the laws as they relate to dogs and cats. The county is transitioning from the city of Cleveland-based shelter to one run by the county.
There are some very dedicated animal lovers in Cleveland and Bradley County who have worked tirelessly for years protecting animals, finding homes for cats and dogs, meeting the medical needs of injured and sick animals. They have also worked vigorously in pet population control efforts with spay and neuter programs.
With our large number of pets in Bradley County, these professionals — both paid and volunteer — are vital to maintaining our quality of life.
Thanks to all of these special individuals who participate in caring for our four-legged friends.