by Ray Maxie
Living in a city with strictly enforced animal control laws is really hard on some of our "best friends," our pets. Now please don't get me wrong, I strongly support a good and enforceable animal control ordinance. Our dog laws do need to be vigorously enforced upon some of the most unruly, vicious and dangerous dogs that often roam our streets. Sometimes they are habitual strays or maybe an animal the owner just doesn't care for, doesn't want or can't control. Some dog breeds like the pit bulldogs or bull terriers are simply hard for even strong adults to control and they can be killers.
It's just that my heart bleeds for all our friendly, loveable, fuzzy little canines that have to be contained in a small area or kept on a leash. These most often are adorable family pets for small children to love and bond with. Breeds like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Poodles, Pekinese, Shelties and maybe Beagles, Dachshunds or Collies, to name a few. There are probably many others that don't immediately come to mind.
My point here is, it is not normal and is very un-natural for an animal to be contained in a small area and not allowed to roam free, coming and going as it pleases. Freedom was given to animals by nature from the beginning of time. But today we've become totally consumed with our modern lifestyles of rush, rush, work, work, family and play. In the interest of public safety and convenience, officials have had to take control where others become negligent or fail to exert proper control. Dangerous animals have to be caged and, those that have become a nuisance, removed from society.
Several years ago, I constructed for our family pet a dog pen about twelve feet square. That gives him room to romp and play when he has to be closely confined, generally at night. Later, I strung a long one/quarter inch steel cable for about 150 to 200 feet between two trees. The cable is about ten feet above the ground with a pulley and dog chain attached to it. Our pet can run up and down the full length of the cable at will. His days are spent with a great amount of freedom attached to that long run of cable. We are blessed to have the space in the city to do that. Additionally, we will frequently take him out in the evening with a leash for a long walk on the street.
"Shadow" is his name; jumping and playing is his game, forever asking someone to play ball with him. He is a Pomeranian / Sheltie cross breed, and a wonderful little pet he is. He is very playful and a super fun little dog. When we first got him, I would never have imagined he would become so much fun.
He was eight weeks of age when my grandson Zachary, then age four, and I picked "Shadow" up at the breeder's house. Zachary immediately named his little doggie "Shadow." The name comes from the wise old Golden Retriever in the video "Homeward Bound - The incredible Journey," by Walt Disney Pictures, which Zachary had enjoyed watching time and time again. So "Shadow" became the name of choice and a good one.
Many months later on a beautiful moonlight night about bedtime, my wife and I, with Zachary, were looking out the dining room window toward the dog pen. The pen is way out past the driveway, but we could clearly see the dog moving around in the bright moonlight. Zachary said, "Look, Shadow's in the moonlight!"
Isn't that a popular song by singer Anne Murray?
N. Ray Maxie is a former Texas highway patrolman and Special Texas Ranger. Following his long service with the state of Texas, Ray worked in loss prevention for the nation's railroads. Now retired, he enjoys writing personal essays and memoirs (no fiction) about his youthful experiences growing up in northeast Texas, the Ark-La-Tex area. Ray also shares his tales of career experiences from Texas highways, southern backroads and "pig trails." He lives near Houston with his wife of almost fifty years and five precious pets.
Two more Ray Maxie stories at USADS:
* Don't Go Near the Water...
* A Country Boy's Thorn in the Flesh
More Ray Maxie stories at USADS:
Don't Go Near the Water...
Dangerous! Bulldogs and Strays
And here are stories from other publications:
* Wanted for Murder
* The Unforgettable Lightning Bolt
Read more great stories listed on our USADS USADS Articles pages.
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