This may seem like a silly post for dreamacttexas, but the reality is that its not... Most DREAMers and most people have a dog - and if you are like so many people that are not wealthy and pet obsessed, your dog needs help.
So many things have happened around my neighborhood lately (regarding dogs) that I find it imperative to write about it... and hopefully someone will listen.
A couple of days ago I was walking our big dog Guapa and we came upon a middle aged couple with a little poodle or something similar. The woman had a lease in her hand, but the dog was not tied. We were all walking on the sidewalk of a very busy street, that has lots of cars (and buses) going by really fast. Guapa got a little excited, but she stayed put because we use what is called a "Halty" -- that makes it easier to manage her (no it doesn't stick nails in her neck or run a pin in her mouth) - I told the couple to please keep their dog on the lease because it was dangerous, esp. when other dogs are around. Even if the dog is well trained, walking down a busy street without a lease is suicide for a dog - there have actually been studies done on this.
All the dog needs is to see a cat, or get scared by a big dog and it could run into the street and its all over. The woman ignored me and kept walking without putting the lease on the dog.
Negrito was a really cool Doberman mix. He lived across the street from us. During hurricane Rita, his family left him behind and he was wandering around the neighborhood. I took him to another house next door that had a fenced yard where he waited safely until his family came back. Other people were scared of him but he liked me. I really enjoyed seeing him looking over the fence and smiling at me. He would stand on something where just his head would show. After a couple of years, Negrito just died one day. It had to be heart worm. In Houston, any dog that is not on heart worm medication has been given a death sentence.
heart worm in a dog's heart
The same thing happened to Capulina. She lived next door to us. She was a cutie. Not sure what kind of dog she was, but she was always around and would greet us. We have a chain link fence, so we could see her all the time (these type of fences help you get to know your neighbors). One day, her family asked me to come over and showed her to me. She had died the night before. I knew she had been coughing a lot the last few days. She also died of heart worm.
Yes, I know heart worm meds are expensive. About $5 per month. But do you want your dog to last a couple of years and die a horrible death? That is what happens if you live in Houston and you don't have your dog on heart worm meds. Think about the money when you order cable, to add minutes to your cell phone, or go out to eat. Think about it when you decide to take in a dog... one may be ok, but remember, the more dogs you have the more heart worm medicine you have to buy. You can shop around for prices on heart worm meds. Sometimes you can get them cheaper on-line, but you still have to get a prescription from a Vet. For prices click here.
And MOST important. Get your dogs fixed (neutered or spayed). In Houston you have SNAP that offers this service very cheaply (half the price of regular vets - or even less). If you have a GOLD card in Houston you can get your pets fixed for free.
And please make sure your Pit Bulls (or Pit Bull mixes) don't have more children. A few days ago we found a lost puppy, a Lab/Pit Bull mix - only about 3-4 months old - he had been roaming the neighborhood for days - so we took him to the SPCA. They told us that they do not adopt out Pit Bull mixes. That if we left him they would not let him be adopted and after 4 days he would be put to sleep (euthanized, killed).
We are trying to find this little dog a home now, through Facebook, and also contacted a Pit Bull Rescue, but no luck so far. The people keeping him for us this week couldn't keep him anymore. We took him to a shelter today. The staff think he will be adopted, but you are never sure. If you live in the Houston area and you might want to adopt him, please call the shelter (Citizens for Animal Protection at 281 497 0591). If he isn't adopted soon, he will be euthanized.
So please, take care of your dogs. That means more than just giving them food and water. And please, get them fixed (neutered or spayed), have them on a lease when you go walking, provide them with heart worm medicine, and don't keep them tied up. That prevents them from being socialized and they end up being very mean and angry dogs.
The darker the color the more likely your dog can get heart worm. Vets in Houston say that if your dog is not protected there is a 100% chance he/she will get heart worm disease.