If you were outside and a random dog came your way, clearly someone’s friendly pet with a collar, would you keep on walking like it’s nothing or would you try to find his owner? Maybe it’s the dog-loving American in me, but I will ALWAYS try to help the dog.
There are two types of dog owners. The ones who live with their dog and the ones who live for their dog. I’ll happily admit that I’m the latter and go out of my way to make sure my dog is happy and well cared for – and I admit that maybe I’m too focused on my dog (but I have my reasons). Anyway, regardless of which type you are, you’d help an animal in need and not ignore it, right? Well, then you’re clearly not French.
It seems that in France — and I base this generalization on observations over the past year – people don’t really pay much attention to random dogs in the street (no, not strays!). I’ve never been compelled to write about this until now because this morning, which was probably the 10th time this has happened in recent memory, a random, yet friendly, dog approached us without a leash or an owner in sight. Now don’t think my area is overflowing with dogs. Not at all, but dogs that have gotten loose (maybe intentionally?) have found us in our neighborhood when out on walks.
These loose dogs are not strays.
They are clearly pets with collars. Except the one this morning that found us didn’t have an ID tag on his collar. How do I know this? BECAUSE I TOOK A FEW MOMENTS OF MY TIME TO BEND DOWN AND CHECK. Dagny helped. I didn’t recognize him and neither did the five other people that walked by. I asked our building janitor, another dog owner and even a few random people in cars if they knew the dog. Nope. They all seemed too busy to care and curious as to why I cared so much.
But that’s me. I care. And I always will.
I am the dog helper and I call the number on the tag. I look for the owner. That’s what I’d want someone to do for me.
So what did I do? I debated over trying to take him to the vet to get scanned, in case he has a microchip, but he ran off before I could leash him up. I hope the friendly little guy found his way home.
Why this attitude from the French?
I consulted my husband who said these people are morons. The ones who ignore the dogs and the ones who let their dogs roam loose. But it’s a pervasive attitude. Maybe people assume that the dog will find its way home or that it lives nearby and is out for a stroll. Maybe they’re just so damn used to it that it’s nothing to them.
Regardless, the world is a dangerous place.
Aside from getting hit by a car, a loose dog could be attacked by another animal, stolen or worse. I have no sympathy for people who let their dogs roam around randomly. Lucky are the ones who find their way home, but what about the ones that are genuinely lost and need your help, yet no one cares to stop and look at their tag?
I recently read an article on a dog Maddox missing in Oklahoma (not the pic below, that’s my Dagny) and his owner won’t give up even after 100 days. If he went missing in France, he’d probably never be found because everyone would keep on walking by!
(Sorry for the dig on the French, but this has me fired up).
And in my case? I can tell you with 99.9% certainty that if Dagny got loose and we weren’t in her sight, she would not find her way home. She’s the sweetest dog and if there’s food involved, she’s extremely smart and will devise ways to get to the food on the table that I’ve never even thought of, but finding her way home? Probably won’t happen. She’s not a furry GPS. That’s why we have her microchipped and her collar has an ID tag with our contact info. If the worst happens, we’re ready. But if she did get loose, I’d hope that some kind soul would reach down and read her tag!
So I’ll ask you, on behalf of any lost animals out there that need a little help finding their way home:
Would you please take five seconds to check for an ID tag on an animal that passes you by?
Dog lover or not, I personally feel that doing anything else is neglectful. I know if I were lost and couldn’t speak, I’d want someone to help me. Why would anyone do anything else?