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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I can not judge

My first dog Jep lived on a chain for two years, this is our story made possible by http://www.wooddogcrate.com/
Going through a transitional period in my life, I had 2 cats and a dog and we all needed a place to live.  The odds were already against me trying to find an apartment I could afford with three animals.  I realized before I started hunting that my only choice to find a place was to advertise that my dog, Jep was an outside dog.  I didn’t know how else I was going to keep him otherwise and never tried.

I finally found an apartment in a house in a small village with a good size yard where I could keep all three of my animals.  I invested in a insulated dog house, straw and a double flap for the dog house door.  It was still early fall which gave Jep enough time to work in a good winter coat.  My biggest concern was his warmth and comfort.

There was no fence and I couldn’t put one up, so Jep was tied to the tree next to his dog house with a small, lengthy chain where he had plenty of room to move around.  It worked out great.  If nothing else he was with me and that was all that mattered.

So at least once or twice a day we spent time playing fetch, something he could do non-stop.   He ran free in the yard without any notions of taking off.  I’ll admit there were some days that were tough to get out there with him, but I always at least fed him and gave him water.  If nothing else we would just visit for a few minutes, before I would leave or go inside.  I wasn’t happy that he was tied up and that it was my only option, but it was still better that he was with me and I with him.  Jep was my first dog and my best friend.  He could always make me laugh and I still play the games I made up with him with my dogs today.  Our favorite was hide-n-go seek.  I would throw a pop bottle in one direction then run and hide in the other.  It was a challenge finding a spot before he stopped chasing the pop bottle mid-stride and come running after me.  Then the game would turn into who could find the bottle first.  We spent many a time chasing pop bottles, going for walks and just hanging out.  I’ll also admit how tired I would get sometimes of playing non-stop fetch, bol, but Jep couldn’t stop himself.

This was all before I heard all the sins of tying up your dog, I just did what I had to because it was the only way I could keep Jep.  There was no other way during that time period of my life.  I didn’t know I was committing a horrible crime and I don’t think Jep thought so either.  It definitely propelled me to get out there every day as much as I could to see and be with him, no matter how long it was for.  All I knew is I loved that dog and he loved me and we were in it together.  I tried every which way to make his life better, because it wasn’t quite my ideal at the time and I just did what I had to, to keep my furry friend with me.  Giving him up wasn’t an option and if that meant tying him up than that’s what it had to be.  And even if I could go back, I don’t think I would do anything differently.  There was a lot of sacrificing during that time period, but never when it came to my animals.  And every time I remember Jep, I remember fun and love and all the things that make the world go round.  And I still smile every time I think of him.



Unknown said...

We forget that as long as we have food and warmth and shelter the only other thing we need is companionship. We are sure Jep was happy and you did what you had to do to keep him. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

How Sam Sees It said...

I am always a little quiet when I hear those "Evil people put their dogs on chains" folks. You never know the situation - my dad was laid off when we were kids, and we had to do the same thing, rent houses where the dog stayed outside. With four kids the dog had plenty of company during the day. We didn't know it was wrong, it was just what had to be done to keep our dog. When that dog passed away, we didn't get another, knowing it was unfair and went dogless until Daddy found work and we were able to put a fence up.


Talking-Dogs said...

No judgey pants here. Sounds to me like you made lemonade out of lemons.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this post. We have a Chow Chow that has to stay in a dog lot, as the law won't allow you to just let them run lose in your yard, and my parents certainly won't go for another dog in the house. But, she is loved and cared for. Fed, brushed, walked, interacts with Portia and Brutus. So thank you for your post. It's good to know that those of us that have to use these means to keep some of our dogs aren't all heartless criminals, but just doing what we have to do. Jep was absolutely gorgeous, by the way.

jet said...

i've always found it really odd that people in the USA have these huge yards but don't fence them? What is the point? you can't keep anyone out or anything in!

We had an escape artist who had to be kept on a chain because it didn't matter how high the fence was, he could get over it. He could jump 9 feet from a standing start. That was before we realised we could pretend he was an 'outside' dog but keep him inside anyway, and take the day off when rent inspections came around to take the dog somewhere for the day.

houndstooth said...

I grew up on a farm and our dogs lived outside. Yes, they were tied up at night when we went inside to bed. It was much kinder than letting them get hit by traffic on the road in front of our house. They were loose to go do things with us on the farm all day when we were out, but when we couldn't be out to watch them, we did what we could to keep them safe.

Pamela said...

You have a lot of company here.

And it's a good reminder that most people do the best they can with what they have. It sounds like Jep had every reason to feel very loved.

White Dog Blog said...

We do the best with the cards we are dealt and if it is directed by love then maybe others should not be so quick to judge. We did a lot of things we know think differently about...at 10 I babysat my younger sisters....we rode bikes without helmets...drove with babies on mommy's laps in the front seat...drank from the garden hose.

Sage said...

Now that was one happy dog! Look at him--he's played with, loved and never neglected. We've all been in that place in some form or another and you do the best with what life deals you at that point in time. I'd say Jep had a very fulfilled life.