When something awful happens, the owner of the dog, if they are anything like myself, are already beating themselves over the head with all the should've, would've, could'ves. There will be plenty of guilt from themselves, I don't have to pour it on.
I blame the criminals for committing criminal acts, because that is who did the deed. No, I would not leave a young pup alone in a yard. I won't leave a young litter with the bitch out in my front yard, kenneled, when I am not there, for the most part, I want to be right out there with them.
Because it would be so easy for someone to drive up and open the gate and grab a puppy. Would that be my fault if they did? No, they are the criminal. But then again, I do not want to gamble with the lives of the puppies, because at the end of the day, were it to happen, then I would be blaming myself.
But, what do you do for the horses? Do you force them to live out their lives in a barn, because if you turn them out in the field when you are not there, some scumball might take a knife to them, or some stupid brat may open the gate and try to take a ride, letting the horse out, or even some jerk might steal the horse?
Do you drag your kids to the park until they are 18 because there might be a predator somewhere that will kidnap your kid? At some point you have to let your kids be more independent. At some point you have to let them walk to a store, or to a park. At some point you have to accept that you cannot control everything in the world around them.
If someone breaks into my yard and steals or injures or kills one of my dogs, that will be a criminal act. I just can't force critters to live inside a barn for life, or inside a house for life, because maybe someone out there is going to commit a criminal act.
I do remember the days when we did not lock car doors. And we would open a stranger's car door to shut off their lights if they left them on. And kids of 6 years and up were out of the house at 8AM and did not come home until the Catholic church bells rang at 6PM. We ate the free lunches at the public school all summer, and wore swimsuits under our clothes, and went swimming in the public pools with no parents in tow. We played at play grounds, rode the RTAs when we could come up with enough coins for bus fare and walked all over. We took ourselves to the zoo and so many other places. Nowadays, parents are arrested for letting their kids go to a park/shopping center across from their home on their own.
Unfortunately, bad things do happen to kids. But the vast majority of that comes from people the kids know and trust. Stranger danger may be real, but it is not so real that we should lock our children away until they are adults.
Leaving pets outside is something people have to run a risk analysis on. In some places, it is plain too risky. In other places it is probably not as bad as all that.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.