Backyard Dog
You see one in every community - - a dog tied day after day to a back porch or fence, lying lonely on a pad of bare, packed dirt. The waterbowl, if there is one, is usually empty or jsut out of reach. Abonded, but chained up, backyard dogs cannot move to comfort, shelter, or companionship. In winter they shiver, in summer they languish - - year round they suffer.

Of course, dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their human pack, but to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things a pet owner can do. Being alone goes against the dog's most basic instinct. If you question this - - according to the American Humane Association - - think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen tied alone outisde. These dogs are trying desperately to get the attention of their human families.

People who keep their dogs constantly tied outside rationalize it by saying that they do spend time with the animal. But even the most well-meaning owners do notspend significant time with their animal companions. Under the best of circumstances, the backyard dog gets a bowl of food and water, a quick pat on the head and maybe a few minutes of contact with another living being each day.

Dogs can offer people the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love and joyful companionship. Unless people accept these offerings and take the time to return them in kind, it would be best not to get a dog. A sad, lonely, bewildered dog tied up in the backyard only suffers, and what sort of person wants to maintain suffering?

 ~ Author unknown