Dog Leads - A Cautionary Tale!
If you don’t know the dog then don’t let it off the dog lead!
From time to time most owners need to employ someone else to walk their dog. If you fancy becoming a dog walker then do ask the right questions about the animal and develop a relationship with them before you let them off the lead. The dog may not return to you if they don’t know you and could be prepared to take the sort of liberties that they wouldn’t with their owners!
I found this out the hard way when I was a naïve teenager.
My adventure almost got me arrested!
I was an enterprising youngster who was always looking for ways to make money. As an animal lover, was an obvious choice. After all, how hard could it be?
I started approaching owners offering my services and was engaged by a local lady who was the proud owner of two stunning red setters.
The dogs seemed friendly and well behaved and so when I arrived at a nearby recreation ground I let them off of their leads. The two proceeded to have great fun running around chasing each other. I watched on with a big smile on my face until they charged off and out of view.
Taking the High Ground
I spent what seemed like ages calling them and searching high and low. But there was no sign of the dogs. My face was now as red as the setters.
The recreation ground had a clubhouse of sorts. I thought that this might provide a great viewing platform that would enable me to see much further. I climbed up onto the roof and caught a brief glimpse of a couple of red tails disappearing over the horizon.
I was about to jump off of the roof and to begin my pursuit when I found myself looking down on two police officers. A concerned local and summoned them, fearing that I was attempting to break into the building or vandalise it.
Two Dog Leads but No Dogs
I hastily explained that I was looking for the two dogs and was met with a rather sceptical expression. This was probably because there were clearly no dogs to be seen. I then remembered that I had left the two dog leads next to the building and pointed them out.
The policemen kindly helped me down from my precarious perch and then surprisingly volunteered to help me search for the escapees. I was greatly relieved that I wasn’t being arrested but feared that the police uniforms would do nothing to encourage the dogs to return.
Then, accompanied by loud barks, the two dogs came running towards me and nearly knocked me off of my feet.
Perhaps they had sensed the trouble that I was in and had come back to bail me out. I was grateful beyond all measure that I would not be returning to the owner with two dog leads and no dogs.
I had learnt my lesson. I have walked many dogs since and have never contrived to lose one again. I always have a good chat with the dogs before departure to assure them that if they misbehave it will be them that will find themselves in custody and not me.