Disappointed!

I have just this week Unfollowed a Blog. This is not a particularly unusual thing for me to do because I Follow so many, with the resulting email traffic, that when one is clearly moving in a direction that holds little interest to me, then I simply Unfollow. Those that become “tourist blogs” and those that focus on fashion are the first ones to go!

The action this week was as a result of a Post which I felt was misleading and potentially hazardous to dogs. I commented accordingly (and explained the basis for my concerns). The reply from the Blog’s host was rather rude and totally overlooked my points because they were apparently sick to death of negativity about their Posts. It was also mentioned that I had made similar comments sometime earlier about a similar Post (I do try to be consistent!). The fact that my earlier comments clearly had no impact was not particularly impressive either. So what was all the trouble about?

It was nothing more than a video of a man on a mountain bike riding quite fast along a wooded trail… with his dog running behind him. The video was presented as a “this is such fun” concept which, to the man and his dog, could well have been. My issue is the potential interpretations of such videos.

For any of you that are not sure where I am going here. There are a number of TV ads relative to cars which announce “Skilled driver on a closed road – Do Not Attempt” (or similar wording). One would like to believe that common sense would render that information unnecessary, but it was clearly deemed important enough to include in the ad.

Showing a video of a dog chasing its owner who is on a bicycle has some potential issues. A dog can become so loyal and/or protective, and become so absorbed in “the game” that it can run itself into a dangerous state of exhaustion; A dog running at bicycle speed will (like us runners) lose some degree of muscle control after a while. We have trails here that run close to vertical drops of considerable depth, and dogs have fallen over and met an untimely end. We have read about dogs that appeared to suddenly find a more attractive scent than that of their owner and take off into the undergrowth. Were they ever seen again?

My point is not that videos of dogs having fun should not be shown, but that some explanatory comments are either included in the video, or at least stressed before the video is displayed. In my particular Blog “incident” the response included the comment that one would like to think dog owners have more sense than to try it without knowing the capabilities their dog. I agree completely in that one would like to think that… but one can’t. Just go to a local shelter and talk to the staff about the current “residents” and how/why they were there!

Perhaps I am just too protective of Ray and dogs in general, but I would rather err on the side of caution than feel responsible for a dog meeting an untimely end to its life.

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41 thoughts on “Disappointed!

  1. I have a few thoughts:
    1st – you were entirely in the right on this one! What a JERK and an idiot. That poor dog. I want to know how old the dog is too. If it’s under 2, it really shouldn’t be steadily running like that, or it risks serious damage to the growing joints, etc.
    2nd – I’m not sure I would totally have an issue with someone biking with their large dog IF, and only if, the owner were actually paying attention to their dog and also recognizing the need for breaks. That might be because I live in the country though. When I rode, my instructor and I used to go on LONG trail rides, and some of the farm dogs would choose to come along and some wouldn’t, depending on the day. But that wasn’t my choice; it was hers.
    As we walked, trotted, cantered, and occasionally hand-galloped, the dogs would either run with us or catch up. Occasionally, they would leave us and find their way back home. We wouldn’t do that with them if we were in a strange place though. We didn’t bring the dogs. Never if we trailered the horses somewhere, only if we were in a radius of the farm.
    The only time we had a dog suffer from heat exhaustion was when the three of them went off into the woods together, and clearly, my lab ran himself silly, and it was TERRIFYING when he pulled himself out of the woods on his front legs. We managed to cool him down ourselves but what a learning experience for me!

    I think the warning is the biggest thing, as you commented to the blogger. There are so many people out there who may not understand. Perhaps the blogger stopped the film and took a break with his dog right after – unlikely, but still. We have to educate as well as share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Molly. Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts. It would be nice to believe that every dog owner intuitively knew all this, but that would be an unrealistic expectation so the best we can do is publicize circumstances such as these and hope the word spreads! 🙂

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  2. Completely agree! My vet has lots to say about people who over exercise their dogs (jogging too far on hot days, and running behind a bike is a very good way to exhaust a dog!) and none of it is good. People forget that dogs don’t keep up a steady pace, mile after mile, easily but will often try to do so just to please their person. And an over-heated dog can easily die, so special care has to be taken in hot weather. I’m not against exercise for a dog, of course, but the human has to be very careful to pay attention to the dog and to know when the dog has had enough. All too often, they don’t do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hear you. I work as a canine massage therapist and, even with dog owners that on the face of it are experienced, I see the results of them misjudging their dog’s capabilities. Many dogs are injured when their owners make them weekend warriors with little attention to their daily fitness. So nothing goes without saying, especially when anyone can read a blog. It’s also not appropriate to be rude to a blog follower as the point of having one is to encourage dialogue and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathleen. I believe that you are my first NZ Follower… so welcome! It has always puzzled me why anybody would want to Blog publicly, and then deter readers! Must be some convoluted logic that is “over my head”! I also had one quite a few months ago now where the Blogger was thinking about giving her dog to a trainer for a few days in order to get it trained. Everybody who responded said “Don’t do it!” Get the trainer to work with you and the dog together. One trainer responded by saying that she would refuse to accept a dog for training unless the owner participated. The Blogger ignored everybody and did what she wanted! Again I wonder, on what planet does it make sense to put out a question to your readers, and then totally ignore everybody who responded? The more time I spend with our Ray, the more I am convinced that dogs make far more sense than many people! 🙂

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  4. I relate to your post on several levels. I cat sat for two different friends (for free). I was appalled at what I saw. Litter boxes that had not been cleaned in quite a while (was I expected to do all that cleaning?). No food on the counter so I had to search cabinets. No details on how much to feed. I left notes for both (nice notes I thought) explaining that cats don’t like dirty litter boxes and they may end up with issues, blah, blah, blah. Neither one ever asked me again. Made me wonder. Also, my stepdaughter was visiting with her Rottie many years ago. She said she always ran with him. When my husband went for a walk, the dog seemed interested. My husband does not walk fast but he does walk close to 4 miles. The dog gave up about a half mile from home and just laid in the road. As you know, you can’t just pick up a Rottie and carry them home. My husband had a heck of a time coaxing him up and home. We both wondered what she considered as a run. To the car and back?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can only guess that these people see the Hollywood movies about dogs, or base their choice of pet on a friend’s experience, without having any concept what the pet’s needs and limitations are. My experience of cats is that they are meticulous in their toilet habits and, if you don’t keep boxes/trays in decent condition, they will simply find some place else to go! Your examples sound like the novelty of having a cat around is wearing off. I hope that those kinds of people never have children! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Now there’s another topic! Over familiarity! Sadly, someone will “cross the line” and the dog will respond intuitively… and probably get put down as a result. The breed will then get branded negatively.

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  5. I remember a woman in Lincolnshire who used to exercise her 2 great danes by letting them loose in the country lane and then driving away expecting them to follow her home. She was reported when one attacked and almost killed a small dogl which was in the garden with its owner who was also attacked. I have always been worried seeing cyclists with their dogs ‘in tow’ sotospeak. and like you, have no objection to dogs having fun but there should be a safety issue/caution.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am.curious, were you the only person on the blog to respond with concern to that video?

    I am sorry about the blogger’s response to you, but I believe you did the right thing in raising the concern.
    Any dog would be so happy to have you as their owner. Ray is blessed!

    Oh and any cat would be very happy to have you as their servant as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never had a dog of my own but whenever I have seen someone riding a bike and having a dog running along on a leash appears absolutely unreasonable and irresponsible to me! It is not only dangerous for the one on the bike but also for everyone on the road. A dog is a dog – no matter how well trained they are. As I said, I am not a dog owner but to me, but this is simply common sense!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The fact that you thought about that when you saw the video shows that you are one of those people that takes the time to look at things from an animals perspective and what is best for them. And as you know I love people who do this! This world is not just ours, it is animals world as well. God created them too. It is our responsibility as shepherds over them to take the time to consider what is best for an animal the same as we would a human. There wouldn’t be any videos or commercials with a child in any sort of unsafe situation, would there?

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  9. I agree a video like that should come with a line or two explaining it. Far too many people could try to emulate it. At one time I even considered biking with my Rufus until I realized how quickly he can go from happy and energetic to overheated and exhausted. I don’t think many people would have the ability to catch that moment while pedaling along in a pretty setting. The fact that they got mad at your comments makes me think they care more for their image than general dog welfare.

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  10. I understand how you feel Colin. It is always sad to lose a member or follower over disagreements. The art of running websites, be it a blog or forum, is learning to “agree to disagree”. Unless either party is being downright ugly to the another.
    I have owned a general discussion forum for 10 years, so I am familiar with drama and conflicts between posters. When a person is getting upset over negative comments they are receiving, they should take a step back and see if there is anything they can do to even it out. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. The reason you have comments is for opinions/thoughts from others. You have to take anything in text carefully as emotions are not conveyed well in print. Hang in there, there are better days ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

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