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Where we live: Being a dog owner is a privilege

For as long as I have owned my home, and that would be the past 34 years, I have always had dogs. I have a goldendoodle, a labradoodle rescue and a 15-year-old Shih Tzu rescue that I adopted when he was 18 months old.

I consider having a dog a privilege and a serious undertaking, only because when you adopt or buy a dog or any pet, they depend on you. They only ask for love, food, shelter and to be safe.

Protecting them means either having a fenced-in area to go outside or you walk them on a leash. Protecting them does not include opening your front door and letting the dog run wild through the neighborhood and in the road with traffic.

I can tell you, not everyone follows the ordinance that requires you to either contain your pet in your yard or on a leash. Over the years, I have had several neighbors who think letting their dog run and poop in everyone else’s yard is perfectly fine.

My neighbors had a sweet basset hound name Duce. He was lovable and sweet but was never tied and often came to visit all the neighbors. Many times as I was leaving for work I would find Duce ambling down our road on his short little legs.

I would pull over, open the passenger side door and wait for Duce to jump up into the car. He almost seemed to be grinning because someone picked him up. He simply loved people.

I lost count how many times my neighbors and I took him home and knocked on the door, only to be thanked and told that he is always breaking his chain.

I am not an expert on chains but I do think if he had a chain he could break, he most have hidden his herculean strength. With a belly that almost touched the ground and his 3-inch-long legs, it sure fooled me.

He managed to escape being road pie for about around five years. Then a few winters ago, my neighbor stopped to say that he found poor Duce dead in a snow bank near the end of our road. He had been hit by a car or truck.

My first prayer was that he didn’t suffer and my second prayer was the owners never got another dog, or any pet.

I like to think Duce is in doggy heaven and loved by all the other doggies.