Friday, June 4, 2010

Danger At The Lake

We thought we were safe at the lake. The dogs run and chase, swim and retrieve, and sniff in the bushes surrounding the lake. Occasionally they find things. Buster found parts of a dear the day the lake open. Barely thawed from winter the dogs had a blast chasing him up and down the beach while Buster kept the lead, and deer leg in his mouth. Last week Melissa found a snake skin. Today she found a dead was way past dead, it wasn't even stinky but dried and falling apart. We disposed of it in the trash can.

But today something very scary happened. Buster had just returned from sniffing in the bushes. He was ready to leap into the water when Lessa said 'is that a fish hook?' We looked at Buster and he had a 'thread', or so it seemed, hanging from his mouth. It was one of those snaps that attach to the leader, the leader I believe attaches to the hook. Any fisherman out there to describe this better? I began to pull fishing line out of his mouth....a good amount of that nylon filament, about 15 to 18 inches worth. Attached to the end was a gooey piece of bait. Under the bait was a fish hook!!

It was a warning to us. We had become complacent. The dogs run and play on the beach. We throw bumpers in the water and the retrieve. And we keep an eye on them as they sniff surrounding areas, but apparently not enough of a watchful eye. We thought they were safe.

What this brought to mind is teaching your dog to be comfortable with you and others opening his mouth and taking objects from him. You never know when you may have to remove something from their mouth. Melissa readily gave up the dried bat to me, but was ready to play keep away from the other dogs. Buster was relaxed as I pulled the fishing line and hook from his mouth. Is your dog comfortable giving up an object? When it is on the ground? When it is already in his mouth?

Next time I will describe how I taught Melissa to relinquish an object she has possession of. Until then, keep your dogs safe, keep an watchful eye over them. When you travel know the number and directions to the nearest vet should you need their services.

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