Recently, Sierra and I were walking along a dirt trail at our local park. We’ve had an incredibly rainy winter and this particular path has become very narrow and overgrown with tall weeds and grasses. Before the warm weather hit, I used to let my dogs run free in the area, since it’s largely uninhabited. They’ve got a great recall and love to run, so why not? But now I worry about rattlesnakes. We have lots of them around here and I’m quite sure they’re already out and about, as evidenced by the one who was lounging on my porch just a few days ago. Besides, there are signs posted all over the park to warn walkers about the venomous snakes. So, for now, my dogs are on leash whenever we’re in the danger zone.
As we passed through the possibly snake-infested area, we ran into a man I often see in the mornings. His dog was off leash and romping happily through the tall weeds. After exchanging greetings I asked, “Don’t you worry about your dog running into a rattlesnake?” His reply? “Nope. It’s never happened.” Then, for good measure he added, “You seem like you worry about everything.” Really? Hmm. Besides that being an odd comment from someone I’ve spoken to maybe once or twice, a rattlesnake bite can easily kill a dog. I know of a few dogs in the area who have died from them. Put that together with the fact that rattlesnakes are known to inhabit that particular area. Why would anyone not worry?
There are plenty of things that could pose a danger to dogs that I refrain from saying anything about, because few people appreciate unsolicited advice when it comes to their kids or dogs. But if I see something that’s potentially deadly, like it or not, I am going to say something. I’ll say it nicely and non-judgmentally, but yes, I will say it, because it just might save your dog’s life. As my husband put it so succinctly, “Only the ignorant don’t worry.” Worrying means we’re considering the possibilities and weighing potential threats, which allows us to be prepared. So, to the man who commented that I seem as though I “worry about everything,” when it comes to things that can hurt or even kill my dog, yes, I do worry. And that’s a good thing.
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