Growing up, my parents let me get a dog, after much begging. The deal was that the dog lived in the backyard. Me, being about 10 at the time, thought this was a fair deal. I agreed to feed, walk, and clean up after the dog.
During our trip to the “pound” (as we called in in those days) I set my eyes on a beautiful border collie mix who was in one of the smaller cages, on a top row. His tail was wagging in circles and picking up water from his dish on every wag. I was soaking wet, and in love with this extremely hyper dog. I was convinced it was because he was in love with me too. My mom wanted a smaller dog, but I managed to convince them that this guy wouldn’t get very big. And so we brought him home and named him Butch.
To this day, the guilt plagues me. Of all dogs to tie up with a chain, (not than ANY should be) I had selected a border collie. There was a huge hole where Butch’s chain ended, as he would constantly run to the end of his line, do a flip in the air, go back to his house, and do it all over again. The neighbors thought he was crazy. (the poor thing probably was!)
When I would let him loose to play, he would run so fast his belly rubbed along the ground. Could that boy move! I even taught him to pull me on my skateboard.
He was so excited to see me every morning, if only for the minute I rushed to plop the canned food into his bowl before I hurried off to the bus. When the bus would pass by our house on the way home, there was Butch, sitting on top of his doghouse waiting patiently for me.
I spent many an afternoon or evening sitting in that doghouse with Butch, telling him all my troubles. (yes, I fit in the doghouse, it was on stilts, and was insulated and had shingles. I still remember the smell, and the time I came face to face with a beehive!)
After about 3 or 4 years, my parents decided to get rid of Butch while I was visiting my cousin for March break. I still remember sitting in the back seat of the Nova when they broke the news. Funny thing is, I didn’t shed too many tears. My dad told me Butch was living on a farm and running free. Every dog’s dream. Perhaps this made things a little easier. (I chose to believe this, weather it was true or not) Deep down inside I knew Butch deserved better.
This brings me to the real reason for this post. The Coalition To Unchain Dogs is an organization of volunteers that build fences for dogs that would otherwise spend the rest of their life on a chain.
“The mission of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs is to improve the welfare of dogs living continuously chained outdoors by providing free spay/neuter, vaccinations, and fences, while bolstering connections between these dogs and their human companions through non-judgmental assistance and education designed to raise general community expectations regarding the standards of care for these animals.” – Coalition To Unchain Dogs
You can visit their YouTube Channel to see some of the dogs enjoying their new found freedom. Its really a sight to see. Here’s Jag, who appears to be a golden retriever mix. I dont know what he is more excited about, the human interaction, or the freedom!