By: Joel Allen Many years ago when I was a boy, my Aunt Angie and Uncle Herman rented a trailer in a trailer park off Hwy 72 going toward Rogersville. I would go and stay with them on occasion, and they had this dog named Bowser. Bowser was a German shepherd mixed with Dane we believe. He looked more shepherd, and he was really a big baby. One night when I was over there visiting, Bowser did not want to share Aunt Angie with me and he nipped me. Angie was not having it and put him outside on a chain. We could hear poor Bowser wailing outside. Angie brought him back in and pointed at me and stated to him that he was never to nip me again. This dog actually pouted for a bit. He also understood and never nipped at anyone who was family ever again. Now, let’s talk about that dog seen outside chained up. Ever notice how wound up they seem, especially the younger ones? Notice how some get mean? Or how about the chained dog that loves kids, wants to play with them, gets overly excited, and their chain catches the child or person by the ankles causing a fall or bruising? Dogs are chained for many reasons. Those reasons range from: "I don't want the dog in my house." "It's just a dog and it belongs outside." "I don't want dog hair in my house." or "We don't have a fence yet." What's your excuse? Anyone reading this have a dog chained outside? A dog chained outside can hear everything going on. They hear the laughter and joy coming from the house and most, if not all, wish they were a part of your lives. If they seem uninterested now, maybe that is because they have become used to hearing life go on without them? So, why have a dog? Why was the dog ever taken in if it was going to be ignored? They have feelings too, and it is evident in their eyes. Remember, the eyes are the windows to the soul. Think about what I am saying here. A lot of preachers would have a come-apart if they read that. Many people do not believe dogs have a spirit. Well, here is a shocker for that kind of unbeliever, look into a dog’s eyes and there is evidence of life in those eyes. Let's discuss the possibility of no chain at all. First, we want to ensure the dog will not run away and get injured or killed. So, do not try this unless certain the dog will come when called. If there is any doubt, use a leash and transfer the dog from chain to leash, and then bring it in. Now, we are in the house with your dog. He/she is so excited that it is full of energy, and your tranquil home is now the stomping ground of your dog. In some cases your dog will be so excited it will run around like it’s lost its mind. Not to fear, this is temporary. The dog should calm down in a minute or so. Secondly, is your dog house-broken, as in will he/she ask to go outside? If not, someone better keep it on a schedule until it learns the rules. Now, your dog may have one or two accidents before being considered house-trained and a lot will have to do with your dog wanting its scent in the house. It's a territorial thing. Thirdly, dogs are social animals. They tend to desire to be part of the family. Remember the saying, "Man's best friend." When they see any of the family, they get so excited they are jumping toward anyone who will pay attention to them. They just want to be loved, and if they are given the chance, they will stop jumping and calm down. That chain just causes them to build up energy and desire. My last thing I want to point out is that when your dog is chained outside, are you thinking about it at all when you're doing whatever you do in your daily life? If you’re not thinking about your dog, then that dog needs a better home; and if you love your dog, then give it the home it desires, whether it is your home or another loving family's. If your desire is to get your dog accustomed to living in the house, and advice is needed, I am only a phone call away. Oh, and the excuse that they stink, won't wash in my eyes! Get that dog, and go wash it! By: Joel Allen

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