Several years ago, I got a call from the police that my horse Doc had been stolen. It was, needless to say, a very disconcerting call. I was upset but didn’t have a lot of time to process because they caught the thief a few hours later. Turns out a girl from a group home near the stable had decided to take Doc and hadn’t really thought through what to do with him. It is not that easy to hide (or feed) a chubby white horse.
I have been reminded of this incident lately because there is a disturbing and significant increase in the number of dog thefts in the Chicagoland area. The dogs are stolen and then resold or even worse. While some of these dogs are being taken from yards, many appear to be taken when they are left outside a store or coffee house.
My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn’t leave my wallet someplace, I sure wouldn’t leave my dog. Can you imagine taking out some money and then putting your wallet next to a lightpost while you go into Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte? If you came out and your wallet was gone, you’d be upset but you’d also probably recognize that your behavior had been careless. Now think about it if that was your dog. While a stolen wallet is upsetting, a stolen dog is heartbreaking.
Even leaving your dog in your car is not necessarily safe. If the window is open somewhat it is not hard for someone to slip his arm in and open the door. While many of us think our dogs would not let that happen, the truth is that most pet dogs are pretty friendly to strangers and would probably let someone in , especially if that someone was giving them a delicious treat.
So when you go out with your dog, run errands where both you and your dog are welcome. Your dog will thank you for it!