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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Dangers of Dog Collars (and Cat Collars too)

Mom wasn't supposed to be home today, but, lucky for our Sasha, our black Great Dane, she had a last minute change of plans, so, she stayed home and started measuring our couch, hoping to find the right size cover to save it from us. She kept looking fondly out the glass doors at all of seven of us. We've come a long way as a pack. We all get along, and we all enjoy one another's company. The two litter mate Danes were horsing around (literally) with the new pack addition, Rocket, who was also playing with Pedrito, the tiny Rat-cha. I was observing them and our mom. At the blink of my tiny eyes it happened! Sasha and Ziggy, her even larger Great Dane bro, where both under Sasha's collar. Huh? Ziggy cannot ever wear a collar because of his Wobbler Syndrome. I started to bark my little head off and sure enough mom heard the urgency in my voice and ran outside. Sasha and Ziggy were SUFFOCATING each other, but Ziggy appeared to be "winning". Sasha's eyes were fading fast. She went down with a thud as mom got to her. Mom grabbed both dogs' heads and fell down to the ground, squeezing their heads together to allow for a bit of air to get through their throats. She was screaming for scissors, but nobody was coming. Finally, she was able to feel for the plastic buckle, but the tension was too great for her.  As it sometimes happens at times like this, extraordinary amounts of strength come out of nowhere. Mom's fingers squeezed hard enough and Ziggy and Sasha fell apart onto the ground. Mom was shaking. The rest of the pack, watched quietly for a change. Sasha's eyes looked bloodshot and Ziggy had gotten a few cuts in the process, but they were both alive!

The potential dangers of dog collars are a serious matter

Dear dog lovers, and cat lovers too: Dog collar strangulations are common. The dangers of dog collars are numerous. Even in the case of a single dog, the collar may get caught on something, for example as they jump, and then your beloved furiend will be... think about it. Our own Linguini, about 10 years ago, was tied up in our front yard while mom was getting our things loaded for a hike. In those short moments, Linguini, jumped over our fence into our neighbors', about 8 feet below. Mom found her on her on her tippy toes doing the strangest dog dance, as she hung by her throat; another close call. We missed that one. NO more. My home is pro-active. We're changing things around here.

There are a couple of solutions out there that I know of, but feel free to add to my research. First, get us all microchipped. Secondly, if you must have a collar on us, here are a couple of suggestions. A breakaway collar, or a stretch safety collar for dogs that stretches when it's not clipped with a leash, allowing us to slip free in potentially life-threatening situations.

Peace and quiet are by now restored at Casa De Twinkie, but we will not forget again, and you better share with your friends and furiends. No uncalled-for trips to the Rainbow Bridge!

Now, go give your dog a hug and keep him/her safe!



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