Do Your Dogs Play Naked?

     After reading this article shared by one of my fellow bloggers (Life Embarked), my dogs always, always play naked!!!! Maya used to always go streight for Lucky’s collar, which was the buckle kind. I never in a million years would have thought this could happen! Just thought I would share this for my readers as well!

The Whole Dog Journal: Take It All Off!

Five things you can do to protect your dog.

By Nancy Kerns

I was pretty traumatized recently by a phenomenon I had heard about many times but had never before seen: the intense, chaotic, life-or-death struggle that ensues when one dog gets his jaw stuck in another dog’s collar.

It happened to some dogs that live a few houses down from my home office. I was working at my computer when I heard a dog screaming. I leaped up from my desk and ran down the sidewalk toward the screaming.

These dogs are just playing and are not entangled. But if they were, the leather collar would have to be cut to save them; its buckle can’t be released under tension.

It was two young Lab-mixes in the front yard of a house down the street. One had grabbed his friend’s collar and then mostly likely rolled over, twisting his lower jaw in the collar. His tongue, trapped under the thick nylon, was being lacerated by his own lower teeth; he was the one making all the noise.

His buddy was not screaming; he was fighting for his life, and being choked to death by his own collar. Both dogs were thrashing in pain and fear. The owner of one dog was trying to get close enough to them to free them, and I tried to help.

I grabbed one dog by the scruff; she grabbed the other. I frantically ran my hands through the mass of writhing fur, trying to find a buckle on the collar. I felt a quick-release buckle and released it – but it was the wrong one, not the collar that was threatening their lives.

Then I saw the other buckle; it was in the mouth of the dog whose jaw was trapped. And it was a standard metal buckle – the kind that you have to tighten slightly to free the metal prong from a hole punched in the nylon fabric. It was already so tight, there would be no way to tighten it enough to release it, if I even could get my hand in the dog’s mouth.

Just then, the owner of the other dog ran out of the house with a pair of scissors. I was doubtful that they could cut through the thick nylon, but they did. And in the nick of time! Even as the young woman worked, feverishly, the dog who was choking released his bowels. He was seconds from death.

Imagine what would have happened if that young woman hadn’t had the scissors handy. Or if the same thing happened at a dog park; maybe someone would have had a sharp-enough knife. What if the dog had been wearing a choke chain or pinch collar? I’ve seen dogs wearing these while playing at dog parks – but I’ve never seen a person there with bolt cutters.

These dogs survived the experience. But since I’ve been telling my friends about my experience (with all the fervor of the recently converted), I’ve heard about a number of dogs whose jaws were broken in similar situations – and other dogs who didn’t survive an experience like this. Don’t let it happen to your dog!

Here are five things you can do to keep your dog safe when he’s playing with other dogs.

1. Play Naked! Remove your dog’s collar or harness. A harness may not present the same choking hazard as a collar if another dog got tangled in it, but on the other hand, a harness has many more straps to get caught in.

2. Use a Collar With a Quick-Release Buckle. If you’re nervous about having your dog naked (and without ID), use a collar with a buckle that can be released even under tension. Another option is a safety breakaway collar, such as Premier Pet Product’s KeepSafe Break-Away Collar (see premierpet.com or call 800-933-5595).

3. Don’t Allow Your Dog to Play With Dogs Who Are Wearing Gear. At times, this may mean your dog won’t be able to play at a dog park, because it’s nearly impossible to get everyone to comply with sensible rules at a dog park. If I had a young dog who really liked wrestling and mouthing other dogs, I just wouldn’t take him to a dog park that was crowded with collar- and harness-wearing dogs. Not after what I saw.

4. Spread The Word. I’m now telling every dog owner I know about the way, the truth, and the light. Many people have never considered this potential hazard and may be open to hearing about how they can prevent a tragedy happening to their dogs.

5. Keep Something Sharp Handy. This is quite a long shot – and yet, I now know a young woman who saved two dogs’ lives with sharp scissors. I now have a box cutter in my car, and another one on a shelf near my office door. I hope to never witness this again, but I feel a little better knowing that there would be more I could do to help.

A Letter To Zeus….. From Lucky….

Dear Zeus,

I had to write you to tell you all about the the play date I had with Serenity because I know you would have loved to come play too if you were still with us and healthy. I had a lot of fun today and Serenity was as happy to see me as I was to see her! I think she gets lonely too since they lost D.O.G. Kinda like I get lonely a lot since you have been gone. It’s nice to have her for a friend though, she is really nice and even lets me play with her toys just like you used to let me play with yours. You have met Serenity and you knew D.O.G before he passed away. Serenity tells me that she misses you too. It makes me feel good that she remembers you. When ever I go to Serenity’s house to play I always hope you and D.O.G are playing at the rainbow bridge. I can picture the two of you running around having a wonderful time chasing eachohter, just like Serenity and I do!

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Here we are playing on the deck…. It was really hard for our people to get photos today because we were having so much fun and did not have  time to sit still and pose for photos. Sorry if some of these photos are a little blurry, we were having too much fun to care! Serenity does this really cute bounce thing when she gets excited or wants to play. She is bouncing at me in this photo.

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Here we are running around through the trees….. You wouldn’t believe all the smells around this place Zeus! I think we smelled every tree! I would bet that in the summer, this place is crawling with squirrels I can’t wait for Summer to get here so I can chase them, you know how much I love chasing squirrels! Do you still chase squirrels like you used to Zeus? We had so much fun doing that, I miss those days!

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Serenity is waiting for me to chase her. She loves to play, but doesn’t run as much as I do. You know how fast I am, no one can catch me! Serenity tries though and it is fun when she runs after me. We take turns of course and I chase her sometimes too.

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See the ball at my feet? We even played my favorite game today….. You guessed it… FETCH! I could play this game forever as you know. I miss when mom used to play fetch with both of us. Even though I could run faster than you Zeus, I always made sure to let you get the ball once in a while too. That’s what younger brothers do! Serenity is not much of a fetch enthusiest, so we don’t play for long. A few throws makes me happy!

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This is my favorite photo from today, it shows Serenity and I up close and personal! We like to nose around and even give eachother kisses….. Who knows, maybe someday she will be my girlfriend. Do you have any advice you could give me to win over her heart? I know you were always such a  “lady’s man”. I guess I should have paid more attention to your charming ways!

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This is the best way to end a great day. Of course the only thing that would make it better is if you were curled up next to me. I miss snuggling with you the most because I don’t have that kind of bond with anyone, even Serenity. I am really tired now that I played my little heart out today. Mom even took the senic route on the way home which made for a nice drive. I looked out the back window the whole way home. It was kind of relaxing after all that running. Tonight I will dream of my beautiful friend Serenity and of course you will be in my dreams too Zeus. I dream about you a lot, just because you are not here doesn’t mean I don’t think about you often.

I hope you liked reading my letter and I hope I made you smile. I know you always loved it when we used to play. I miss you still and forever will!

Love,

your little Lucky Monkey