The one time I hooked my dog up to a chain, his head drooped nearly to the ground. He looked up at me with sad eyes and broke my heart. I thought I was doing something good — giving him more time outside. But as soon as I clipped that chain onto his collar, I knew he’d rather be inside than chained. A construction crew had to rip out parts of my fence to replace sewer lines in my backyard a few years ago. I couldn’t let my dog out to play because he could run out into the busy street behind my home. So I thought I’d put him on a chain in the backyard during the weeks of repair. After hooking him up and seeing how broken he looked, I threw the chain away. That memory stirred me to volunteer with the "My Life as a Dog Challenge,” organized by the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. Eight contestants will sit chained to people-sized dog houses beginning Saturday in Bricktown. The one who makes it the longest will win a car. The goal is to show the cruelty of chaining. I’m just going to confess: I was a terrible volunteer for the Humane Society. I was a member of the small organizing committee. It seemed like something came up for nearly every meeting. I turned in my assignments late. If I wasn’t a volunteer, I’m pretty sure I would have been fired. I probably should have been fired anyway. But I learned a valuable lesson about committing myself. I wanted to help and thought I could be of value. But as my pregnancy wore on, I realized maybe I wasn’t as valuable to the group as I thought I could have been. Morning sickness, fatigue and difficulties limited me. For the first time, I had to sort of watch from the sidelines. I was disappointed in myself. But I’m ecstatic about what the group accomplished. The chain-off event will be a huge success, and it will raise awareness in the community about the dangers of chaining dogs. Chains are a hazard to dogs and to the people around them. Chains can choke, strangle or cut dogs, and if the tether becomes tangled, the dog can be cut off from food, water and shelter. The dog can become vulnerable to harassment from people or attack from other animals. Chaining also changes a dog’s personality, making it more likely to be aggressive. My dog’s personality changed after just a few minutes on a chain. Hopefully other dog owners will realize the change in their own dogs because of the "My Life as a Dog Challenge.”
Central Oklahoma Humane Society needs volunteers
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting animal well-being and community education about the humane treatment of animals. The organization needs volunteers for a variety of tasks, including:
• Trapping feral cats so they can be spayed or neutered and returned to their environment.
• Helping to organize a citywide Humane Education Program for children.
• Fostering dogs or cats until they are adopted. Helping at adoption events.
• Assisting veterinary technicians during spay/neuter clinics by helping animals in recovery, sterilizing surgical supplies and other duties. For more information or to volunteer, call 286-1503 or go to www.okhumane.org.