You wouldn’t let your kids take candy from a stranger. What about letting your dogs take treats from a stranger?
Earlier this week I received a third generation email from a well meaning friend who received it from one neighborhood association who received it from yet another neighborhood association. There was no contact info. At first I thought it just heresay because much of this kind of email is, but nevertheless passed it along to friends with dogs and posted about it here. Then I read it on Facebook, again still wondering if it were true.
Tonight I received yet another email about it. At the bottom was a phone number so I called and spoke to Laura Coursey, executive director of EQuality Dog Training here in Tucson. She also writes a column called Tucson Dog Training for the Examiner.com.
According to Coursey, she said an older man about 60 to 70 years of age with a round face wearing a Pima Air & Space Museum shirt gave a treat to a woman’s dog. He said, “May I give your dog a treat?” At the same time he gave the dog the treat. The woman was not suspicious because he looked kind and clean cut. The treat incident happened at a small upscale neighborhood park near Sunrise & Craycroft around Territory Drive (not at the Rillito as reported earlier).
Four hours later the dog had violent bloody diarrhea and vomiting and was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic. The dog has since been stabilized but is still recovering.
Laura was telling her class about the incident and giving them a warning for their dogs not to take treats from strangers when a member of the class said that very same thing happened to her friend’s dog at McDonald Park on the northeast side but the dog died. Both times, the treat giver was described as a neat looking older man wearing a uniform type of shirt.
Is this a coincidence or a crime?
The morale of this story is — don’t let your dogs take treats from strangers and do teach them the “LEAVE IT” command.
Start taking photos of strangers who offer your dogs treats.
If you hear of more treats-gone-wrong incidents, please contact me at email@example.com
(CoCo is a cattle dog mix who never gets tired of playing fetch. Photo is courtesy of Kate Kaemerle.)