K9 Corner, Nov. 7

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Advocate-Messenger recently had a front page story on a practice session for hospital personnel if someone carrying a weapon entered the building with mischief on his/her mind. That reminded me of an article I read in the Standard Schnauzer publication earlier this year. It was a reprint of a Samoyed breed column from the AKC Gazette last April.

As I was instructed over and over by the previous local Emergency Management Director, “Practice is what makes the emergency run smoothly. With lots of practice, no one will freeze; they will go on remote control and do whatever they have practiced. Haven’t you had a traumatic experience and after it is all over, wondered how you performed so efficiently? It just takes practice.

The article I read regarding dogs concerned what would happen if you went out for a short trip, such as a movie or perhaps a quick shopping trip leaving your dog at home. While out you were in a car collision. These days there seems to be vehicle wrecks every day, could you be the next victim? Have you made any plans for your stay-at-home dog and practiced the plans on what would happen if you were injured sufficiently that you were admitted to the hospital?    

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I carry a card in my wallet saying that if any traumatic event happens that I have pets at home and please contact the designated friend at this phone number.  The Samoyed article, written by Ms Lisa Peterson, suggests listing several friends through the “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) feature on your cell phone and making sure at least one of these friends has a key to your house. 

Peterson mentions a terrible case where a person was knocked unconscious and when things calmed down and the house was finally checked, the pets that had been left home had died. I just hope that no one told the recovering victim until he/she was stronger.

So what plans do you make? First select the person you hope will take care of your dog until you are able to come home. Invite that person over and walk through your routine. Be sure to introduce your dog to this person. Does your pet need to be leashed when released to relieve itself? Show the caregiver where the leashes are kept and make a note on a large piece of paper that you will post in a prominent place. Put the animal’s identification collar on if you are leaving it alone even for a short time.

Show the caregiver where the food and water bowls are and where you keep the food. (Note your poster). If you have to be hospitalized for a number of days, the caregiver might want to take your pet home for convenience sake. In that case you need to show your friend where the dog’s bed and dog crate are kept.

I keep printed notices on both my doors alerting firefighters that there are animals in the house – just in case.