It’s difficult for us when we see people mistreating their dogs, whether it’s yelling, hitting, or bad/punishment-based training. Advocating for these dogs is crucial, but knowing how to speak up for them can be tricky.Victoria Stilwell shares this post with the goal of teaching us how to step up and “Be A Witness.” From experience, I can tell you that in the moment, it seems like you’re talking to a wall (sometimes an angry wall), but it’s a slow burn. Say your peace, respectfully and calmly, and move on taking comfort from the fact that you did something, and that you may have made a difference.
At OMD we're hyper-vigilant when it comes to safety. I lose sleep over the things that could go wrong, and then imagine every possible way to prevent accidents. I've seen it all, kept a great track record, and never become complacent. Accidents can happen to anyone, but at the end of each day, I know I did everything I could. Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by the number of missing dogs in Toronto. Often, the culprit is faulty equipment or a slipped harness.
I've been a huge fan of the carabiner, and still am. But they're bulky, and when you need to carry multiples, in multiple sizes, it's just too much and doesn't work in every situation. So I began the search for "safety straps" that would connect harness to collar. I came up empty many time times in my search, but then it occurred to me that I have this amazing client who cannot only sew, but can also think critically.
The result is our very own commissioned saftey straps/connectors. All OMD clients with harnesses will now be sporting one of these in addition to a properly fitted collar/martingale. This way, if a harness ever fails, or the dog manages to wriggle out, he's still attached to the leash via the strap.
Here's to sleeping better!
A very HUGE thank you to Zoe's mum.
Mackenzie joined the OMD team a few weeks ago, and I couldn't be happier. I had bumped into her in the parks many times over the past year, and was always impressed with her skills as a dog walker. She's gentle, loving and patient. Not to mention very safety conscious. Mackenzie joins OMD in search of new challenges and experiences. She has an active interest in positive reinforcement training, somehthing I intend to nurture and encourage in every way possible.
What else can I say about this sweet, vegan, animal-lovin' girl? She's also an awesome photographer! Follow along with her OMD adventures at @123woof on Instagram.
I wish I could find all the missing dogs. Since I can't, I'm trying to help raise awareness. Almost every incident is preventable. They spook/bolt for many different reasons, dart through opening doors, jump out of car windows, break out of their collars/off their leashes, lose sight of their owner on a walk & panic (I could go on). And sometimes, under many different circumstances, for all kinds of reasons, they're stolen. Arm yourself and protect your best friend. Check out this Facebook page dedicated to lost pets in the GTA alone. Heart-wrenching.
If you're part of a rescue organization, veterinary clinic, etc., and would like copies of this postcard to distribute, please email the Toronto Dog Walkers Association.