| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 06:00 am
The clerk at Hole’s Enjoy Centre had called a peace officer and both of them berated us openly in public, accused us of animal abuse and had the effrontery to say we should have brought out our coffee instead of going into the café. All this because we brought our much-loved dog Bailey with us in a crate covered with three store-bought bags of ice, after making sure he drank water before leaving home.
He was there for one and a half hours, true, but we had tested the situation on several equally hot days by checking him every 20 minutes and found there was no problem at all. We bring him because he enjoys the car, hates to be left alone and loves barking at strangers.
People who take dogs along on their holidays can't be expected to eat take-out at all times, or ever, if that isn't the type of food they like. Had our licence plates indicated British Columbia, or Nova Scotia, I doubt the situation would have elicited the same response. The irony is that we have not taken holidays for as long as we have owned a dog – 17 years – because we felt they might feel abandoned in a kennel.
Some dogs may be allowed in some motels or hotels, but ours would bark in a strange environment, and not stop until our return. He also would need a crate – for his well-being as well as the motel’s. He chews and devours everything that is not tied down and some things that are, including plastic gloves, vinyl car-door handles, wiring, small stones, paper and Kleenex, cloth towels and much else.
And on holiday away from home we would have to bring him with us everywhere in the car anyway. So we are condemned because we live only seven minutes away from the Enjoy Centre and our summer holiday amounts to patronizing local cafés and restaurants?
Dogs are kept in the cargo holds of planes for hours at a time completely unattended. It seems to me that if keeping a dog in a car in a crate that is covered with ice is bad treatment, a cargo-hold trip for pets is way over the top. Yet it is permitted, and pet owners are not threatened by police or accused of abuse and cruelty.
The reality was that Bailey was completely normal and lively when “rescued.” That fact was not considered important.
People should think before they judge and be ready to accept evidence contrary to their original perceptions: Otherwise, they are being self-righteous and dogmatic rather than pro-dog, and that isn't such a good thing.
Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert