Trust .. A Deadly Disease!
by Sharon Mathers

There is a deadly disease stalking your dog, a hideous, stealthy thing just waiting
its chance to steal your beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or one for which
there are inoculations. The disease is called "Trust."

You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it could not be trusted.
The breeder who provided you with this precious animal warned you, drummed it
into your head. Puppies steal off counters, destroy anything expensive, chase cats,
take forever to house train, and must never be allowed off lead!!

When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage advice of the breeder, you
escorted your puppy to his new home, properly collared and tagged, the lead held
tightly in your hand.

At home the house was "puppy-proofed." Everything of value was stored in the
spare bedroom, garbage stowed on top of the refrigerator, cats separated, and a
gate placed across the living room to keep at least one part of the house puddle
free. All windows and doors had been properly secured, and signs placed in all
strategic points reminding all to "Close the door!"

Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door closes nine-tenths of a
second after it was opened and that it is really latched. "Don't let the dog out" is
your second most verbalized expression. (The first is "No!")

You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling will get out and disaster
will surely follow. Your friends comment about who you love most, your family
or the dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment might lose him to
you forever.

And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy becoming more civilized
every day, and the seeds of trust are planted. It seems that each new day brings less
destruction, less breakage. Almost before you know it, your gangly, slurpy puppy
has turned into an elegant, dignified friend.

Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you take him more places. No
longer does he chew the steering wheel when left in the car. And darned if that
cake wasn't still on the counter this morning. And, oh yes, wasn't that the cat he
was sleeping with so cozily on your pillow last night?

At this point you are beginning to become infected, the disease is spreading its
roots deep into your mind.

And then one of your friends suggest obedience classes, and, after a time you even
let him run loose from the car into the house when you get home. Why not, he
always runs straight to the door, dancing a frenzy of joy and waits to be let in.
And, remember he comes every time he is called. You know he is the exception
that disproves the rule. (And sometimes late at night, you even let him slip out
the front door to go potty and then right back in.)

Years pass - it is hard to remember why you ever worried so much when he was a
puppy. He would never think of running out the door left open while you bring in
the packages from the car. It would be beneath his dignity to jump out the
window of the car while you run into the convenience store. And when you take
him for those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one whistle to send him
racing back to you in a burst of speed when the walk comes too close to the
highway. (He still gets in the garbage, but nobody is perfect!)

This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently. Sometimes it only has to
wait a year or two, but often it takes much longer. He spies the neighbor dog
across the street, and suddenly forgets everything he ever knew about not slipping
out doors, jumping out windows or coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it
was only a paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy of running.....

Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever- Your heart is broken at the sight of his still
beautiful body.

The disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.

Every morning my dog bounced around off lead exploring. Every morning for
seven years he came back when he was called. He was perfectly obedient, perfectly
trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being hit by a car.

Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the trust for things that do not
matter.

Please read this every year on your puppy's birthday, lest you forget.
The best way to meet
local Reputable Hobby
Breeders is to attend
dog shows in your
area.  You can find a list
of upcoming dog shows
by searching on the AKC
website.

AKC EVENT SEARCH

Select your state and breed
- Soft Coated Wheaten
Terrier

This will give you a list of
upcoming dog shows to
attend.