Friday, June 1, 2012

One old dog, his town, and his fight for freedom

It reads like an old time western novel:

An old timer settled on his ways on a patch of land before the boundaries were rewritten by interlopers. 

In this case, it's one old dog: Blue of Elephant Butte, New Mexico and the town that has rallied around him to let him be the exception of the rule to the local leash law. Blue's an 11 year old Australian Shepherd who has been living there since before Elephant Butte was a town. A recent leash law passed is going to force Blue to be leashed, where all of his life he's spent his life lounging around one town business or another.

I believe local leash laws are there for a reason. That reason being the safety of dogs who may or may not be accustomed to other dogs who are not accustomed to others being off the leash. I've seen plenty of times where unleashed dogs cause havoc because their owners insist that they're "really good dogs" or "just want to say hi", but don't get the permission of other dog owners.

Blue's an exception to this rule in several ways:

  • He has never really been owned by anyone - Technically he was adopted by a town shop owner to represent him for his hearing on June 13, 2012.
  • Various people in the town have trained him how to interact with others - At his advanced age, he's picked up more than a trick or two from the community who has cared enough to not only feed him, but also give him several comfortable places to live and took the time to train him.
Blue won't be tied down to just one family, but the community has stepped up to donate enough that Blue has his own check account and not only pays his own vet bills, but also contributes to veterinary care of others. 

My take is: This isn't about abolishing leash laws. It's about showing that in outstanding instances that there are exceptions that should be considered. 

I'd encourage you all to check out the original article, share Blue's story, and drop him and the gentlefolk of Elephant Butte, New Mexico a word of encouragement.


Original article: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/05/new-law-may-tie-up-loveable-town-dog-blue/