My name is Chowder, I am a Great Dane and I am deaf and visually impaired. I live with Ashlyn, the technician supervisor at Crossroads. I am lucky to have her because she has taught me how to get around and how to not be so scared all the time. I get nervous when meeting new people and new pets. Although I am familiar with everyone on staff at Crossroads, I still get nervous if someone new enters the room I am in. I tend to slowly approach them, take a quick sniff and, if it’s someone I know, I lean into them for some scratches! My sniffer works great!
I also get nervous with new dogs that approach me. I have a bright collar on that alerts other owners that I am deaf and blind, but that doesn’t stop strangers from approaching without asking my mom if it’s okay first. My mom is my protector. She keeps me on a short leash when there are new people and dogs in my area. She keeps her eyes on my surroundings and makes sure I am not going to encounter anything that would make me uncomfortable.
As a pet owner and protector of your furry child, it is important to keep them on short leashes when you are in a place where other dogs may be. This is especially important at a veterinarian’s office. Your dog may be friendly and love going to the vet, but there are many in the waiting room who are not so thrilled. You should always ask if it’s okay for your dog to approach another dog in the waiting room and not assume that, because your dog is friendly, it’s alright. They may not be friendly or they may be really sick and shouldn’t greet another dog. I know at Crossroads, I have entered the front door and there’s another dog on a long leash, with its owner around the corner, standing right in front of the door. That is terrifying to a dog that is scared already. Keeping your dog on a short leash can also help you control him or her should another dog get loose.
My mom and I have encountered people that don’t understand my disability or any anxiety associated with it, so I feel that it’s important for me to be an advocate for dogs with disabilities (or fears). We love to have fun (I play with my BFF, Piggy, all the time! She understands my issues and plays well with me) but we just need some time to get used to our surroundings. Being approached by a dog that is out of control causes me to want to run in the opposite direction.
I hope this helps people understand the importance of keeping their dogs on short leashes. I think it’s great when dogs are introduced at the vet, just ask first.
Thanks for reading!