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Trust: A Deadly Disease

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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 door of the living room to keep at least 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 in nine tenths of a second after it was opened and that it 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 a 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 your 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 suggests obedience. You shake your head and remind her that your dog might run away if allowed off lead, but you are reassured when she promises the events are held in a fenced area. And, wonder of wonders, he did not run away, but came every time you called him!

All winter long you go to weekly obedience classes. And, after a time, you even let him run loose from the car to the house when you get home. Why not, he always runs straight to the door, dancing in 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 proves the rule. (And sometimes late at night, you even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then right back in.)

At this point, the disease has taken hold, waiting only for the right time and place to rear its ugly head.

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 of the door left open while you bring in packages from the car. It would be beneath his dignity to jump out of 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 into 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 outdoors, 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 as broken as is his still beautiful body.

The disease is TRUST. It's final outcome -- hit by a car.

By Sharon Mathers  - Courtesy of Canine Concepts and Community Control magazine, September 1986
Note from NSGAA (June 2013): Although this article was written a number of years ago, its message is as relevant today as it was in 1986.  We strongly encourage you to review this often and to not allow yourself to become a victim of this deadly disease

  • September. 21

    Shades of Grey

    The Shades of Grey 2018 Calendar is now available for purchase.  This beautiful, full color gloss 9 x 13 calendar features over 120 greyhounds, lurchers and other sighthounds from the NSGA family.  

    he cost of the calendar is $20.00. Calendars can be paid for by e-transfer, paypal/credit card.  If using either of these two methods please specify the number of calendars and include your contact information. You can also pay by cheque/cash if picking up your calendars from Judy Sleith in Calgary, Deb and John in Edmonton, and Susan Lohse in Winnipeg.  If none of these options are convenient for you, we can mail the calendar out to you for an additional cost of 3.50/calendar.   All mail orders must be prepaid and ordered through Deb Ward at northernskygreyhounds@gmail.com.  
     
    Once again, we have printed a limited number of calendars.  Don't be disappointed - order your Shades of Grey today! 
  • October. 21

    Cabela Regina

    Regina folks - head out to Cabela's (4901 Gordon Rd) Saturday, October 21 from 11:00-2:00 and spend some time with our amazing hounds.  Our volunteers will be happy to answer any questions you have on adopting a retired racer.  

     

  • July. 10

    MEET AND GREETS

    UPDATED OCTOBER 18

    Meet and greets are a greyt chance to meet and spend time with greyhounds, get your questions answered, and learn more about our adoption program.  Meet and greets are held at various locations in Red Deer, Edmonton, St. Albert, Airdrie, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg each month. Click below to see our schedule and locations for the fall months.

    Read More