A Beautiful Thing, Then Tragedy

Having a dog as a pet can be fun and a joy, however, it does entail responsibility. Just seeing to their needs of a place to stay, food and water is not enough. Knowing the habits of your animal and keeping them safe is also “a must.”

When I was still living at home, my parents were raising dachshunds. These small dogs make great pets because they have mild tempers and are good around children. My parents’ dogs were very sweet tempered animals.

Schatzie had puppies that were close to being weaned when my parents discovered that rats had moved into the neighborhood and were getting into our backyard. Having medical people as parents meant that our environment was as clean as we could get it and having rats did not fit the picture. My mother called an exterminator to see if they could solve the problem.

When the exterminator came to our house, my mother explained that we had dachshunds and that the rat bait had to be placed where the dogs couldn’t reach it. We didn’t know that he put one under the doghouse.

Later, we noticed that Schatzie was not acting right. She wasn’t doing well at all. She died nursing her puppies one last time. Apparently, she had rooted out the rat bait and eaten it. It was too late for any medical attention, and she died an agonizing death.

This is just one of the tragedies that can happen to our pets. This particular death should not have happened because of the carelessness of an exterminator. Possibly, it could have been avoided if my mother had dogged the exterminator’s steps and noted where he placed the baits. It was a tragic loss that should never have happened.

Knowing the habits of our pets can help us prepare ahead of time to avoid accidents. Dachshunds were bred for hunting, even going into small places after game. Getting something under the doghouse was second nature to Schatzie. Rat bait should never have been put there.

Keeping a first aid kit specifically for your dog can help. Having a regular veterinarian in case of injury will also be of benefit. Researching various treatments ahead of time and determining whether or not a vet visit is warranted may save the life of your animal.

The bottom line is ‘don’t remain ignorant.’ Having information, about your particular breed of dog and steps to take to keep them healthy and safe, will help ensure you have your pet for a long time.

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