Mama wants me to write this true story about Mandy as a WARNING for dog-lovers everywhere. Mandy was mama's family's dog while mama was in high school. She says the thought was that she was either a greyhound/lab mix or a greyhound/pointer mix.
One day when mama was home alone in the morning, getting ready to go to school, Mandy was outside playing, sniffing, treeing birds, whatever it was Mandy did when outside. Mama's family had an inground pool in the backyard, prior to the days when fences with self-latching gates were mandated. Mandy apparently hated the water as much as I do, and never went in the pool, though she did run around it chasing birds.
Anyway, while mama was in the house primping (she was a senior in high school), she heard Mandy barking. Mama thought nothing of this, as she figured Mandy had treed a bird. But the barking kept up, and it sounded like it was in a place away from the tree. Then Mandy let out a bark that turned into a howl. Finally, mama marched to the back door to call her in and terror struck her eyes as she set her eyes on Mandy, in the pool, front paws clinging for dear life on the pool decking and her bottom half dangling in the water.
Mama ran over and pulled Mandy out. If Mandy hadn't found the side, she very easily could have drowned. From that day on, mama says Mandy was first taught where the steps were and then, twice every spring/summer, she was forcibly put into the pool so she could show that she knew how to get out on her own.
Mama wants everydog out there to read this story. She wants my fellow dogbloggers to post a summer safety story on their blogs to help spread the word. TEACH your dogs how to get out of your backyard pools, even if there is a fence around it. Watch your children like hawks, too. Don't just listen to them and assume they're safe. Drowning is a silent killer and kids don't generally make any noises as they go down.
Also, mama wants to be sure that NO ONE leaves their pets in cars. In Tucson, summers get to be up to 110 degrees, which means inside a car it can get closer to 130 or 15o degrees ... even with windows cracked! It is illegal to do that here, and if people see pets in cars in the community they can call the police who will come and break into the car to get the pets out. Even if it only gets to 80 where you live, inside a car it's much hotter, and open windows and water dishes just don't cut it. And if mama feels this strongly about pets left in cars, imagine how she feels about kids left in cars; especially babies. Yes, it happens. Quit often, actually :(.
So be safe this summer, keep cool, and have fun!