The Danger of Collars

Boomer during happier times.

I used to see these memes on Facebook about dog collars being dangerous to be honest I figured people were over-reacting. After all, I’ve had dogs my whole life and they have never had any issues with their collars. I figured it would take a one in a million chance that something like this could happen right? Besides, it seemed way more dangerous to NOT have a collar on my dog and have them get lost with no way for people to identify and contact me than to wear a simple, little collar. Apparently I had been very lucky. That long standing misconception changed in mere minutes yesterday.

Hubs and I were outside working on one of the ninety million projects we have around the farm and the dogs were playing a few feet from us. Suddenly they went from making happy, play noises to Boomer screaming in pain and panic. As I was scrambling to climb down from where I had been working on the ladder I could see him thrashing around, throwing his body one way and then another trying to get away from Shandy. Shandy, although confused was doing her best to stay still. She obviously understood something was very wrong.

Shandy watching over the farm from her perch on the porch.

It took me only seconds to get to him and he was already foaming at the mouth, fear in his eyes and in obvious pain. A quick glance and I saw his jaw and tooth were stuck on Shandy’s collar and metal ring which attaches the rabies tag. As Boomer struggled to free himself he was now pulling harder and harder on Shandy’s collar, digging it deep into her fur and tightening her pink camo collar into a macabre make-shift noose. Shandy, now getting choked and started to panic as well, beginning her own fight, the fight to breathe.

Between Boomer’s panicked and frantic efforts to pull himself free and Shandy’s frenzied fight to get air I had my hands full and couldn’t get them separated. I started screaming for help and Hubs came running. We were able to get them separated in minutes but it felt like hours. There didn’t appear to be any residual physical trauma to anyone from the ordeal but we were all left deeply shaken.

Afterward Hubs and I, although thoroughly rattled, were feeling incredibly grateful as we played the “what if” game…”What if we hadn’t been right next to them when it happened?” “What if we had been inside and hadn’t heard noise?” After all, neither one could bark and the whole event was remarkably quiet for as traumatic as it was. “What if they had been in their outdoor kennel and we weren’t home?” I truly believe if any of the above scenarios had happened we would have one, possibly two dead dogs. We were so incredibly lucky that this happened while we were literally a few feet away from them.

After decades of having dogs and using collars all the time, I am now a full convert and avid believer of no collars when they are home. I would much rather have a lost dog and be looking for them, than a dead dog. Please, please learn from my mistakes. Don’t let this happen to your fur babies.

Best friends forever.

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