Karla's Kolumn: Responsibilities of being a dog owner


June 17, 2021

My dogs hate this time of year.

They love to go for rides and often run to the store with me on weekends. But when temperatures are already 60 degrees at breakfast I know it is too hot for them to sit in a car unless the air conditioning is going full blast.

As a pet owner I have a responsibility to my pets, OK, let’s call them as they are, my fur kids, to keep them safe and healthy. Thus, I am not about to leave the vehicle running with two dogs in the car. No they should not be able to get it out of gear but stranger things have happened and I won’t take that chance.

I could tell myself I’m just running into the post office or running to the store and won’t be more than five minutes but how many of us run in some place, and get sidetracked either with visiting or doing more inside the store, office than we were going to do. It happens, and again, I won’t take that chance with my dogs.

Occasionally when my husband and I are running to town together we will take the dogs and one of us stays inside the vehicle with the dogs and with the AC running, while the other runs the errands.

Other times I will just take the dogs for a ride, again with the AC running, and the only stops we make are to let them out to run and go potty.

We always have a large jug of water when the dogs go with us and we have a container of water on the floor board so they can drink as we drive if the need it. We have one who sits or lays calmly while we travel and the other paces – no matter how much room or how little room she has, she paces.

I put my dogs outside in their kennel in the mornings but when I arrive at lunch they spend the hottest part of the day inside the airconditioned house.

We have two black, double-coated dogs. They are going to get hot so it is my responsibility again to keep them healthy and safe.

Yes, I have read several things about whether to shave or not shave double-coated dogs and I choose not to so as not to mess up their coats. What I do is try to be ever vigilant about brushing them on a weekly basis during the summer, making sure they have plenty of water – with ice cubes because they like really cold water.

Another thing about being a responsible pet owner is picking up after your pet. Thankfully I have 10 acres and don’t have take the dogs anywhere public, but when I do I always have my trusted doggy poop bags with me to clean up after the pooches.

When I lived in Basin I hated it when the dog would not step off the path to do business, making it harder to clean up but I always did my best.

When I lived in Lovell and there was not a walking path I made sure my dog never strayed onto someone else’s property. Sadly not every pet owner has this same sense. Most do, but not all.

Most will pick up after their dogs in town parks and town ball fields, but not all.

It’s not just here, but it is in every community and sadly at nearly every Easter egg hunt I have covered, despite the best efforts of organizers there will be a nice deposit from a dog in the grass along with the candy the kids are hunting.

Dogs are allowed at all town parks, but are required to be on a leash or under control of their owner. Owners are required to pick up after the dogs. This is especially important for those areas that are used by many others for many other activities, such as ball games, Easter egg hunts, family games and more.

It is not the responsibility of the public to pick up after your pet, it is YOUR responsibility.

If you can’t take the time to properly take care of your pet, if you can’t change your lifestyle for your pet, if you can’t make that lifetime commitment, then do not get a pet.

If you can then please, consider adoption as there are many pets available for adoption at New Hope Humane Society.

But remember if it is YOUR pet then YOU are responsible for feeding, watering, making sure they get exercise, picking up after them, keeping them safe and most of all loving them.


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