Not another letter to the editor picking on the dog lovers who want their dogs to be able to run free as animals are intended.
If your dog came home Friday morning, July 10, with blood on its muzzle, this is for you.
My grandson lives just over the east city limit boundary of Haughey Road. At 8 years old, he's old enough to show a lamb at the fair in 4-H. He has tamed, fed and learned how to care and feed the lamb. He is a ranch kid who knows his lamb will be sold at the fair for consumption.
After the sale, he says good-bye to Pepper and walks away, a tear in his eye, from a live lamb.
On July 10, he saw his buddy, Pepper, dead in his pen. The night before, he weighed Pepper at the 4-H weigh in and he was 76 pounds.
At the rate of gain that Pepper had been gaining, he had 28 days left and Pepper must gain 24 pounds to be able to sell him at the Junior Livestock Sale.
Kelton figured Pepper's rate of gain at more than a pound a day. He was excited. Pepper would make weight.
He's learned from his parents' example in the ranch sheep operation.
To have his own lamb to raise has really made an impression on him.
Did he do something wrong to cause his buddy's death? No, an irresponsible pet owner letting their dog or dogs run free at night did.
Along with Pepper, his breeding ewe, two kid goats that his sisters, 5 and 4 years old, were going to show, and four geese right out of a fenced front yard were killed. Two sheep in the fenced pasture were injured.
The youngest in that family is 2 years old. She plays out in the fenced front yard and would be no match for dogs that could kill a 76-pound lamb.
Ironically, my grandson has three border collie pups and two grown border collies. They are kept in a chain link kennel by day. At night, they are in the house so their barking won't disturb neighbors in the Highland subdivision.
That is a considerate pet owner. The neighbors may have to hear barking all night, so they can alert my grandson of stray dogs attacking his livestock. The leash law limits for Craig encompass a 10-mile distance from the city.
Note also that it is legal for ranchers to kill animals that attack their stock.
To see our grandson be brave and try not to cry over this makes his grandpa and I furious and frustrated.
But, what can be done about these pretend pet owners?
Real pet owners love their buddies like my grandson loved his buddy, and they take responsibility for their pets by keeping them home.
MaryBea and Larry Neu