Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 29, 2013

TIDBITS: Losing sleep over wandering pets

CROSSVILLE — I’ve been losing sleep the last week or so because of the problem of wandering dogs.

I don’t mean that I’m kept awake trying to find an answer to why people let their dogs roam freely about residential neighborhoods, or worse, why people abandon their dogs, leaving them to fend for themselves.

It’s one dog that has me up nights. It’s the one that appeared on my street about a week ago and decided to set up shop. It regularly howls at the moon during the wee hours of the morning.

And that howling sets off a chain reaction with every dog within earshot, including my own four-legged friend.

I’m not sure if my new neighbor is a stray, lost or if he belongs to someone and they allow him to roam about Lake Tansi. He seems a little afraid of people and their pets. I’ve tried to get him to come to me and Bogey when we’re walking, hoping to find a collar with a name and number. While I’d appreciate the good night’s sleep that would bring, I’d also like to reunite this animal with his humans.

But he slinks away, not wanting anything to do with me or my dog. I suppose Bogey could be intimidating him, but I can’t really see that. Bogey’s more fluff and less ferocious than most dogs. Plus, he’s just as friendly as can be, wanting to play with every human, dog, cat, squirrel or other mammal encountered on our walks.

I wasn’t able to spot a collar as this strange dog took off through the woods, but I could see he was not starving. Someone is feeding this dog. And I suspect someone is missing this dog.

But this mystery dog isn’t the first non-human accompanied dog I’ve met while exploring the different streets of Lake Tansi. Most I’ve encountered have been very sweet animals. They trot out from their yards, sniff around and walk with you a few yards before returning to their home turf.

Some see a person coming and they bark, warning you not to come into their yard. They aren’t always tied, but some seem to know this side of the yard is theirs and the road isn’t. They just want you to know not to come into their yard.

Others make me shorten Bogey’s leash, bring him close to me, turn around and walk quickly away.

The problem is you never know which type of dog you’re running into if you’ve never met before. And, even a dog that’s been nice in the past could turn on you, especially if you don’t know about possible triggers.

I suspect that’s part of the reason our state has laws on the book that requires dog owners to keep their dogs under control, either through a leash or through voice command. And folks, even if your dog responds to your command, if he or she is running loose without you around, that well-trained dog is not under control.

Another part of the reason is, some folks would prefer their neighbor’s dog not come onto their property, making messes, probably disturbing their pets or scaring their children.

Pets roaming about are a nuisance to others. There’s the barking and there’s also the possibility of these animals carrying disease and spreading it to and fro. They can cause safety hazards, from running out in front of cars to attacking children playing in their own yards. It puts the animal at risk, as well, with injuries that could go untreated, having to scavenge for food, being attacked by undomesticated animals and more.

And if the roaming animal hasn’t been spayed or neutered, there is the risk of more stray dogs roaming our streets.

Pets are members of the family, and pet ownership isn’t a right, it’s a responsibility. You must provide that pet with, at a minimum, food, water and shelter. You are responsible if that dog harms another person or their property. You have to make sure the dog gets proper veterinary care and required vaccinations, like an annual rabies vaccination.

If you aren’t prepared to provide a home for your pet, you shouldn’t have one.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice