PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Large black dog putting howl in me

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Excuse me, if I come off as a pet-pooper. What I’m getting at is this: Tupelo has a leash law.
From what I can tell, the law says that if you have a dog, that dog should be kept within the confines of your property and not allowed to roam freely.
And, if your dog is to take a walk around the neighborhood, you should have him or her on a leash – hence, the phrase, leash law.
I suppose there are nuances about this, but I think that’s the bottom line.
What brings this to mind is an amazingly beautiful and frighteningly large black dog, like a Great Dane-labrador mix, roaming my near-Jackson Avenue neighborhood for the past couple of weeks.
This animal obviously has a home because he’s wearing a collar with a tag.
I first saw him loping down the street a block away as a city police car slowly passed him under the driving officer’s gaze.
Later, I saw him trotting down Robins Street, over to Walnut, and Wednesday morning, he posed a most curious picture at the corner of Allen and Robins as he brought his massive face down nearly to the sidewalk to inspect a rather startled mixed-breed pooch.
Both of them were without owners.
Last weekend, as my daughter walked my Cavalier King Charles grandpuppy, Bonnie, the big black dog came into my yard to check them out.
For such an imposing figure, he seems remarkably skittish.
But frankly, it doesn’t seem outside the possible that he could act aggressively if he’s startled or provoked.
Sweet Bonnie, who’s so friendly she’d take up with Adolph Hitler, would be no more than a Blenheim-and-white hors d’oeuvres if the unsupervised critter decided she was no ally.
Really, I don’t want to have to call Animal Control.
If this lovely, huge dog should be taken away to the pound, he might come to a tragic end if his owner didn’t claim him.
I’d hate to see that happen.
But right now, I’m concerned about our on-the-leash dogs and their owners, who come into contact with Big Blackie.
And I also am concerned about the vulnerable – children and older folks – in my neighborhood who might meet this large dog and come up short in the experience.
I like to walk to downtown and home early in the mornings, and I really don’t want to face this Hound of the Baskervilles on a dark side street.
Perhaps he is harmless and peace-loving, but as I’ve said, he could be startled or provoked into a bad situation for himself and others.
If this is your dog, please do something about it. If he’s not yours, but you’ve got a dog on the loose, please do something.
Put up a good fence, if you don’t have one. Hire somebody to walk him three times a day, if you don’t have time.
But pet ownership is like parenthood in many ways, sans the need for a college education.
Dogs require care, training and human company.
If you can’t provide any one of these three, get a Chia Pet. You’ll just have to water it every now and then.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.