Our companion animals enrich our lives daily, as they have for thousands of years. Who knows where humanity would have ended up if not for our companionship with animals?
I have a great relationship with my dog, Walter. He makes it easy, since he's probably one of the most chill dogs in the universe! I'll never forget the day he became a member of our family: we went to an adoption event in the parking lot of the Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine, and I was walking around while the rest of the Riddell crew was looking at cats. Walter was in an enclosure and had been all morning, according to the staffers there, just lying back and watching people walk by, but as soon as he saw me, he stood up and cried to be let out. It's like he'd seen an old friend. I went over and met him, and he was the friendliest guy, laid back but excited to meet me. They put him on a leash and I took him over to meet my wife and kids; he snuggled up against them immediately. All of us just knew right away that we belonged together - Walter included. The rest of the family is convinced he's a Tibetan Terrier, but I think he's an adorable mutt. Whatever the breed, he's terrific.
I'm not sure who gets more out of the relationship, Walter or us. But we as a family understand that the relationship isn't all fun - there are responsibilities as well. We know that Walter considers us his pack, and since dogs are unhappy outside their pack, we make an effort to make sure he isn't without one of his pack being around him for too long. When all four of us are home, his joy is obvious
Animals have no voice of their own, and can't speak for themselves. When we enter into a relationship with them, it's our responsibility to treat them humanely.
Last session, State Rep. Sarah Davis (R) of West University introduced HB1156, a bill intended to "prohibit a person from tethering a dog outside with a chain or with a restraint that has weights or is shorter than five times the length of the dog. In addition, a dog could be restrained to a stationary object only if the dog has access to a clean and sturdy shelter, shade and water and if the area is dry." The existing laws had no real penalties. Davis' bill, if enacted, would have made tethering for extended periods a Class C misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $500. It enjoyed bipartisan support and support from law enforcement. But the bill was killed via parliamentary measures as part of the "Mother's Day Massacre" of non-controversial bills by the Freedom Caucus - the full story is here:
It's an issue that needs to be addressed, and I'd like to reintroduce the bill in the next session with Rep. Davis's support and cooperation.