“The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.”

—Robert Falcon Scott

Summer has finally arrived, and Mother Nature has provided a few days of glorious sunshine to punctuate the days of June gloom. The summer residents and tourists are back and, with them, many more pet dogs, many of them unfamiliar with our town and locales—so now is a good time to talk about dog safety.

Tourists are often unaware of town bylaws and state leash requirements for state-run areas like Francis A. Crane Wildlife Management Area. Dogs on-leash often don’t like being rushed by other dogs who are off-leash, so be mindful of your dog’s comfort level and advocate for your pet. Don’t be afraid to ask other dog owners to put their dogs back on-leash and definitely tell others if your dog doesn’t like unwanted attention. Take care also when walking your dog on the bike path, as cyclists travel very quickly and can come up behind you before you can prepare. Be mindful that spooked dogs can dart in any direction. To help avoid doggie-bike interactions, please walk with your dog in a heel on the right if it looks like the Tour de France during your daily exercise time with Fido.

Which reminds us—the Tour de France always starts near our own Independence Day—and this year is no different. July 4 is a special time on the Cape because celebrations go on for days, and they aren’t just a town affair—many neighborhoods conduct their own fireworks exhibits. However, fireworks can often give dogs the terrors. If your dog cannot handle the bangs and pops of ever-present firecrackers, please make a plan to keep him/her inside in a safe place where their anxiety won’t lead to destructive choices. If your dog bolts due to firecracker fright, please use online resources, such as Cape Cod Missing Pets, and call the Animal Control Office (508-457-2550, extension 3) immediately for assistance. It can also be helpful to put flyers around town with a photo of your pet, its last known location, and your contact information.

Ringo, our 14-year-old Westie mix, has spent the last couple of weeks having the shelter and all the volunteers to himself. This little guy is the perfect size for apartments, condos, or even senior housing on Cape Cod. He’s 17 pounds, likes short walks with a bit of sniffing and exploring for fun, and is incredibly keen on snuggling up with his human companions. His eyes don’t see as well as they used to, and he needs a special diet to help his kidneys, but his nose and ears and his heart work just fine. He’s sweet, eager to please, and is used to doggie companions. He hasn’t been cat-tested, but a feline friend would probably be fine, as Ringo doesn’t seem to have much of a prey drive. Ringo can be visited during open hours at the shelter.

Our quote for this column comes from Robert Falcon Scott, a British explorer who is famous for leading two expeditions to the Antarctic. No doubt, Baeo, our beautiful Alaskan Malamute mix, would have enjoyed those adventures. Baeo is an explorer in his own right, braving the wilds of the local marshes and sand dunes, seeking out the wonders to be found around the next tree. Despite his love of the rugged outdoors, he has a civilized nature. He is house-trained and crate-trained, loves to snuggle at the end of a long day, adores people, and gets along well with other dogs. Our idea of the perfect family for Baeo is one that understands working breeds and leads an active life. Baeo is in foster care and can be seen by appointment.

Notice: Friends of Falmouth Dogs will be closed to the public on Thursday, July 4, so our volunteers can enjoy the holiday with their families. We will resume our open hours on Friday, July 5.

FFD is at 150 Blacksmith Shop Road in Falmouth. We are open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to noon, Monday and Thursday, 4 to 6 PM, and Sundays 3 to 5 PM. We can be reached at 508-548-7742, or visit friendsoffalmouthdogs.org.

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