Meet my new friend, Chewy–a gorgeous, gregarious Golden Retriever.
I admire his tenacity, holding on to that stick with a singular focus! I’m teaching myself how to photograph animals/birds in motion–not so easy, but he’s a most accommodating subject.
Chewy’s a well-loved, well-trained rescue who carries himself with a confidence that comes of knowing that he’s safe.
But other dogs aren’t as lucky. Sea creatures, either. I re-learned that painful lesson, when I stumbled upon this:
A spiked dog collar at the water’s edge, lodged between wet sand and rock. It had washed out to sea–heavy chain and stabby metal, weaponized further by strong waves and currents. Who knows what damage it could’ve inflicted on our precious marine life and habitats, had the ocean not spit it out again?
The sand is hard-packed, in and around those nasty spikes. With the calm blue ocean as backdrop, maybe it doesn’t look as dangerous as it really is. But take a look at this most recent research, via the Ocean Conservancy. Or scan this partial list:
I simply can’t imagine any circumstances where a dog owner would use a pronged collar, much less be so absent-minded as to leave it behind. Try as I might, there’s no sugar coating something so reckless, so potentially cruel and harmful. And although my friends whispered other, even uglier possibilities, I can’t bear to think about them, much less repeat them here.
It’s hard to confront things like this, but we must. Each one, teaching one, and encouraging others to do the same. For Chewy and his four-legged friends, for marine wildlife and their ocean habitats, and for our own future on this beautiful planet we call home.