The dogs’ owners are living with guilt and grief and “what ifs” and the worst of it is, neither of these accidents had to happen.
If you take your dog visiting to a home with a pool that has little or no fence, you cannot assume that someone else will be watching your dog. Put a life vest on him. Put an alarm on the edge of the pool, in the water, or on your dog’s collar.
One of our foster families offered photos of her pool and the ways she has secured it. Some of the methods aren’t pretty, but they work.
Here you see the pool is enclosed by a netted structure. The dogs were tearing through the netting, so she put up some hogfencing. Effective.
Here are some photos of Frenchies in life vests. If you don’t want to or cannot spring for the 200 dollars or so for the alarm, a life vest is an inexpensive alternative. FBRN has life vests for sale on our shopping mall. If we run out, they are available lots of places online. Just search “pet lifejackets” or “dog life vests.”
Frenchies do not float. They are heavy bodied and their heads are heavy. Their legs are generally short and ineffective at doggy-paddling. They drown quickly. You can see your dog fall in the pool from 20 yards away, run as fast as you can, jump in with all your clothes on, swim to the bottom of the pool and bring him up to the surface in less than a minute, and still lose him. Why would you risk it?
Leave your dog at home with a peanut butter filled Kong and Animal Planet on the tv, is our first recommendation. If you MUST take your dog to a home with an unfenced or unsecured pool, be sure your dog at least has a vest on–the whole time. If it is too hot for a vest, it’s probably too hot for your Frenchie to be outside.
If you have a pool yourself, do whatever you have to, unsightly or not, to secure the pool area. Buy a gate alarm, so if the neighbors’ kids come over and leave the gate open, you will know.
No one is suggesting that you have to be a party pooper. Just be careful and be responsible and don’t assume your Frenchie won’t fall in the water, just because he never has before. Above all, don’t fool yourself. Everyone it has ever happened to thought it could never happen to them. And yet it did.
It could happen to you! It could.