As always I have a personal experience related to the subject matter and, it was shortly after this experience that we registered in obedience and training in order to sharpen both of our skills up.
On my daily walk with my girl Lacie, the weather fair and warm, we seemed to be gliding along nicely, until. I glance back at her as she trotted along at my right side and saw that she had at least half a bird in her mouth, tail feathers sprawling outward in a blue black fan. Gross!!
I'm a pretty attentive Mama so how this happened is beyond me. (Dog. In. Stealth. Mode.)
Because I was deeply mortified and, was concerned that somehow the bird had died an unseemly death by poison, I immediately made an effort to dislodge it from my dog’s mouth. A six legged scuffle ensued in broad daylight in the neighborhood where I live.
My fingers were inside Lacie's mouth trying to pull out the dead half bird while we continued to boot scoot boogie up and down the sidewalk. Add an extreme gag flex reaction (mine) to the dance and there you have a pretty good visual of the situation.
There came a point where I could no longer bear the feel of hot dog saliva, juicy bird corpse and feathers, against my skin. There was also the impending possibility of my "bringing up" on Lacie’s head so I decided to just carry on walking. The crunching resumed and I did not look down for a few moments until I heard a mighty gulp. YUK.
It's important to be aware that not everyone in our communities are animal lovers. There have been reports of poisoned or tampered with food items planted intentionally by humans at dog parks and on pathways with the intention of causing harm and/or death to the animal unlucky enough to consume the items.
While these cases are rare, having a proactive approach to dog safe play dates and pack walks is a must. Having a visual sweep of the grounds and paths is always a good idea. Combine that with the "leave it" cue and the follow up command of "drop it" are some simple ways to keep your pooch protected while you are in uncontrolled environments.