Dog On a 10 Foot Chain

Donna Hughes

Meet Donna Hughes. Songwriter and animal lover, she has written a song about a poor doggy who is left out on a 10 foot chain, bored and lonely, for most of his life. Donna hopes to be able to change the laws, someday making it illegal to chain a dog.

Donna wrote to me on our Facebook page, and asked if I would share her song. I listened to it, and it really got to me. Most of the United States has been experiencing a very cold winter, even Florida and California, and you can’t help but think about the poor animals that are left out in it.

But Donna has more personal reasons for writing the song. I asked her if it would be ok for me to share her song on this blog, in addition to on the doggy Facebook page. She wrote:

Thank you Jill!

I have written over 300 songs.  A song I wrote was recorded by Alison Krauss, a Grammy-Winning Artist, and I have recorded over 133 songs that I wrote, as well.

I usually write songs that soothe my soul, by telling the world what is hurting me.  There are some folks that live near me who have like 10 big beautiful yellow labs on chains.  They look so cold and miserable when it rains.  The temperatures here have dropped to close to zero for about 30 nights, which is more than usual.  I have to force myself to look the other way when I drive by.

I also have another neighbor who has a gorgeous little Beagle on a chain, who also looks horribly miserable.  While I have reported these animals to the “Animal Cops” here in my area, and the Humane Society, unfortunately they can’t do anything, because they aren’t breaking any laws.

I literally have not slept a whole night through in weeks, during these cold temperatures, worrying about all the suffering going on.  My Mom and I have cried about it.  When I wrote the song, it was always in my heart and my head, those words…..and I was finally able to make them come out!

I wrote “Dog On a 10 Foot Chain” last Friday, and recorded it on Saturday evening, and uploaded it Monday.  It has been viewed almost 1,000 times in 4 days.  I am trying to change the world, and hope to see it someday be illegal to have a doggie on a chain.

I will be doing a new album in Nashville in April.  It will be my fifth album, and I plan to record this song on a very nice Steinway 9 foot Grand Piano with cello, bass violin and violin.

I have always loved animals. When people let you down, animals never do. I would be completely honored if you wanted to share my song anywhere, anytime.

When my Mom heard the song for the 1st time, she said “Maybe those dogs suffering down there have not lived in vain.”  Maybe your song can help change the world.   And I am a dreamer!

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

Donna Hughes

Doggy Love


Here’s Donna’s song, Dog On a 10 Foot Chain. The lyrics are directly below the video so you can follow along.

Nothing to look forward to
Watching cars go by all day
Nothing to play with, nothing to do
Shivering in the cold hard rain

They forget to bring me water
They forget that I am here
They don’t know how smart I am
They don’t even see my tears

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

Sometimes it’s hard to stay cool
On a blazing hot summer day
I dream of crossing the stream
And catching a fish as the sunlight fades

It’s hard to stay warm in the winter
Some nights it’s hard to be strong
I dream of chasing butterflies
And rabbits all day long

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

The world is big and beautiful
But I’ll never see it all
Maybe when I go to Heaven
Someone will love me and throw me a big red ball

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

 Tethering Laws

While there are laws concerning animal abuse and tethering, often times they are vague, full of loopholes, or just don’t carry much of a punishment. For example, Middletown, Pennsylvania Police rescued this poor, sad, emaciated German Shepherd, who had been chained to a tree for four years.

He was left out in the elements, eaten up by fleas, abused and unloved; but the owner, Jeremy Shane Temple, was fined just $25 and charged with animal abuse. Hardly even a slap on the wrist. He defended himself by saying “the dog is not a human.”

Dog chained to tree for 4 years

The Humane Society has this to say about chaining a dog:

Dogs (like people) are social animals, yet more than 200,000 dogs live empty lives chained or tethered outdoors. Tied-up outside, dogs become lonely, bored, and anxious, and they can develop aggressive behaviors. Bring a dog inside (or help a chained dog in your neighborhood) and you’ll keep everyone safer.

Visit the Humane Society website for more info on tethering (chaining) and some advice on what you can do about it in your area.
Life in the backyard

My Heroic Neighbor

I remember a long time ago, we lived in an apartment complex that was just one of many run by the same management company. My next-door neighbor was one of their maintenance men. He had a call at an apartment one winter, and when he got there, he found their little dog chained up outside in the icy, snowy, bitter cold. He told them in no uncertain terms to bring the little guy inside, which they did.

A couple of hours later, he drove by that set of apartments again, on his way home. He saw the little dog, back outside on the chain, huddled up against the door shivering, with icicles forming around his mouth and nose. I won’t go as far as to say that he had anger control issues, but let’s just say that Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde, and he nearly kicked their door in. He told them he was taking their dog. Period. And he did. I was really proud of him!

I know that this isn’t possible in most cases, but you gotta love a guy who will put his job – not to mention his freedom from jail – on the line to save a little doggy like that!

For the rest of us, let’s share Donna’s song (give her a Youtube view here – with your local Humane Society, animal control, shelters, legislators – anyone who can help Donna with her dream to make chaining a dog illegal. Hopefully, it will touch the hearts of others, the way it has touched ours.

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    • Bo's Mom
    • January 31, 2014

    Donna has just started a community page on Facebook called “Dogs Without Chains”. You’ll find it here: Drop by and give her a like, a share, or a comment.

    • Amy
    • February 3, 2014

    Amen. Tears.

    This sums it up. This is why I do what I do.

    • Autumn Signer
    • February 5, 2014

    I feel your song everyday and try everything to help dogs on a chain. Thank you for your song. I pray this will help those in power to listen witj compassion and change the laws. Maybe we can get state rep to listen through music.

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