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Danger Up High
The wind blows a NYC dog off his own balcony

Back in March, Karen B. London wrote about her surprise finding a dog on a nearby roof. While I’ve never seen a dog on a house roof, I’ve seen plenty of dogs atop apartment roof decks and terraces. Given the size of New York buildings, it makes me a little nervous.

Anytime I’ve had my pups on a roof deck, I clutch their leashes with a tight grip, just in case. I’m always worried about dogs accidentally jumping over the wall or slipping through the fence bars. But it never occurred to me that Mother Nature could be a factor.

Earlier this month, Sarann Lindenauer discovered just how dangerous her terrace could be, no matter how high the barrier. On a blustery day, her terrier, Alfie, was blown off their 11th floor terrace. Luckily, the wind also blew Alfie towards the roof of a townhouse, five stories below and 30 feet east of their terrace.

The wind might be a freak accident, and you can’t quite plan for every possible danger, but there are some steps you can take to be sure your deck is as safe as possible.  Check out The Partnership for Animal Welfare’s Deck and Balcony Tips. And perhaps check the weather before letting your pup outside.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Infrogmation, Flickr.

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