company, if you talk about it in your crowd much, it won’t be long before you
hear someone say, “Well, you just love dogs more than people.”
wrong with being decent to both people and animals?
with six people and ... five dogs? You really don’t have to choose one over the
other. Why do we feel threatened? Life’s richer with both.
dogs. Okay, here’s a test for you. Drop in on
You don’t know their customs. You don’t speak their language. How long before
you make a major faux pas? And maybe get beaten silly for doing something
the movies. They’re a different species. They’ve got their own culture and
customs. Sure, those customs sometimes include urinating on your carpet if you
don’t let them outside. Or scarfing down the walking shoes you were just about
to slip on to take them on that walk they so desperately wanted.
74 million dogs in the
There’s room for a lot of misunderstandings.
Dogs will keep on being dogs in all their wooly splendor. But they’ve got an
eye cocked our way waiting for us to explain our rules. Dogs are hardwired that
way. It’s what’s made us successful partners for at least 10,000 years. In the
animal world, it’s the dog that gets along best with humans.
to detect drugs, to rescue people, to assist the handicapped. Some dogs can
sniff out cancer cells, termites or land mines. So, why isn’t your dog
like Lassie? Why doesn’t it run and fetch Pa when you step in a hole and can’t
get up? Probably because you’ve trained him to sit, but not fully explored his
potential. Many don’t take or have the time.
dogs, and animals in general, are scary smart.
Dogs, as it turns out, have brain structures similar to ours. Brain scans show
the same areas lighting up as ours do when they’re sad, elated or fearful. Many
dog owners already know their dogs smile, get melancholy when left alone,
tremble with fear when threatened or worry when you’re late getting home.
same with people.
sees a mischievious scamp, another sees a furball waiting to shed on the
carpet, another sees a predator itching for an excuse to bite something. We see
what we expect to see.
to see, they’re pretty amazing.
interested in one. Why should you have to put up with dog poop in your yard, or
your neighbor’s poodle digging up your begonias, or be afraid that big black
dog down the street’s going to eat your kids?
virtues of their prize Borzoi. They continually train their furry pal to fit
into the human world and its ways. We need more responsible owners.
Don’t blame the dog because the owner’s a slackard.
the vote next? Probably not. There’s a reasonable balance. All but four
states now have animal cruelty laws because when it comes to dogs, too many
people are simply unreasonable.
state inspector to check for fleas, instead shot his 70 dogs. Most people find
that extreme. If there’s nothing wrong with it, why do we look over our
shoulders when we do these things to animals?
nature. I think of this a lot:
edge of the hill of Tara near
last year uncovered an odd, 4,000-year-old grave.
was of special significance to the Bronze Age Irish. The high kings of
specially set apart. It wasn’t tossed in, it was laid out as if it were running
into the afterlife.
huge chest and build. I live with one of its descendants today, an Irish
wolfhound. When I watch him run, when we share time together, I understand why
the ancient Irish loved their horses and their hounds.
Herald-Citizen newspaper and lives on a mountain with several giant hounds and wary cats.
Please visit http://www.herald-citizen.com/ for more information on the
newspaper. We thank the Herald-Citizen staff for allowing FFBF
to re-print this piece.