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Old 12-31-2007, 09:05 AM
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Default What would a dog say

Yvette Van Veen
PET BEHAVIOUR

What would a dog say about maulings?

What makes a dog attack? A good dog sudden turns, without warning and without provocation. These types of tragedies incite a war of words. Dog attacks touch us because they are close to home.

We picture dogs as being man’s best friend. Our minds and hearts are forever tied to Lassie images where the dog saves the day. In a world of terrorism, drug deals and gun violence, we put our emotional trust in those childhood memories.

People place dogs on a pedestal. We see them as being better than humans, because we know humans are imperfect. We do not see them as animals, because they share our hearts and homes. As each dog lies somewhere between demi-god and man, the expectations of perfection rise to impossible levels.

There is not one human on this planet who can reach that expectation. But we think that dogs can and should. We ask more from a dog than we ask from friends and neighbours. Imperfect people who create gun violence and wars cast the first stone when a dog does the unthinkable. What would dogs say if they were placed on a jury stand?

Perhaps they would point out humans breed litters of puppies and sell them like toasters off store shelves. They would point to the lack of care that mills and factory operations give.

The headline on a dog’s version of a mauling might read, Careless Breeding by Humans Results in Tragic Mauling. Maybe the story would go into detail saying that perhaps humans do not value their children enough to write responsible dog breeding laws.

Some dogs might sound like the abused spouse or child. “Every day I had to be perfect. There was no room to be myself. I had to submit or pay the consequences. I tried to conform and be what they wanted, but I could never be good enough. Every day another piece of me died until I could stand it no longer. When I saw hands reaching for me I had flashbacks of being hit and I snapped.”

Or maybe, just maybe, the dog would sit there in complete stunned silence. “Human? Am I supposed to know what that is? Is that the thing that brings me a bowl of Kibble while I sit here chained?”

It could be the dog would tell a story of a child who repeatedly pulled his ears and tail. “I tried to be patient. With no adult taking charge I corrected the kid the only way I knew how. If causing pain is so wrong, why didn’t anyone stop the kid from hurting me?”

Finally, it could be that no one took the time to teach the dog to behave in the human world. “I had no idea that snapping over bones was no longer desired. No one ever took the time to teach me.”

Dog attacks shake us to the core because they slap us in the face. Either the dog is evil, or somewhere humans have failed. It is far easier to blame a breed than to blame bad breeding. It is far easier to blame a dog that to blame a human system.




Yvette Van Veen is an associate member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a member of
the CAPPDT, award winning pet writer and co-founder of Meeting Milo. Questions and comments can be submitted to [email protected] or by phone at 519-936-8515. Free resources are available at www.awesomedogs.ca.

http://www.thelondoner.ca/city/petcol.htm
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:07 PM
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When I see how people treat dogs and how children are allowed to tease and indulge in all sorts of cruel behavior toward dogs, cats and other animals, I am amazed that there aren't far more maulings.

Compared to the number of human-to-human assaults, maulings are laughably few and far between.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:51 PM
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wow! that was well written and so true!

Humans are allowed a snapping point but Dogs are not. To each person and Dog there is a story. there just isnt always someone there to listen.
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