Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lovable Canines

I am not a fan of dogs. I don't really have anything against them, I am allergic to them. So, I don't like being around them. And they can be loud, and that is especially irritating late at night. And dogs shit outside, and even though their owners are supposed to clean-up after the dogs, it is not uncommon to encounter a load of dog shit here and there.

I have many friends who adore dogs. But, dogs can be tedious, the way moss is tedious. Just plain dull, when not being excruciatingly unpleasant.

I know that some of my friends and acquaintances own dogs for companionship. They find it easier to build relationships with dogs than human beings. Understandable. Humans (myself included) can be difficult.

I know some people whose ownership of dogs is a control thing: they have enslaved the dog to perform in a certain manner, sort of as an extension of themselves. Either they had no children, or their children have abandoned them, or their children pay them no mind and the dog will always adore (and obey) them.

There are bad dogs. Some of my friends and relatives have bad dogs. There are good dogs, but you never hear about them, because good dogs are neither seen nor heard.

Bad dogs are everywhere. They are usually the product of being owned by bad humans. They are left to live outside (neglected), or are yelled at all the time (abused), or in dire need of affection (ignored), and they all do the same thing over and over again: they bark.

Dogs that are products of abuse, neglect or ignorance can be forgiven their derelictions. Their owners, however, should find a nice place out in the country where the dogs can bark without disturbing me.

I promise to stay away from the country if all the bad dogs go there, and if I visit the country, I promise not to complain about the dogs!

There are "experts" who have all kinds of theories about why dogs bark, and some go so far as to pretend they know what the dog is saying. There are all kinds of excuses, but I think that bad dogs bark too much and good dogs bark when they are supposed to bark.

I live in a very urban setting. It's quite probable that over a thousand people live on my square block. It's a nice neighborhood. There are plenty of trees and grassy areas. There are parks and playgrounds, schools and churches, grocery stores and restaurants, all in walking distance. And then there are the dogs. Dogs who shit and piss on the sidewalk, and worse, dogs who are left outside late at night to do what abandoned, neglected dogs do: bark. Bark incessantly. All night long. Then the barking turns to whining. Then the whining turns to whimpering. And by that point I am wishing the dog would expire. Not because I wish it ill, but because it would probably be better off dead than living in those conditions. I know I would be better off if dogs like this were dead.

I know, I know, you say I should called the ASPCA so abused/neglected/ignored sweet little harmless puppies can be removed and sent to better homes. I have no interest in getting involved with the puppy police -- it's hard enough dealing with the people police who are supposed to keep the criminals in check. These dogs are fucked! Permanently. No amount of love and care are going to make these now-maladjusted canines anything but loud, barking, confused, dogs.

It's sad.

But it's true.

Cesar Millan, star of the Dog Whisperer television show, is one of the experts who talks to dogs, listens to dogs, and interprets what they are trying to say.

I think the guy's insane, but maybe he is onto something:

Curb Out-of-Control Barking
Sunday, December 02, 2007

A common problem canine caretakers face is uncontrollable or obsessive barking. Here are a few suggestions for handling it.

Follow through. If you give your dog a look, a sound, or a physical correction to tell him to stop his barking, he might stop for an instant, wait until you relax ... then go right back to barking. The dog's body relaxes, but his brain stays on alert! So be patient. Wait until your dog gives you complete and total submission before you go back to what you were doing. More.

He goes on to offer more ideas and suggestions. He might be correct. So, I think he should take all the dogs out to the country and work on his theories.

The mere notion of having a dog in the city is a form of abuse. No dog should be cooped-up in a 400 sq ft apartment all day, and walked for fifteen minutes each morning and evening. Homicidal maniacs and serial rapists on death row are treated better than that!

I have a good suggestion: ban all non-assistance dogs from the city. Dogs for the blind and deaf and others living with physical limitations can stay in the city. Everyone else: out! Bring your dog out to the country where it can run around and breathe. It's bad enough we keep humans in the city, there is no good reason to keep dogs.

I know my position is unpopular, but I think we would all be better off if dogs lived in the country.

And as for the wacko "experts" who want us to understand what the dogs are telling us: if you really cared about dogs, you would work to move them out of cities and into the country. Any "expert" who thinks dogs should remain in an urban setting is expert only in absurdity.

Someday remind me to tell you the story about the American lawyer working late at a law firm in London who sent a global message to an entire firm suggesting that unwanted dogs should not be allowed too close to Chinese restaurants. If you think my remarks are unpopular, you can imagine how this guy's remarks were greeted!

There's gonna be sorrow, try and wake-up tomorrow.

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