Man’s best friend?


A FEW weeks ago the uncle of a good friend of mine was savagely killed by what was thought at the time to be a pack of wild boars.

However, it soon emerged that it was not wild boars who attacked him but a pack of wild dogs. Although the man died from a heart attack, when they found his body it was covered in dog bites and deep scratch wounds. The owner of the dogs was arrested and now faces a charge of manslaughter.

If there is one issue that so often divides a community it is whether you love or hate dogs. I have two dogs of my own so I guess I am biased, but I can’t tell you how many times I have taken my dogs for a walk only to become embroiled in angry exchanges with well-meaning but ignorant passers-by who have falsely accused me of not picking up my dog’s droppings.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, some of them muzzled because they are bad tempered, some of them pampered with their hair tied in coloured ribbons (ugh!}, but most of them interested only in one thing – the next smell. There is, however, a serious debate when discussing dogs as pets. How responsible are we to prevent what happened to that poor man who was taken from us so tragically? Should we allow our dogs to be free from their leashes, when they could dash across a road, or attack a baby in a pram, something that has happened too many times. After all a dog is an animal, and no matter how cute and lovable they are, all animals are unpredictable. I always tell anyone, especially children, to stroke my dogs as much as they like but never to put their faces too close.
I have to say though that a lot of dogs get a raw deals themselves. Many a time whilst driving my car I have turned a corner in a town or in the mountains and found some poor creature who has been thrown out of a car and left to fend for itself. It is to those so-called dog owners that I would direct my fury and bring the full weight of the law down upon them. Yes, a dog can be aggressive, but it is also vulnerable. Irresponsible dog owners are the real culprits and they should follow the same rules as the rest of us. But what about cats! I love them too, but there they are sitting on the wall or up a tree, totally aloof from all of us, getting their free meals each day and dumping as much waste as they wish and wherever they wish. Of course there’s a lot to be said for cats. At least they don’t need bathing, and you can just open the door and let them out for an adventurous night out on the tiles. But remember, even cats have claws and they could give you a nasty scratch if you draw too close.
So let’s stick to the rules everyone. Let’s enjoy our pets, pick up their waste to stop us being accused by the over zealous of allowing our dogs to foul the pavements, keep them on the leash in busy areas, but above all remember that no matter how much we love our pets, they are animals and we are responsible for everything they do. Let’s make sure that we never forget what happened to that poor man and enjoy our dogs in a disciplined and controlled environment and keep clear of them when they are in a pack. They may be man’s best friend (and a woman’s too!) but more than a few of them could turn them into potential killers.
As for you cats. ‘Mee-ow’ to you too!

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