Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Meaning of Oreo

Nathan Winograd wrote an article perfectly illustrating what all my beef is with Oreo's death. My main points being, why was she killed when she was offered a lifetime home by a qualified rescue group and was there anyone actually qualified to assess her temperament that said she was beyond rehabilitation? Another important issue that hadn't occurred to me until reading this was that the ASPCA is publicly funded and as such has a responsibility to listen when its financial providers are in outrage at its decisions. Ed Sayres was quoted as saying to USA Today "There is no room for No Kill as morally superior." Really, laziness at the cost of animal's lives is on the same level as being completely dedicated to doing all that you can to save an animal's life? Non profit doesn't mean non corrupt. Few things are ever as simple as they appear to be. Stories like this make me ever the more thankful and in awe of Austin Pets Alive's tireless and pure dedication to their mission, not a single thing they do is counter to their aims. Ellen Jefferson and Palmer Neuhaus are deities in my book. Anyhow, you can read Winograd's article at the link below.

Monday, December 14, 2009

High Drive Could Save Your Life

The American Pit Bull Terrier is often criticized for its high drive. They quote how an ill cared for animal attacked another dog or occasionally a human and that it was incredibly difficult to remove the dog and/or it was hard to redirect their attention. NOT to be misconstrued as glamorizing dog fighting (I nearly passed out trying to sit through "Off The Chain") but it is the same dedication that keeps a fighting dog latched onto its opponent, that keeps the search and rescue dog on the track of a missing person despite bleeding paw pads and many miles already logged. Do you want the search and rescue dog looking for your children when they are lost or injured to be one that gives up halfway through because they're getting tired? Or would you prefer one that will go for the goal until they are physically incapable, for no reason other than that it is important to their handler? I can't reiterate enough how unfair it is to blame an owner's neglect to properly train a dog, when often those same qualities that make a dog dangerous can make a dog an incredible asset to the community when trained for search and rescue or police work. One of the Lassie dogs was turned over to Bill Koehler because she was "uncontrollable" and the Great Dane in Swiss Family Robinson was fond of biting people when he came to Koehler. In cases where a dog has not been outright abused or neglected, misbehavior is often due to assets that are channeled into undesirable actions because they aren't being utilized. A lot of high energy breeds are found in shelters because their owners didn't understand that a dog bred to be herding sheep all day can't be left in apartment for 8 hours without a good, exhausting workout in the morning and evening if their owners plan on keeping their worldly possessions intact. That's just one of the many behavioral problems that can arise in dogs who aren't able to expend their energy or use their mental faculties.

Now I'm rambling and I should be packing to leave for Florida tomorrow anyhow. The point I was trying to make is: there is a good and a bad side to everything. The greater the potential for a quality to cause great harm, the greater potential good it can create so let's not forget it. Happy Holidays!