Were You There

Continuing with the music from my church's Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.  They've been hitting on all cylinders.

I'm sad today.  My neighbors put their dog down, because she had been aggressive to passing pedestrians and they couldn't figure out how to correct her behavior and save her.  I understand why they felt they had to do it, but I'm horrified.  Nothing speaks to me about our fallen state more deeply than our deranged relations with animals.  This dog thought she was doing the right thing protecting her home.  She trusted her people and couldn't understand what they wanted from her.

Sometimes it causes me to tremble.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that these people didn't have better sense, but there are worse things to do to a dog.

There was always some heartless fool who would decide he couldn't handle a dog, and the solution was to drive 'way out in the country and dump it. An animal might arrive at my grandmother's farm in any kind of condition, including near-starvation. A few of them would cower like they had been beaten. Sometimes, it was just a matter of finding some bits of fur and scattered bones.

Starvation or getting pulled down by coyotes is an ugly way for a pet to die.

I will give your neighbors a limited amount of credit for being quick about it.


E Hines said...

There's the other side of your neighbors' conundrum, too: litigious a**s who would sue your neighbors because the dog barked funny, or charged, or even nipped them.

When we were in Las Cruces and our daughter was third grade aged, our aging neighbors had an aging dog that was losing its eyesight and getting increasingly irritable. One fine morning, the dog wandered into our yard, and our daughter bent down, suddenly, to pet it. The dog was startled and rose and snapped her in the face. Even then, our neighbors were very worried that we'd insist on having the dog tested for rabies (a fatal to the dog test in those days), and we even had to sign a form from the city's animal control inspector who'd come to our door (I have no idea how the city learned of the bite) to see if we wanted to file a complaint.

Of course we did not, and we declined to have the dog tested; that a dog is aging and nervously irritable is no reason to kill it. But that's the world we had then, and we still have it.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

One of my neighbors, whom I've never met in person, had a husky dog he let run loose. He left it outside year round, so in the winter it would come sleep on my floor by my fire. That dog and I were good friends. I named him "Huck," for "Huckleberry Finn," since I didn't know his real name.

One day he stopped coming around. I heard the neighbor shot him because the dog growled at him. We've still never met, and that's just as well.

Texan99 said...

This dog was a rescue, so she came to my neighbors a bit troubled and confused. Clearly they needed to deal with the issue before the dog bit someone instead of just scaring them, but I wish they could have figured out a way to train her better.

I'm with you, Grim, about your neighbor.

RonF said...

We always close our Good Friday service with this hymn out of the 1982 Hymnal (Episcopal). We always sing the last verse a capella, and then simply leave as quietly as possible.

Ymar Sakar said...

Animals have much to teach humans.

Humans living in cities where they are never responsible for animals, is perhaps why people are going crazy like rats that have too high a population in a warren.

aO would be a fool to trust humans to control themselves or take care of a job, when people can't even care for animals that are beneath them and under the power of humanity.

Sudden movements make feral animals react in a certain way. Even domesticated ones will show a reaction.

They were quite beneficial for martial artists as well. Even thinking of straining a major muscle group for the lower half, will cause a semi feral cat to go from neutral observation to full running away. Humans call this telegraphing. Yet, how did it telegraph when no movement was made? Because animals can see intent, body language, and other signs humans generally don't teach. At least the wolves who can see so, will last longer against a bear.

As for domesticated animals, they usually attack due to fear of the size of humans. Humans are to cats and dogs, as giants are to us. We don't like giants leaning over us, because one move can crush us. Domesticated animals are trained from birth to trust certain humans, so they often act like they have no problems being around humans. Yet their instincts still drive them. They feel fear, which humans recognize as aggression, but often don't show it in a way humans are smart enough to pick up on.

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, had some good principles to teach about animal behavior. Dogs still act as a member of a pack. If nobody takes the mantle of leadership and protector from them, they feel they have to both warn and chase off intruders. Normally a pack divides such responsibilities, so when a single dog, by itself, tries to do everything, the stress and fear often gets to a point where they have to amp up fear and aggression to the point where they go into a frenzy. Yet they do so because they are afraid of attacking of humans, because they are afraid of humans. Even bears will often times avoid humans, especially the ones who can fight back in the mountains.