Let me begin by saying that I have far more confidence in our canine population than I have for any politician whom I have ever met whether in person or via the media. Dogs are honest.
My Grandmother shared a bit of her old wives’ wisdom with me at an early and impressionable age. Perhaps because I viewed her as a guiding light of both principle and common sense, I took her message to heart.
“Never trust people who don’t like dogs; and never trust people whom dogs don’t like.”
By and large, I put the most faith in the second part of that statement. I realize there are some people who might have had a bad experience with a dog as a child and who have developed canine phobia as a result. I can understand the reason for their fear.
But I have never seen my companion dogs’ instincts about people be wrong – and I’ve lived with some of the most docile breeds of dogs throughout my entire life.
Because it is the nature of our best friends to be gentle and loving, my dogs, if they didn’t care for someone, didn’t exhibit their dislike by snarling or attempting to attack the person. They simply wandered off to avoid his or her company. That was a clear sign that they sensed something that I couldn’t see about that individual. Inevitably, they were correct in their assessment.
Now you might consider this all the mistaken ramblings of a dog lover – I admit to being that. But consider how science has shown that the mere act of petting a dog helps with human health, lowering blood pressure and restoring a sense of well-being and an increase in endorphin levels.
And then there is the issue of how dogs provide us with greater personal security.
Over the years I have known many active and retired policemen and policewomen. Everyone of them says, “Forget your burglar alarms. Nobody listens to them and by the time we get the report, it’s too late because the crime has already been committed and the intruder has long before gotten out. Get a dog. Whether it is big or small, the mere sound of a dog barking inside your house will deter 95% of the burglars from breaking in.”
If my police acquaintances are correct, that’s a pretty impressive record of deterrence that our canine friends have compiled.
There are a lot of us who think that in our excuse-based America, where everyone is a potential victim and the plaintiff in yet another frivolous law suit, the eyes of justice are not only blind but stupid. I put myself firmly in that camp.
It is not hard for me to imagine a scenario in which a burglar enters a home and the family dog attacks this intruder. Of course, the intruder, suffering a few superficial bites, becomes the victim and the dog and his owner become the assailants. Naturally, there is a waiting band of trial lawyers who are drooling to take the “victim’s” case.
If you think that this is hypothetical nonsense, please click on the link below to read a recent example of one woman’s plight in Toledo, Ohio after her dog bit an “alleged” intruder. (N. B. The dog has already been “convicted” of biting while the intruder enjoys his status as an “alleged” intruder).
If you read the story, perhaps you will agree with my sentiment, “Good for Duke”! He did his job and he did it well and I hope that blind justice will prevail in his favor and in his owner’s.
As we embark on our emotion-laden discussion over guns and the rights of people to protect themselves from those in our society who are violent, I wonder if the next item on the agenda, as we attempt to disarm ourselves and make the world a safer place for the criminal element, will be a conversation about whether we have the right to share our lives with dogs.
Congress and the President better watch out. If you think you’ve seen an emotional response over the tragedy at Newtown, CT, I’m here to advise you – don’t even think about tampering with our rights to have companion dogs in our lives. We might be disarmed – but we’re 120,000,000 strong – and we could be dangerous to your health – and political futures.