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Re: [RC] Tribute to the Dog - Diane Trefethen

It's not that I can't appreciate the bond between people and their dogs. What I don't get is why the extrapolation from YOUR dog to ALL dogs. They are not all faithful, loving, unselfish. As for sleeping "on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely", I know a dog that won't even get off her terrace to go pee and poop in the back yard - does it all on the terrace. Yuck! I had a dog that was so loyal it ran off every morning to go down the mountain to play with other dogs. Came home or not... as it felt like it. Growing up, same thing. My mom had to drive all over the county because the dang dog would go 5 miles to the shopping center, hop in the first car with an open door and then refuse to come out. My then 8 year old son was attacked playing in the street with some other little kids. Dog was let out the front door and just ran straight into the street and jumped him. Have you ever tried locking your dog outside without feeding him? From what I've seen vis-a-vis dogs and their stomachs, he'd stick around just long enough to figure out you weren't going to pony up a meal. Forget that standing by his owner "in prosperity and in poverty". Give him dinner or it's bye bye.

Cats, on the other hand, get a totally raw deal in the loyalty/reliability department. Most people don't bother to learn body language and treat cats like cardboard cutout animals. There's even an email joke that pokes fun of cats but what's sad is that the attributes being made fun of are cat ways of saying they care. When a cat rubs against their legs, most people assume the cat is trying to "mark" them, or trip them. But observe cats that get along well and you'll see that walking past each other and lightly touching the back half of their sides to each other is a greeting. When your cat greets you this way, it is saying, "Hi. I'm really glad to see you." I had a Sheltie that barked at everything. Squirrels, birds, leaves rolling along the ground. Fat lot of good that did! On the other hand, Spot, my alarm kitty, whenever he heard something that seemed threatening, like angry voices, or a bear, would go to the door or window closest to the intruder and growl. Now THAT was useful! If I go outside and call, my cat comes to me. If I go for a walk, my cat loves to come too.

Cats in packs are pretty benign. Ever read a headline, "CAT PACK KILLS CHICKENS"? Dogs get together and bring down calves, sheep, goats, ponies, you name it. If it's small, it's fair game. Have you ever been attacked on the trail by a vicious Siamese? Persian? Russian Blue? Pit bull? German Shepherd? Rottweiler? Yeah... go dogs.


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[RC] Tribute to the Dog, Tom Sites