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December 17, 2017 -5.7°C

Let’s remember, pets are not human

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Maple Creek

Wayne Litke

Man, I am a little PO’d. I hope an explanation of the acronym is not required. However, for the sake of clarity, readers should realize I am not happy and am definitely irritated by misconstrued ideas of pets.
Can you imagine a 32-year-old British woman using her entire savings, then taking out a loan and trying to selling everything she owns in order to pay for pioneering surgery that may save her nine-year-old dog? I guess her actions seem logical for a person who obtained the animal from a U.S. shelter when it was a pup.
The dog’s owner feels she and her partner are the animal’s parents. According to The Guardian and CTV, the woman described her intention saying, “(There’s) Nothing’s too much to save your beloved’s life. He means everything to me.” She was speaking of her dog and not her male companion.
“I argue with my partner, but I never argue with my dog.”
The dog’s heart surgery will cost $60,000 – a price that prohibits life-saving surgeries for many humans around the world. Yet, a woman is going to spend that sum on a creature that would make a very poor slipper in its next life. Little Snoopy’s surgery is scheduled for Sept. 19 in Paris.
My wife and I were reminded of our twisted values while recently hiking in the Rocky Mountains.
As we ascended and descended various hiking trails, we were amazed at the number of couples who took their dogs with them. The critters were often out of shape or simply not the type of animal to be on a walking trail, yet their owners felt they were part of the family and should be with them.
We met one small pooch that was being carried by its owner. I asked if the dog’s name was Bear Bait. Its female owner bristled at my comment and matter-of-factly stated its name was Lola. I am sure a bear would ingest little Lola like a piece of granola and never give it a second thought. We carried bear spray on our hikes, but perhaps packing a small, yappy dog that a grizzly could snack on would have been a far better idea.
It appears to me that dogs have replaced children in many marriages and relationships. Furthermore, parents get pets for their children hoping they will learn responsibility and also be entertained by the animal. However, the such pets all too often end up neglected by their playmates and turn into brainless barking creatures or aggressive animals that simply want attention and freedom from their confines.
Now, let’s consider six-year-old Cammie Mushanski who was killed by two Alaskan Malamutes last Wednesday at Riceton. His tearful grandfather spoke to reporters about the tragedy and seemed to accept some of the blame. As a grandparent who has not experienced such a loss, I can only try to sympathize and imagine the pain he is suffering. His grandson apparently entered an area where the large dogs were being held. He had been warned not to go near the dogs because his grandfather did not trust them. However, we all know what kids are like, especially boys who seem to have no concept of fear.
The dogs were apparently being held in hopes of finding a home for the canines. They were powerful and large (each one weighing 100 pounds or more), but he was hoping a home could be found for the animals. He had warned all the children to stay away from the dogs, yet Cammie entered their domain for some unknown reason.
In my opinion, dogs that cannot be trusted should be immediately put down. I can already hear the cries and groans of animal lovers, but let me say that there comes a time when some animals should be put down and if there is any doubt, the critter should not receive the benefit of the doubt. Postponing the inevitable only makes the situation worse as the latest child fatality proves.
I like pets and other animals, but we need to remember there is a huge difference between any animal (even dogs and cats) and a human. People may treat an animal as if it is a human, but in reality it remains an animal. We seem to have forgotten that fact of nature.
My view may seem a little rigid, but consider the fact I was personally attacked by a dog when I was the same age as Cammie. When leaving our neighbour’s house, I had to walk past two large dogs that were chained to clotheslines in order to get home. I had walked the route previously, but never by myself in the dark. For some reason I panicked and ran and one dog gave chase. It lunged at my head, the clothesline stretched and its fang caught my upper cheek just beneath my eye.
I believe the owner of the dog (our landlords) reprimanded the animal, but the cause of the attack was assigned to myself for running.Unfortunately, my father who has put down a lot of animals for people who could not do it, did not take action and the animal continued to intimidate me and my sister as we passed by.
Make no mistake, animals can be trained well and demonstrate affection. However, they remain animals — not humans — and therefore should be put down if there is a chance they may injure a person. We should not allow dogs or any domesticated animal to be a threat to anyone, especially children.

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