April 29, 2007
By Jim Hammond
The recent poisoning of many people’s pets due to contaminated food got me thinking. As you know, both Lydia and I are animal lovers. We have two wonderful dogs and a cat. I know we would have been devastated if one or more of our pets were killed in this way. What could we have done to achieve some justice? The courts state that a person’s options are limited, that an animal is just “property”. That the only value it has, is what you paid for it. I believe this stems from the Christian Church’s stance that an animal is soulless. Excuse me, but I don’t believe that.
Having had dogs and cats (and a ferret) all my life, it is hard for me to think of them as anything other than having a pure spirit. They sin far less than we do. How many “evil” dogs can you think of? How many evil men? I believe that animals are much closer to the angelic than we are.
Samuel Clemens, a.k.a “Mark Twain” said;
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the principal difference between a dog and a man…”
Ah, but doesn’t the Bible say that Man was given dominion over the “beasts”. OK, fine. What does “dominion” mean? Does it mean we are meant to use and abuse? Or does it mean that we have been assigned stewardship, to co-exist, and watch over them as a shepherd does sheep?
I am not a radical. I hate P.E.T.A. and everything they stand for! They are misguided zealots. I hunt, I take game. But it’s not the kill that I like. I love the hunt – and the outdoors – and the camaraderie. I do not hunt bear. Too cold! Clothes are better! Seriously, I don’t think there are enough bear to arrant it.
Or elk, or quail, or grouse. I will hunt deer,and rabbits, and squirrels. They are grossly overpopulated. I have seen winter starved deer, and it’s a real shame. Man has killed off all the natural predators through un-enlightened game management and suburban sprawl. The culling of the herd of game animals is part of stewardship too.
Just as when your pet becomes too sick or infirm to have a good existence, it is your responsibility to help it pass on. And you should be there. You should be the last thing your pet sees. You owe them that. And oh, it’s so very hard. So very hard. I believe God has given us responsibilities to all other life on Earth, but I will principally be speaking about those creatures that have decided to share their lives closely with us, our pets. Dogs, cats, and a few other species, have evolved through God’s guidance to “hitch their wagons” to humans. To become our guards, our mousers, our companions, and our co-workers. We, as a species, have developed a closer and more symbiotic relationship with dogs than with our cousin species; the simians.
Academia pontificates that animals have no intellect, no emotions, that they are a lower form of life. This is a large reason that they have limited legal standing. I say that they are not a lower form of
life, just a different one. If you base intelligence on brain size, then what are we to a whale? All I can think is that these “experts” have never had a dog in their whole life. Anybody that has, knows that dogs have emotions. They get happy, they get sad, they get angry, they get depressed, and their feelings can be hurt.
And they love. Oh, how they love! They love us unconditionally. They love us without reservation. Whether we live in a mansion or a hovel, we are the most important thing in our dog’s life. They will be loyal to the end. They love us as God loves us, and no human ever can.
Josh Billings said;
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself…”
The best way to end a horrible day at work, is to come home and be greeted by your best friends. Goodness! “Oh, Jim’s home! Jim’s home! Oh, come the jubilee! Let us dance and rejoice! Jim’s home!Yaaaaaay!”
For those of you who might be unhappy, those who might have to take mood stabilizers, you ought to try having a puppy lick your face.
M. Acklam said;
“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made…”
As far as intelligence goes, you think dogs can’t reason? How does that dog keep getting out of that fenced yard? I could tell many stories about the way our Golden Retriever, Beamer schemes to get a treat away from Bismarck our Lab. Some are really quite Machiavellian. Do you think dogs have no conception of numbers? Let your dog see you put three cookies in your pocket, and then only give him two.