Monday, January 24, 2011


Mandy lives in a cage during the night. She feels safer that way, and doesn't bark at shadows all night, keeping the family awake, or being a very preemptive alarm clock--keeping the human component of the house from enjoying a full night's sleep. It works for everyone.

Still, I wish she didn't have to live in a cage during the night. If someone were to break in, she would be most vociferous and probably more than a little scary. A frightened dog is the worst sort of dog to come against. Handling a frightened dog is not an easy thing to do--and frightened dogs are very likely to bite your head off.

So imagine my angst...

When on the front page of the local paper, was a story of a person who had hogtied their pit bull terrier mix with electrical tape, taped it's mouth shut, beat it senseless about the head, and left it in a wooded area to freeze to death.

Now, frankly, I don't care much for pit bulls, but this was too much for my sensitive soul to bear.

A kinder soul walking his boxer dogs found the pit bull literally frozen to the ground. I'm not sure how he got the dog OFF the ground, but he had to have needed some liquid to get the dog up without taking it's skin right off it's body...but I digress.

He took the dog directly to the humane society. There's a $500 reward for information leading to the owner, and some felony charges await the culprit. If I knew who it was, I wouldn't even ask for the reward--I might give it to the humane society who took the dog. I might give it to the man who saved the dog. I might give it to the prosecutor who puts the owner into jail for doing such a heinous thing!

And I don't care much for pit bull terriers. But this treatment was cruel, even for a pit bull.

But then I got to thinking...

What if the pit bull had killed his child? Well, I suppose that the cruelty the dog endured was still too much, since a dog like that should be put down--but in, take it to the vet and have it put to sleep. It makes me wonder sometimes, how can people be so inhumane and inhuman? Still, where's the dead (or maimed) child? Huh?

Mandy is let out of her cage in the morning when my alarm sounds, and released into the cold winter to do her business. She barks at the door to be let in, and I let her in because I know how cold it is out there, and she's an indoor dog. Even though she has a rough coat with lots of undercoat to keep her warmer, she's still an indoor dog and not accustomed to being outside for a long period of time. Her little foot pads get cold and it makes her feet hurt. So I don't leave her outside very long. I did try the leather soled dog boots, but they were more trouble than they were worth, and kept coming off. She'd leave three of them outside, which I'd have to retrieve, which means I'd have to get dressed, put on shoes, and go outside and get them before they blew away. So I just watch from the window to make sure she does all her business, and then let her back inside to warm up.

At the moment, she's at my feet, getting a good head scratching. Next, she's on the bed, wagging her tail and smiling at me. Thanking me for her breakfast (kibble served wet, as she likes it) when she comes back in. She's a good dog. I have been through the wringer with her on some fronts, but I would never leave her outside to freeze to death. I just shake my head sometimes in disbelief at the horrible things people can do to other living things.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a PITA supporter. I believe that people should go out and shoot deer for food. I believe we raise chickens and beef (and others) for meat to eat. We have canine teeth so that we can rip and tear meat, and molars so that we can mash food into little bits. I am not a vegetarian. I like meat. I'm not always sure that the farms that raise animals for food always handle matters humanely, but then again, neither did the caveman. I doubt we sing a little song of praise and thanks for the "kill" anymore--thanking the animal for giving up it's life spirit--but then again, the animals are raised for this specific purpose--not to be pets or family members. And the sheer quantity would preclude that, I think.

Anyway--it's only 10 degrees outside. I'm going to crawl back between the sheets and beg Mandy to lay on my feet and keep them warm.

So I'm watching the news for any reports on the

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