From: Odin Tajué via-email
Free Malaysia Today’s frequent highlighting of abuses inflicted on dogs is highly commendable. To me, that exhibits its editors’ and journalists’ humane side.
Their reports ought to prick the conscience of those who habitually abuse the species, or dislike the species. Or, at least of those among them whose hearts have not yet turned completely into stone.
Yes, you have guessed right. I love dogs. I love my dogs. I love your dog. I love all dogs. I love dogs because I know they are the proverbial pearls, whereas many humans are swine.
I am using the word ‘swine’ colloquially and not intending to insult the Sus scrofa and Sus domesticus species.
I have read quite a bit about dogs. The findings recorded by researchers such as ethologists and cynologists show that dogs are, in fact, far more valuable – and useful – than pearls. More of this shortly.
Ignorance equals cruelty
The latest report, of the rice trader’s cruelty to their Labrador Mix, is heart-wrenching. Or, at least, it wrenched my heart.
The woman concerned may not be, by nature, wicked. I am quite certain that she was cruel to her dog mostly due to pure ignorance.
And that is the main cause of the problem with cruelty to dogs. Many people are ignorant of the character of the species. And they believe in as well as perpetuate myths.
For example, throwing sand into a dog’s face will scare it off. Not true. The daring ones will attack instead. What would you do if a stranger did that to you?
Another example, dogs are aggressive. Not true. Except for those trained to attack, they are defensive. They defend their keepers’ territories. (If they are abandoned ones, they defend their own territories, which they have marked by squirting bits of their urine.)
Ask yourself this. What would you do if you saw a stranger climbing over your fence and entering the grounds of your house?
Even some of those who keep dogs and say they love dogs may not be that well-informed, either.
Take, for example, that Terry Yee fellow. You know which one. He claimed that he lost his cool and bashed up Furby because the poor thing had attacked him previously.
I normally do not watch videos online, but I took a look at the particular video because I was concerned for the dog. Furby was furiously wagging his tail as he ran towards Yee.
When a dog wags his tail, he is happy. He is seeing someone (human) he loves and cares for, or seeing/‘seeing’ another dog he can play with, or is expecting an enjoyable event or a treat.
When I take my dog’s harness out, she wags her tail and dances — because she knows I am going to take her out for her exercise, exploration and play. Yes, my dog lives inside my house.
Yee obviously did not know that sign.
I have included the word ‘seeing’ with it enclosed with inverted commas. because Furby did not see Yee’s dog but smelled him. He smelled Yee’s dog even when he and Yee were a distance away and thought to himself, “Woo hoo! Here comes someone I may be able to play with.”
All dogs just l – o – v – e to play. Even when they are old.
The uninformed might now be thinking to themselves that I am talking nonsense, for how could Furby have smelled Yee’s dog when they were not yet near him?
And so we come to one of the dog’s simply incredible abilities.
Incredible abilities of a dog’s sense of smell
The matter that makes our sweat (or any other animal’s sweat) smell is butyric acid. Let just one drop of the acid evaporate, and any dog present from the ground level up to a point some 100 feet (30 metres) above ground in an area about as large as Hamburg would be able to smell it.
The area of Hamburg is some 290 sq. mi. (760 sq km).
Whereas we humans have only some five million ethmoidal (olfactory) cells in our nose, dogs have more than 40 times that in theirs. German Shepherds, for example, have some 200 million such cells in their nose. That is why scent hounds typically can pick up scents of game even already weeks old.
Do we wonder now why dogs are used to sniff such things as illicit drugs and explosives hidden in things that the smugglers are certain would camouflage their smell or physical presence? Why dogs can detect certain types of cancer (even in their early stage) that medical doctors and machines cannot?
Except for dolphins, dogs are the only animal species known to have saved humans – including those strangers to them – in distress.
Except for primates, dogs are the only animal species that can understand our hand signals.
There are so very many other extraordinary qualities of dogs that I can go on and on, but space definitely does not permit. Even if our dear editor would allow it.
To give the uninformed a rough idea of how incredibly equipped dogs are, I will say that they are like a quantum computer rated 300 quantum bits (called ‘qubits’), which would be more powerful than all the computers now existing on this planet. And because the computer harnesses the movements of atoms, it is very, very small.
To give the uninformed a rough idea of how dogs are wasted on, and abused by very many, imagine such a computer being used as a broom and that it is a living thing, one with feelings, emotions.
In 1855 in the USA, one George Graham Vest, a young lawyer defending a farmer who sued his (the latter’s) neighbour for having killed his dog, delivered a short speech in summation. He uttered only some 375 words. I think it says all there is to say, and in a very small nutshell, what the dog is. I would attach a pdf file of it for my readers’ convenience, but it does not seem that FMT’s server accepts attachments. So, if you are interested to know, please Google for it.
Yes, Vest won the case for his client. And the presiding judge fined the offender double what the plaintiff had asked for. Fifty bucks. Back then, that was a lot of money.
Odin Tajué is an FMT reader.
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