It seems I have offended a few with my recent blog posts. Since Rugby is on vacation, he has allowed me to borrow his blog for a little longer to introduce a new perspective to dog husbandry. This perspective is a logical and reasonable one. The same post about Lily the shelter dog that was mentioned yesterday provides a good opportunity for this.
I am sure this response to my comment is one many of the readers of the blog above share. I will list the flaws in this logic below, focusing on the several assumptions that had to be made in order to construct this argument.
“Samantha, there is no evidence she is “dog-aggressive”. She is blind, and pregnant, and we don’t know the whole story behind what occured between her and the puppy. Many factors could have come into play, including and most importantly – poor ownership skills(were the dogs properly introduced? was their interaction closely monitored? was Lily in pain and no one cared/notice? did the puppy ignore her body language?). The shelter observed NO aggression from her. In addition, being blind is not a strike against her. Many dogs lead healthy, normal, happy lives despite having limited or no sight. It is common for owners to not even REALIZE their dog has gone blind because of their amazing reziliance.
My first dog was killed by a wolf-hybrid, so I understand the tendency to be cautious, it took literally seconds and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it.
However, responsible ownership, knowing your dogs limitations, and setting your dog up for SUCCESS vs FAILURE are the most important rules in raising happy healthy and safe dogs.
I am sad that you see a possible blindness as a reason to euthanize.”
The argument assumes that a dead puppy is not evidence of dog aggression.
This argument assumes that the volunteers and shelter workers are competent and experienced enough to recognize signs of aggression. I appreciate these people for the work they do, and it takes a lot of time and compassion to do their job. However, I have enough experience to know that they are the last people I will ask about dog behavior/interaction/management/training.
This argument discounts the dog in question’s aggression (because of an unfounded faith in these people’s opinions) and then assumes that my real meaning was that she should be PTS because she is blind. However I stated my opinion on the grounds not that she is blind, but that she is blind AND dog aggressive. If any of you have any experience with blind dogs you should know that it is not uncommon for a blind dog to become reactive to things that startle them (still not enough of a reason to warrant a kill). Being blind and dog aggressive therefore increases the risk of attack greatly.
This argument assumes that rude puppy behavior is reason to kill. It is not. Poor introductions are not reason to kill. Pain is not reason to kill. There is never a reason to kill.
It seems I was so successful at offending these readers that some comments were made elsewhere that are less than blog-worthy. However I must again bring attention to the flaw in logic here too.
“I am a little confused as to why she wants random dogs to be breeding.”
This comment assumes that intact dogs breed constantly. The truth is that spaying and neutering does not keep dogs out of shelters – responsible dog ownership does. I am not for the breeding of ‘random’ dogs or less than quality dogs either (physically or mentally). However, I do recognize the health benefits and the hazards there are to spaying and neutering. I also encourage people to think for themselves before they consume the kool aid of the animal rights crazies. (and before more assumptions are made I am in favor of animal welfare but not animal rights)
Maybe new logic is all that dogs need?