Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Continuing with my post from two days ago, about things humans would learn about themselves if they took two minutes to look at their relation with animals. This is pretty heavy serious stuff--I'll be thankful and positive tomorrow, but as much as it's nice to stop and give thanks (and eat dropped turkey), humans mess things up so much and then ignore the mess they've created that somebody has to point it out.

So this comes from the book I mentioned a few days ago, "From Baghdad with Love" about a dog rescued from Iraq. The nice part is the dog being rescued from Iraq. The bad part is the thousands of dogs killed, starved, and left to die in Iraq. But even the dogs who are incredibly well taken care of--in terms of dollars spent per paw--are effectively destroyed. Listen to this description of the life and prospects of a Marine dog (used for sniffing explosives, and I guess sometimes for torturing suspects).

"The military working dogs' elite status hurts them in the end. They aren't like other dogs, and since the canine warriors can't simply be debriefed, they have nowhere to go. If a military dog becomes physically unable to perform his tasks in the field--usually when he's about ten years old--a veterinarian deems him "nondeployable"...Many of them are deemed nonadoptable....Nonadoptable. Maladjusted. Apt to attack small children on playgrounds... These are the dogs whose entire lives centered on carrying out orders to perfection, who were so devoted to the military, they obeyed to the death. These were the most faithful, dependable, patriotic dogs of the lot, so they're handed "final disposition" papers and euthanized.."

Okay, obviously that's a crime and an outrage in itself. But for my human readers: HELLO! And you're surprised that soldiers who come back--who are trained exactly like these dogs, to follow orders to the death, to feel no fear, to a life of constant violence and vigilance--don't adjust well to civilian life? Post-traumatic stress syndrome surprises you when even dogs, who are million times more well adjusted than humans, can't handle the military, much less war?

Why do you think Bernese Mountain dogs are so friendly? NO SWISS ARMY!

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