A: Labrador Retriever

Apr 28 2011 Published by under #FWDAOTI

Fuck.

Not as in "Fuck me!". Nor even as in "Gee, what a fucked up situation". More like as in

Fuck you, you fucking pitbull owners.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A New Mexico woman who witnessed four pit bulls fatally maul another woman on Easter Sunday said Thursday that she heard screams from inside her home, then rushed outside and saw that the victim had "big chunks missing" from her head and stomach and had arms that were bitten to the bone.

oooh, you say, musta been bad owners. poorly trained dogs. oh yeah?

Police Chief Patrick Gallagher has said the city hadn't received any complaints about the dogs.

Q: Aren't there some other dogs that you could own that would be just as nice of a pet?

73 responses so far

  • Jeremiah Marks says:

    Ah geez. how many white men do you see flying airplanes into buildings? now how many arabs? arabs must be bad, no?

    There are a couple of types of owners that generally want to be pit bull owners: the ones that are drawn to their 'bad dog' persona, ones that are interested in the dogs because they are good dogs, and the folks that are just curious. I will not lie, my pit mix has some of the least training of any dog I have had, but he is good, nonetheless.
    One reason that pits rank so high in the bite statistics is because (this is based solely on anecdotal evidence) when dogs are taken to the pound many are labeled as a pit mix simply because of the facial features. They may not actually have pit in them.

    regardless, as a reader of a whole three weeks, I was disappointed to see this closed-mindedness, but this is one of those things that I am passionate about. Overall an awesome blog!

  • Hermitage says:

    Much as a human killer will exhibit a variety of troubling tendencies before committing an act that falls under lawful jurisdiction, a dangerous pet can have plenty of problems that will not merit police involvement. There are certainly strong-willed dogs, poorly bred dogs, and abused dogs that are a danger to others, but it is ultimately up to the OWNER to know and understand their dog's traits and manage the animal appropriately. Pit bulls that act out are a symptom of a problem in pet ownership, it has little to do with the intrinsic nature of the breed.

  • mousfeathers says:

    Sorry, but on this, you lose me immediately. My last dog was a "pit" bull we got from someone who found him running loose in a local park. The dog attached himself to the guy who was out playing with his two young sons. They would move away, and the dog would follow them so he could keep playing. They called the dog Bye-bye and walked away again--but it didn't work. The guy talked to the park ranger, who was going to take the dog to the pound, where pit-prejudice would have sent the beautiful young dog out the back door in a bag, so the father and his little boys took the dog home with them.

    We got him after the guy (who is now a friend) asked a local e-list if someone wanted a very nice young dog that he couldn't keep in his size-restricted apartment. We had an opening for one. He was the sweetest, most personable dog I've known in a long time; only if someone stared at him or behaved a little "off" did he alert and get sharp.

    My take on these dogs is that they are so eager to please, whatever you teach them when they are young, they will never, ever forget, and they will keep doing it whenever you ask them to--hence fight-trained pits are very difficult to rehabilitate. All terriers started as "critter" dogs, bred to go after something alive and not quit until they got it, which is part of the reason a pit's owners do need a little more dog-smarts than "oh, nice doggy! " *patpatpat*

    If that's the kind of dog you want (and there are certainly things to be said for them--my brother has golden retrievers, and they are wonderful dogs!), then it's probably wise to stay away from dogs with fighting and persistence in their backgrounds. It still takes training or mishandling to turn them into killers.

    It was the owner of the dogs who let that happen ("no complaints" to the contrary). It's the victims who pay for it--people, other animals and the dogs themselves, because they didn't know they shouldn't do what they did, but they (probably) died for it too. Watch The Dog Whisperer some time. You'll see chihuahuas you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, and pit bulls you (or maybe not YOU, but most reasonable dog people) would leave sleeping with your children.

    And by the way, there are Labrador Retrievers that I would not come near on the other side of a six foot fence. It's the PEOPLE, not the dog, that make the difference.

  • I've got to agree with mousfeathers. Dogs, like children, misbehave (or worse) due to poor training/parenting or neglect.

  • katiesci says:

    "...only if someone stared at him or behaved a little "off" did he alert and get sharp"

    And this isn't worrisome? What if a stranger didn't know the dog's quirks, stared at them too long, and got bit because of it? Is that the owner's or the dog's fault?

  • drugmonkey says:

    "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Amirite, pitbull fans?

  • marc says:

    ok, obviously this can be combination of factors. You'd have to have your head in the sand to think that pit bulls are just like any other dog. A chihuahua I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley is still just a chihuahua. Obviously the owner is a big factor in their behavior. Pit bull or no, there's no dog owner test that I'm aware of. There seem to be a lot of marginal owners out there, unfortunately. The issue is not pit bulls per se, so much as some of the owners they seem to attract.

    ...still better than a pet chimp

  • If you stare at any dog for too long, pit bull or not, you'll get a reaction out of them. It's a threatening behavior, and they're animals whose instincts are to respond accordingly.

  • drugmonkey says:

    right. so why do we need them (dogs) in modern society again? and if you have an answer for that (which I doubt; lots of people get warm fuzzy feelings from their automatic assault rifle too), what's wrong with a nice, loving Labrador Retriever or a beagle or some shit like that?

  • drugmonkey says:

    http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bite-statistics/the-breeds-most-likely-to-kill.html

    http://dogbitelaw.com/images/pdf/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf

    http://dogbitelaw.com/images/pdf/Dog_Attacks_1982-2006_Clifton.pdf

    ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Publications/mmwr/wk/mm4621.pdf

    "...but dude, a Pomeranian once killed a kid so yur totally wrong!"

    The most horrifying example of the lack of breed predictability is the October 2000 death of a 6-week-old baby, which was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. Note, however, that they were bred to be watchdogs! The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)

  • There is nothing wrong with a Labrador Retriever or a Beagle. I personally have a Siberian Husky and a Norwegian Elkhound, and before them I owned a Black Lab and a German Shepherd Dog. All of my pets have been rescues.

    As for why we need dogs AS PETS in modern society ... I'd say we don't NEED them. They are a luxury, and while they may give some health benefits (depending on what studies you read), I'm not convinced they're cost effective (when compared to methods which can give you a similar return health-wise when compared to the cost). I have my dogs because I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford for their proper care, I like the routine, and I've always wanted pets.

    With that said, I'd like to think I'm a responsible owner. They're fenced in, when we go for walks they're never off leash, and when people approach I always control the situation to make sure neither person or pet exuberance results in so much as a scratch. Obedience training wasn't cheap, but it was well worth it.

  • mousefeathers says:

    We were always with him . That's part of responsible ownership*--the owner controls his dog's behavior. For instance, since he learned how to jump fences before we got him, we always let him outdoors firmly attached to a strong cable that he couldn't chew or break. We never left him outside when we were not home, and in fact he was always crated inside the house when we went somewhere. We always introduced him to strangers in our controlling presence, and asked them to stop directly staring at him when they did.

    Our society seems to have decided that all pets should be utterly harmless to all creatures great and small at all times and under all circumstances. 'Tain't gonna happen. Therefore, pet owners have to know how to control their pets' interactions with the rest of the world--and make appropriate effort to do so.

    And yes, if he'd actually bitten someone, it would have been our fault.

    *In areas with high human population densities; in other places, the owner who wants to let dogs run free should know if those dogs will revert to predator/prey behavior towards humans running past BEFORE finding out at someone else's expense, and not let them loose if the area is prone to joggers or hikers, for instance.

  • mousefeathers says:

    Gah.

    You have my permission to stay hysterical about dogs. Just let me have mine in peace, OK?

    I'll make sure they leave you and everybody else alone--just like I have always done.

  • becca says:

    An aside:
    as you routinely (intentionally?) forget, city-boy, not all people believe their "Tyson protein" magically arrives wrapped in plastic.
    Modern society *includes* my cousin's dairy farm (do you want to see the milking machines? They're more modern than 90% of the equipment in my gradlab). And if you don't know why you need a herding dog (border collie, as it happens) on a dairy farm, there is no hope for you.

  • anon says:

    I prefer cats. Stupid fuckin dogs. But they're needed on farms to keep pesky critters away (those that kill livestock and destroy plants). I also understand that people enjoy them as pets. Do you think people should have to obtain a license to own a dog? We need a license to drive cars, permits to hunt, etc. Depending on what state or country you live in, you need a permit to own a gun. Licensing could potentially be a method to prevent irresponsible dipshits from owning dogs. Some communities require that dogs be licensed (not the owners), but I think that's backwards.

    The link you posted also notes :

    "The owner or handler most often is responsible for making a dog into something dangerous."

  • drugmonkey says:

    what "work" do the killer dingo dogs (statistically verified) perform?

    I'll throw your border collie in there with the Labs (interestingly, isn't this like the one breed that *will* tolerate eye contact with a human quite readily) if you like. Not those Aussie shepherds tho, those mismatched eyes are just plain creepy

  • drugmonkey says:

    exactly. and when we have a "luxury" then it is a legitimate societal interest to balance individual personal preferences against the chances and severity of violating the rights of fellow citizens, right?

    we have two basic methods of intervention on the table in the US. We either try to prohibit, a priori, something that is undesirable, or we make the penalties for the occurrence of something undesirable so steep as to motivate the vast majority of people to take sufficient personal action as to stop it from occurring.

    In this latter, of course, there is a balance in which the upside (say, our need to transport ourselves from place to place) is balanced against the risks. Also, there can be overlap, e.g. prohibition against drunk driving or excessive speeding does not wait for the individual to actually hurt someone. Controls over stupid driving within normal regulations depend on punishment, given that someone has been injured.

    Now, most of the time, the owners of dogs who injure, maim or kill another fellow citizen are not punished to the degree they would have been if they had caused the same damage with, say, a knife. Probably not even to the same degree as if their stupid and negligent driving injured, maimed or killed another person.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Our society seems to have decided that all pets should be utterly harmless to all creatures great and small at all times and under all circumstances. 'Tain't gonna happen.

    Why is the ownership of certain large, charismatic animals such as tigers illegal for the most part? and/or under such strict regulation for people like Sigfried and Roy, Michael Jackson, etc that really, really want to own such creatures?

  • neurowoman says:

    I have no problem with dogs per se but to think that breed has nothing to do with it is just crazy. Domestics dogs are what they are because they are BRED that way. Selection anyone? Pit bulls are dangerous because of years of breeding them to be extremely strong and aggressive, a mean combination. Many well trained dogs can behave fine for many years, but you set off the wrong dog in the wrong situation and it's a huge mess. Siegfried and Roy can train a lion to behave like a pussy cat, most of the time, until it's born nature kicks in, then you're toast. All dogs have the potential to do harm, but come in a range of dangerousness. Pit bulls should be banned as house pets simply because they are on the extreme end of the spectrum (like owning an assault rifle instead of a shotgun) and most people are not good enough owners to handle them.

    And yes, my cousin was mauled by a dog when she was three (thankfully not killed, just facial scarring).

  • drugmonkey says:

    Do you think people should have to obtain a license to own a dog?

    This is a good starting point, yes.

    You know those states where your vehicle has to undergo an annual safety inspection (not just emissions) to make sure it is not a hazard on the roads? That would be a good model too. Annual dog inspections to make sure you can control it, that it does not represent a threat, etc. If you can't pass, dog gets put down.

    No guarantees with that but you sure could catch on to some adverse situations in advance that way.

    All y'all allegedly "responsible" dog owners who insist that *your* dog could never ever be a problem should be 100% enthusiastically down with this simple proposal. right?

  • Should people who own dogs who maim/kill other people be subjected to much harsher penalties?

    Most definitely, and you'll have no beef with me on that point. Since I'm firmly in the "blame the owner, not the pet" camp, I think it's only fair that the owner be subjected to an appropriate penalty in criminal court. Does the attack result in death? Manslaughter or murder, second degree, seem like appropriate penalties.

    It's also a given that animals doing such maiming or killing must be put down. They've shown this tendency to attack, and with the glut of animals out there already, I think it's the humane thing to do.

  • Primarily, because they're endangered species?

    Even zoo's go to great lengths to inform the general public to not do anything stupid around these creatures because they'll kill you without a moments hesitation.

  • First, I've lived in states that did not have annual vehicle safety --or emission-- inspection.

    Second, I don't think your comparison is equivalent. You take a driver's exam once and they let you on the road essentially for the rest of your life. Why not make that a mandatory annual ritual as well?

    Third, I do consider myself a responsible dog owner but I don't think I've ever insisted that my dog could never be a problem. Every animal (humans included) have off days. Except in your scenario, that off day means my pet gets put down?

  • lemmeseehere says:

    in your scenario that "off day" means some kid is maimed for life or some granny is killed.

  • Matthew says:

    I agree. And, we should do the same thing with parents and their bully children.

  • Matthew says:

    Yep, sounds about right to me.

  • Alex says:

    More like, one animal's off day means that people start calling for an entire breed to be put down.

    If an animal seriously harms somebody, yeah, put it down. But don't go after the entire breed.

  • drugmonkey says:

    If it were "one" animal, ppl would be after the Pomeranians. It isn't "one", see the actual oh, I dunno, data?

  • drugmonkey says:

    So dogs = children now? No difference of note?

  • drugmonkey says:

    People just exactly like you fail to "make sure" all the damn time. 'scuse if I don't take your word for it...

  • Alex says:

    So, if the data shows that a lot of attacks come from a breed, I guess we don't need to look any further at the data.

    What if the data also shows that the attacks from that breed mostly come from animals with bad owners? We now have a question of causation: Are most of the attacks from that breed because the breed is unusually susceptible to bad owners, or are most of the attacks from that breed because bad owners are attracted to the breed?

    If some other breed got a reputation (justified or not) of being violent, I hypothesize that ignorant lowlifes would be drawn to that breed*, and we'd have similar problems with that other breed.

    *Note that even if ignorant lowlifes are drawn to a breed, that does not mean that most owners of the breed are ignorant lowlifes. As a statistical analogy, if most of the crime in a city happens in a particular neighborhood, it does not follow that most people in that neighborhood are criminals.

  • All those supposed "pit bulls" are just variant bichon frises, well known as the most vicious of all dog breeds.

  • Drugmonkey, Golden Retrievers are pretty near to the top of the list of biters ... yet people (probably yourself included) think that they would make one of those "nicer pets" than the pitbull.

    Problem is, since GR's are so damn popular, they are overbred/inbred/bred in puppy mills, and it harms the overall "mental health" of the breed (along with all the physical problems associated with overbred animals). This poor animal management leaves the animal prone to improper training by their owners, some of whom probably got the dog because it fits in with their lifestyle/kids wanted a pet they'll never take care of/what have you. These neglected animals are the ones that turn and cause damage.

    I think part of the solution would be to heavily police breeding. If you don't have a license to breed animals, you should be fined and the animals taken away. In addition, a majority of the offspring should be neutered/spayed before being adopted/purchased. I'd be interested in seeing the proportion of animal attacks by fertility ("fully functional" versus neutered/spayed), because I have a suspicion that there may be a correlation there. Owners that don't get their animals neutered/spayed and fail to have a breeding license should also, IMO, be subjected to heavy fining.

  • As big a difference between dogs = automobiles, no?

  • martin says:

    a group in TX conducts temperament testing in dogs, and have been doing so since 1977. they expose dogs to 10 different stimuli (e.g., surprise dogs by popping an umbrella, have an assistant the dog has not met approach the dog in an unfriendly manner), and in these tests american pit bulls do quite well. since 1977, 664/772 pitbulls have passed. this is a better pass rate than beagles and collies (sorry, Lassie), and only slightly lower than labs. you can read about the testing and get breed statistics here: http://www.atts.org/index.html

    most dog bites result from owners who neglect training, exercise, socialization, etc., however some owners are indeed malicious. this second category of folks encourage their dogs to be mean, and while pit bulls are the dog of choice for this demographic now, it was rottweilers before that, dobermans before that, and so on.

  • Isabel says:

    I have to admit, you've nailed this one DM. I don't get the counter argument about irresponsible owners. How is that even an argument? What is the actual solution? Even if half the owners *are* responsible *what* do we do about the other half?

    It seems like there are two kinds of dog owners: the irresponsible kind, and the responsible kind who declares "if everyone was like me there would be no problem; therefore there is no problem (I mean how hard can it be to make everyone in the world simply behave like me?), and you are a dog hater for bringing up the subject."

    Yes, besides being dangerous (I've been bitten three times, once by a pit bull, and know a toddler who was mauled by a rottweiler), dogs are for the most part a luxury, and a huge resource sink. That last part is rarely acknowledged.

    I am also tired of owners leaving them off leash in natural areas, letting them bark all day in the yard while they are at work, letting them run up to people since *their* dogs are "friendly", etc.

    People are nuts about dogs, and this is much more the case than it was even a generation ago. They share their beds with them, clean up their shit every day, listen to them bark all day without complaint. They bristle when anything even slightly negative is said about dogs, even someone else's dogs. I love dogs, and grew up with them, but enough's enough!

  • Isabel says:

    "Annual dog inspections to make sure you can control it, that it does not represent a threat, etc. If you can't pass, dog gets put down. "

    This punishes the dog; the owner should lose their right to have a dog and there should be an attempt to rehabilitate the dog.

    In order to pay for this people should pay a steep fee to keep a dog as a pet, under strict rules. Fees should be used to insure dogs are not euthanized (because we are always told the shelters can't afford to keep them), to collect and neuter stray dogs, and for training classes and public education. Pet food should be taxed for it's contributions to global warming at the very least.

  • drugmonkey says:

    So if this "temperament testing" foofraw is meaningful how do you explain the attack stats?

  • drugmonkey says:

    No. If you don't understand why children are categorically different....well I suppose that explains why you are so cavalier about threats posed to them.

  • drugmonkey says:

    "punishes the dog"? WTF are you talking about?

  • Sara says:

    Woah, there. There were 33 fatal dog bites in 2010 (32 in 2009), and 32,708 fatal automobile collisions in 2010 (33,808 in 2009). Both are luxuries, at least in cities. Stepping aside entirely the issue that dogs are living beings and automobiles are objects, if you propose that dogs should be banned based on their lethality, then surely personal automobiles have even more reason to be banned. What is the logic behind banning dogs but not personal automobiles?

    I can't quite put my finger on why, but proposing mass genocide (remember, breeds are pretty much the same as race) of an animal that humans have cohabitated with for much of our existence, really seems WRONG. Putting down individual animals who are too aggressive/lethal to live in human society, requiring licenses, safety testing (aka the Canine Good Citizen test, or others), and legislating breeders seem much saner options.

    On that note, I think we also need stricter driving tests and better driver education (including more safety training for sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists).

  • Isabel says:

    Maybe I misunderstood what you were proposing. In the absence of any incidents, the owner cannot or refuses to control the dog during some type of annual test or inspection so the dog is put down? Or were you envisioning this as some kind of annual assessment of records, complaints? What if there are no reported incidents or complaints? Are you going to interview neighbors? How were you proposing to assess the situation? If you did mean an actual test or physical inspection how would we assess whether the dog or the owner is the problem? I would tend to assume it is the owner. Are we sure at this point that the dog should be put down? it stills seems possible that the dog is controllable, it could easily be an ignorant or irresponsible owner that is causing the problem.

  • martin says:

    there are two explanations for the attack stats. first, as someone alluded to earlier, there are multiple breeds that fall under the generic category of pit bull (american pit bull terrier, american staffordshire terrier, english staffordshire terrier, etc.), not to mention all the strays that get the label. go to petfinder.com and enter pit bull and you will see millions of dogs that look nothing like a pit bull. so you have a large population of dogs that are lumped together under this label.

    the second explanation is that there is a selection bias at play here - many people who WANT mean dogs get pit bulls (the unreformed michael vicks of the world). they then either train them to be mean, or neglect the dog's needs, and you are left with a recipe for disaster. you could give these dudes labradoodles and would get similar outcomes. that's why the breed-specific legislation that was implemented in various places has not been effective - bad people will just find another breed.

  • drugmonkey says:

    "punishment" implies some sort of fault or culpability. Where does that come in? This would be about minimizing dangers.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Right, so if the attacks are by the uneven master class who gives a fig what you call em. Nobody confuses those with yorkies, ffs. Playing gotcha with precise breed lineages is asinine and denialist. It is hilarious the way you people deploy this quacking canard as if it means anything

  • martin says:

    "Playing gotcha with precise breed lineages is asinine and denialist." that's what you are doing by singling out pitbulls, right?

  • drugmonkey says:

    No.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Cars are not even remotely "luxuries" in the way that dogs are. The fact that you are willing to deploy this ridiculous comparison speaks volumes.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Oh, and you are well round the bend if you are suggesting that dogs are the same as a race of people and getting rid of them would be "genocide". Is this really what you believe?

    Is it "genocide" that all sorts of heirloom domestic animal breeds from the past have faded into nonuse and/or obscurity? Is that "racism" that animals bred/not bred at human whim, need or desire change over time? I mean heck, didn't those Irish setters use to be all the rage? Can't remember seeing one of those in at least a decade- racist dog owners!!!!

  • Isabel says:

    But to minimize the danger, and prevent future problems, we need to identify the source of the problem, no? Is it an untrainable dog or a screwed up owner?

    Another point: many here have referred to such screwed up owners as "lowlifes". Yes, families and children who live in poorer neighborhoods, with less opportunities for outdoor exercise already, are unfairly affected by this problem.

    My take on the situation is not to rein in certain breeds*, though I'm not opposed to it, but dog-owning as a whole. People do not want to control dogs in general. They see them as members of the family. Dogs bark, that's what they do they will tell you when your quality of life or ability to study is ruined. They hate to put them on leash even when told it is dangerous to wildlife in an area.

    *but if so I would add in the most annoying barkers such as those little terriers with those high pitched, hysterical-sounding yapping. These dogs are frequently recommended as great family dogs with no consideration for others who live within earshot.

  • Yes, dog's are a luxury and a resource sink. And if that's what I want to sink my resources in, why do you get to tell me that I cannot? I have a ready response to that, but I won't be rude about it here.

    I'm for all appropriate measures to ensure that society is well protected from those who are irresponsible. Strictly enforced leash laws, appropriate punishment for those who do not ensure their dogs are well controlled, and laws pushing for neutering/spaying. I think those are all reasonable and allow society to be protected and still give me the choice to spend my resources how I want.

  • I don't think my responses to you have be anything close to 'cavalier'.

  • neurowoman says:

    Sara is a complete idiot. 1) Banning a breed as a house pet means they won't be bred and raised for sale, fewer of them around, not killing every one in existence. 2) Most breeds of dogs have only been around since about the Victorian age when dog breeding became a big hobby. Nobody's talking about getting rid of an entire species. There's nothing that special about any particular breed. Or take all pit bulls and cross with other breeds to reduce their lethality. Not a big loss there. 3) Breed=race - prima facie idiocy. 4) Cars are not a luxury and completely besides the point. False equivalency.

  • drugmonkey says:

    answer the tiger question holmes. Also the "fire!" in a crowded theatre question....

  • Isabel says:

    "And if that's what I want to sink my resources in, why do you get to tell me that I cannot?"

    I wasn't telling you what to do with "your" resources, whatever that means, I was pointing out that pets do consume resources. Your dogs are rescues; that's great. I'm glad you adopted them. But how is breeding more dogs allowable at all when dogs are dying by the millions in shelters?

    Put it this way: how sustainable is having dogs (large carnivores) as pets in today's world, especially when households are practically viewed as incomplete without one?

  • Are you fuckin blind?

  • How is it allowable? Probably because no one is pushing hard enough for legislation. If that isn't it, then I have no clue. All of my pets have been neutered/spayed immediately upon adoption, and I'm a huge advocate of spaying/neutering. I believe I've said it here in the comments section ... I think one should have to acquire a license to breed (we're talking about dogs and cats at this point), and they shouldn't be easily acquired.

  • Katharine says:

    The only pit bull that ever attacked me attacked me with its tongue to lick my face clean.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Drugmonkey, Golden Retrievers are pretty near to the top of the list of biters ... yet people (probably yourself included) think that they would make one of those "nicer pets" than the pitbull.

    I'm quite happy to incorporate available stats in my thinking. GR's on the naughty list it is.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I did not say your responses were cavalier. It is your very responses that illustrate your attitudes regarding the safety of children versus some implied "right" to own dogs that is at issue.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    well hell's bells. if there is one person who has never been attacked by a dog that must mean that nobody ever, anywhere has been attacked by a dog. In other news, 9/11 was a hoax....I mean *you* didn't die, amirite?

  • becca says:

    Well, in one very real sense, pets, cars, smartphones, the internet... it's all luxury. If you want to claim otherwise, go visit *insert appropriate developing country here*.

    To my mind, the necessity of a particular category of such things depends very much on where as well as how you live. There are pet dogs and working dogs. There are people who own vanity vehicles in NYC and there are people who own or carshare a basic box-on-wheels (e.g. a Nissan Versa or Hyundai Accent) in an area without public transit.

    Of course, there are also people with (what are now) 'pet' dogs (e.g. beagles) who are putting them to good use (e.g. therapy dogs in a nursing home) and people with (what are now) 'vanity' vehicles (e.g. SUVs) who are putting them to good use (e.g. a large animal vet in a rural area who uses it to transport patients in offroad areas).
    So, many things can be justified.

    On the other hand, I think dog owners and car owners, as well as pretty much everybody else, are both very prone to post-hoc justifying and defending their own desires as Necessary to the American Way of Life (tm). The Way of Life that is, if we're frank, destroying a disturbing share of the planet's natural resources.

  • Neuro-conservative says:

    Dude -- Can we talk about something important? You must check this out: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sciencecareers/2011/05/business-as-usu.html

  • drugmonkey says:

    you are being asinine, becca. There is no way that a pet, a vague intangible personal preference "good", compares with the car, internet or even smartphone. all of the latter contribute to modern life, economy, scientific and social progress and basic functions (food, clothing, shelter) that go far, far beyond personal feel-good-ism. The fact that the pet industry is an industry, btw, is not relevant here either.

    the alternative to "luxury" is not "necessary".

  • Katharine says:

    dudes, it was just an offhand jokey comment, simmer the fuck down man

  • becca says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I didn't ask you how the cognitive dissonance felt, DM, because I was attempting to tone down the snark. Besides, no one I know is blameless in the unsustainable bubble that is "modern life", so I didn't want it to be casting stones.
    But Jeeze- to believe that the personal automobile as conceptualized (idolized) in America is not part of the incredible wastefulness of modern life... that's some pretty powerful denialism. I mean, I knew it was powerful- I wouldn't be shocked if that is actually the underlying emotional driving force behind much of the mass appeal of climate change denialism. So it's kind of textbook... but somewhat hilarious to see in someone so unselfaware.

    Oh no DM. Never mind, never mind. Anything that you personally use must be NECESSARY to a civilized life in Modern Society. It's only OTHER people's personal choices that introduce dangers to others or are at all wasteful.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    and now you are bringing up "wasteful" which is also newly introduced to the conversation as a distraction. Any objections I might have to dogs has nothing to do with "waste".

    also, whether or not there may be less wasteful ways to accomplish what is accomplished by automobiles is *also* irrelevant to the discussion at hand which is limited to the fact that automobiles accomplish more than personal pleasure.

    lest you go round in circles again, I'll remind you that this discussion is about pets, not dogs who are in working service to accomplish some functional purpose like sheep herding.

  • Matthew says:

    "I mean how hard can it be to make everyone in the world simply behave like me?"

    Apparently it's as simple as passing a law to ban dog ownership.

  • Matthew says:

    I was making the point (facetiously) that children, animals and automobiles are all categorically different, which was apparently lost on you.

  • Matthew says:

    "Now, most of the time, the owners of dogs who injure, maim or kill another fellow citizen are not punished to the degree they would have been if they had caused the same damage with, say, a knife. Probably not even to the same degree as if their stupid and negligent driving injured, maimed or killed another person."

    I'll agree with the point I think you're making here. I agree that owners should be held fully culpable for the actions of their animals. If a dog maims a person, they should be held criminally responsible. And, I believe (if memory serves me right) that dog owners have been found guilty of manslaughter in the past.

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