When Did Dogs Become Infallible and More Important Than People? [OPINION]
A couple of stories we recently posted about little girls being attacked by dogs -- both involving pit bulls, coincidentally -- has opened my eyes to an alarming number of people who have very backward opinions about dogs, people, the relationship between the two parties and the nature of animals in general. Honestly, I don't get it.
BEFORE YOU READ THIS, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THESE ARE THE PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS OF THE AUTHOR ONLY. THEY ARE NOT MEANT TO START ANY SORT OF CRUSADE AND ARE ONLY EXPRESSED TO INSPIRE DIALOGUE ABOUT A TOPIC THAT HAS PROVEN TO BE VERY POLARIZING WITH OUR AUDIENCE LATELY. IF YOU ARE OFFENDED, I APOLOGIZE, BUT THIS IS AMERICA AND WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN OPINION.
I should probably start by saying that I'm not really what you would call a "dog person." I don't think they should be wiped off of the Earth or anything, but dog ownership (or pet ownership in general) is not something that appeals to me currently. Maybe later in life when the kids grow up and leave the house I'll get "Empty Nest Syndrome" and get a dog to make the house not feel so empty, but who knows. It's not really important for the sake of this article anyway.
At some point between the time I was a kid and now, public perception about dogs and their rights has changed greatly. Some of it for the better. I don't think they should be tortured or subjected to terrible living conditions and the awareness of many of those things has improved, and that's a good thing. However, there is a disturbing amount of people who are putting dogs ahead of humans in the pecking order and that's just not how I see it. Dogs are not equal to humans and they never will be... so get over it.
This probably isn't a popular opinion and one I usually wouldn't volunteer if it weren't for the need I feel to address some of the Facebook comments that I, personally, found disgusting on a couple of stories we recently posted on dog attacks, both happened to involve pit bulls. It should be noted that neither story was selected because of the involvement of pit bulls and both were selected because of the human element of the story. Not everybody looked at it like that. In fact, many thought it was a call to arms to defend pit bulls... which was not the case.
When did we, as a society, decide that dogs are infallible? For those of you that aren't familiar with that term, it's basically a $2 word that means "incapable of making mistakes or being wrong." It sounds silly to say the following as a fact, out loud -- "Dogs are incapable of making mistakes or being wrong." Believe it or not, that's how some people feel and they made that very clear when they reacted to a story we posted about a little girl that was viciously attacked by an unprovoked dog (you can click here to read that story) with comments like these:
"Before everyone starts blaming the dog... yes it was a pit bull but it was the owners fault! There are no bad dogs. Just bad owners. A dog that's a threat only is a threat because they were not trained properly. The dog shouldn't of been able to get anywhere near people if he's untrained like that."
"Always to sides to the story, My first question is. What was the little girl doing to "provoke" the attack...dogs don't just attack because they have nothing better to do..was she mocking the dog,throwing sticks and other objects."
"I own boxer mixed American bulldog f*** u haters i won't put my dog down cause of breed he loves kids people stop judging breed judge owner of animals and parents so people need get s*** right stfu!"
"The only way the dog would attack anyone if someone is doing something to the dog!"
The first thing that I felt reading these comments -- and there were a lot of them -- was disgust. Some people were more willing to aggressively blame the 6-year old victim and her parents than to admit that a dog is capable of just getting mad and biting someone. It probably is the owner's fault or poor training or whatever... but that's beside the point. The point of that story was to get help for a little girl who was attacked and scarred for life and some people turned it into a witch hunt similar to O.J. Simpson's quest to "find the real killer." People were blindly blaming the parents and the poor child and it was sickening.
Dogs are animals and, just like any other, will sometimes act like animals. Yes you can train them to be civil, just like you can with people, but they are not people and it's important that you know that. When a child is hurt, badly, don't ask me to be worried about the attacker's well-being. I wouldn't be in the case of a human attacking a child and I damn sure won't be when an animal does.
A few days ago Maggie posted this, mostly because the lengths the mother went to to protect her child made it a very interesting and unique story. Again, dog-lovers made it all about our alleged "dog racism" against pit bulls.
You can click through and read the (well over 100) comments if you like, but it was more of the same. Some were sympathetic to the poor girl (the human way to react), others were like "long live pit bulls" or whatever. People even started posting pictures of their pit bulls... I guess to prove how cute their dog is, which obviously means all pit bulls are cute, loveable and incapable of harming anyone without being provoked. Give me a break.
Some people really took issue with the fact that we even used the term "pit bull" at all in the story, because "any dog is capable of attacking." Let's get something straight here from a journalistic standpoint. It is incredibly relevant to make mention of the "pit bull" in a story because it implies a certain amount of danger. Yes, any dog can attack. However, when you read that it was a "pit bull attack" you know that it was a serious situation... possibly even life or death. If it were a German Shepherd, we would've said that too. If it were a Chihuahua, it probably wouldn't have made news because those things can't do much damage. Make sense?
In closing, I only want to pose two questions (that were already posed in the title):
- When did dogs become infallible?
- When did dogs become more important than people?
If you can tell me, with a straight face, that dogs are more important than people and legitimately make me believe it -- I will be the first in line behind you to vote Air Bud for President.
Also, a quick side-note: Parents hate it when you talk about raising a dog and raising a kid as if they're the same thing. Maybe you aren't able to have children or don't want to and dog ownership is the closest thing you have -- that's fine. Dogs are cute and fun and are basically like 2-year olds that never grow up or learn to speak... I get it. Just know that the two things are not in the same ballpark... they're not even the same sport. When have you ever been able to leave a baby at home, by itself, in a cage? Again, dogs aren't people and it's time we all accept that and move on.