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Dogs Bring Out the Best in Some...
...but the worst in others

Like millions of others around the globe, I spent lots of time this week reading about and watching the party in Washington D.C. My favorite stories are the man- or woman-on-the-street interviews, where inaugural pilgrims talk about spontaneous expressions of kindness and affection among strangers. I’ve been in a sort of cocoon of optimism, so the news that a dog, hanging out in his backyard (probably barking), not far from my home, was shot by an unknown assailant was like a body blow. The bullet shattered, splitting the bone in Bondo’s right front leg. His owner isn’t sure how he’ll pay for the $4,000-procedure his dog needs.

It’s not that I don’t know that dogs, and people for that matter, suffer cruelty and violence every day. But lately I’ve been distracted by the idea of our better selves. And there's the thing: One of the features of the human-dog relationship that I admire is the way our furry companions so often bring out what is best in us. When the opposite is true, it's a dark day.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Anonymous | January 22 2009 |

This sad event escaped my attention but, as heartbreaking as it is, it's important to publish it, if only to make all pet guardians aware of constant vigilance to protect their pets. And I wonder if something like this happened to Pres. Obama's little girls' new dog, whom I don't think they've adopted yet, what would the reaction be? There would be an outpouring of sympathy I'm sure. So my heart goes out to this everyday guardian, whose little guy's trauma and pain will escape attention (and medical treatment? will he be "put down" to end the suffering?). I pictured my own little guy in our backyard, whom I never leave unattended for long. Even in our safe neighborhood, I don't take his security and safety for granted. What if his bark were to elicit a similar reaction from a dumb kid or an offended neighbor? Okay, one more thing: why does our country need all these weapons of destruction?

Submitted by Sarah Flygare Riley | January 27 2009 |

I read this piece with growing alarm...there is a dog, right now, in my backyard barking! It is not my dog. It has no collar and seems lost. It seems to be waiting for us to find its owners, but I gotta say I don't know how! Can anyone help me? Is there a place out there I can post information about this poor poochie in my backyard? I'm not a "dogperson" and I have small kids so I'm afraid to take the dog into our house, but have offered it food and water. What i'd really like is help finding its owners, sans collar. Thanks.

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