As an owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a breed of dog which make the news today (again) and for all the wrong reasons, I thought I might weigh-in with my own thoughts.
First of all, the dogs that killed the Beagle were not Staffs at all – but this is not very convincing nor helpful and actually misses the most important point that I want to make – and to do so, I need to digress for a moment and share an experience I had recently with a boring domestic chore.
Having noticed that our sinks were not draining very well, not to mention some pungent smells, I went online and ordered two bottles of One Shot, a powerful drain cleaner or 97% pure sulphuric acid. The bottle explicitly suggests that the user wears gloves and protective eye glasses but being a bloke and a bloke keen to see something burn, I didn’t do either. A few minutes in, my exposed arms started to tingle and even though the acid had been highly diluted in the toilet bowl, such is the ferocity of this stuff, my forearms quickly started to blister.
And I recount this to illustrate my point because we are currently acclimatising ourselves to the reality that some miscreant people like to throw this acid in to other people’s faces.
‘People’ who would do such a terrible thing are human beings just like you and I – the same species as my four boys – and yet they are capable of something so utterly inhuman. It is difficult, impossible even for normal people to understand their psyche. Are they somehow mentally deficient or sub-normal? Are they just born evil? Or are they the product of horrendous circumstances themselves? Who knows, but the fact remains, that some humans (thankfully few) are capable of great harm and cruelty.
And so it is exactly the same with dogs.
Any dog can be a danger if it is maltreated or bred with irresponsible intentions.
But no breed of dog can be maligned and pigeon holed in the same way that no race of human can be or legislated against. Ban certain breeds and wait until a Labrador snaps and kills a poodle. Muzzle certain breeds and wait…
Plus and for the record and to end with a more emotive plea for reason and clemency – our Staffie happens to be the softest and most lovely little dog in the world, not to mention the most beautiful…