They say he's man's best friend!
My wife asked the question that forms the title of this column. We wondered whether such behaviour places the dog in a special group with killer instincts, along with humans. The answer is yes, it does. It is true that other animals kill one another for reasons other than food, such as the right to mate, and the right to territory, but dogs kill for no apparent reason. We can only say that they are obeying their instincts.
The fact is that man's best friend is one of the most complex animals in the whole of the animal kingdom. More than most other animals dogs are the most successful in being brought into our homes and our hearts, but yet, they can just as easily turn and create some of the most horrific problems. A perfect example is the dog who was such a wonderful pet to his family, only to eat the new born baby who had been brought home.
Dogs are killers! In their natural state they are simply killing machines; they kill one another, other animals, sometimes for food, and they kill people. Yet it is we people who seem to think they are cute and charming. The dog is such a con-man he has it figured that if he gives a little love and affection to us we will give him a home with food, and that beats having to forage and kill everyday, just to survive.
One reason we think they are cute is that we can train them to an extent to do as we wish. They are smart enough to go along with the program and are capable of making themselves really useful, such as in search and rescue by using their superior sense of smell and hearing. Those dogs that act in place of a human's eyes sit at the very top of the totem pole as a valuable friend, in my estimation.
There is much to be learned by humans from our four-legged friend, the dog, but at the end of the day a dog is a dog. They are not children, nor are they toys, but they can be fountains of love and companionship, such as the handbag dogs. However, they don't have the human sense of morality and when they kill it happens because we, as being the person responsible for them, allow it to happen.
Dogs are also disgusting. I like to tell my friends that Max, my dog likes to eat cat food. When my cat vomits her food Max will lap it up, preferably while it's warm. He would really like to eat the food while it's inside of the cat, but I just won't allow it! Charming?
Copyright (c) 2014 Eugene Carmichael