An essay by Hugo E. DeSarro
The behavior of dogs has improved over the years. They are less aggressive toward other dogs and less hostile toward strangers. They are more obedient. It isn’t because the dogs of today have more intelligence than the dogs of yesterday. It’s because dogs (and other pets) are better treated today.
There was a time, not many years ago, when dogs were tied in the yard and stayed there for most of the day. Sometimes they were brought in at night and during inclement weather.
Some dogs were kept outside day and night. They slept in doghouses. They had little contact with the family and little or no contact with other people and other dogs. They lived their lives in the yard. Their only contact with the family was at feeding time when food was brought out to them. It was animal cruelty.
The treatment of dogs and other pets improved with the boomer generation. Baby boomers treat their pets more humanely than earlier generations. They keep them indoors and give them the run of the house. They take them for walks and demonstrate more affection for them. Many take their dogs with them wherever they go.
When I was young and lived in Hartford, dog fights were frequent. Dogs were frustrated and defensive. They chased cats and often shook them to death when they caught them. The dogs were treated brutally and developed brutal dispositions, as a result. There were exceptions, of course; families that treated their dogs and other pets decently.
Today, most dogs are friendly. They seldom fight. They are friendly with other dogs and no longer instinctively chase cats.
They are intelligent and easily trained and they perform valuable duties. They lead the blind and are companions to the elderly and the handicapped.
They work with policemen and firemen and save lives. They sniff out drugs and serve in the military in war time. Above all, they are affectionate and trustworthy companions
Talk to your dog. They listen to you. Like children, they want to learn and to please you. They are eager and interested in what is going on. They make wonderful lifetime friends and companions.
Posted April 9, 2011
Editor’s note: If you enjoyed Mr. DeSarro’s essay, you may enjoy these three related links.
Soul of a Dog by Jon Katz http://www.bedlamfarm.com/bedlam_books.asp
From Baghdad with Love, by Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews2/1592289800.asp
NorthStar Foundation – dogs for children with autism, based in Storrs CT http://www.northstardogs.com
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