Ask and ye shall receive. At least that’s been my experience with a lot of pet bloggers. On a recent post that included a video of hot dudes with kittens, I mentioned that a nice transition between this blog and my soon to debut one, Freud’s Butcher, would be hot butchers with puppies.
Karen Friesecke of DoggieStylish.com came through with the following (not hot but cute):
I was going to leave you with just that fun video — what with trying to wind down this blog and all — but something has been nagging at me for a while and wanting to thank Karen brought that to mind.
She recently posted about Lennox, the dog that was killed in Belfast because he was a pit bull, and gave a big picture perspective. I’m not here to argue about whether BSL laws or the lack of spay and neutering by owners are more responsible for the death of pit bulls; I think both are necessary and Karen made her case for spay and neuter very well. I’d like to talk about how easy it is to focus on the details and lose the forest for the trees.
This forest-losing often leads to a putrid level of discourse in the comments section of big picture posts. Karen can — and does — take care of herself, but I know what a good and generous person she is. I’ve often written about how she has sent Frankie insulin from Canada. It upsets me to see her being called names and being accused of being a bad, sad — and old! — person for being rational, and to have her credibility undermined because she used “the f-bomb” and smiley faces. I chose not to use that language on my blog for a variety of reasons, but I would have zero credibility if I got points taken off every time I cursed in real life. And although I’m not generally an emoticon fan, I have found myself using them — not to mention multiple exclamation points — in the comments section here as shorthand. Big deal.
But back to Lennox and, even further back to Patrick, the abused pit bull. I get that we need to put a face on problems like BSL and animal abuse; Lennox and Patrick are effective poster dogs for those issues. But all the time and energy and money that go into obsessing about those particular dogs could be better spent on things like volunteering at shelters, campaigning against puppy mills, helping to get stronger laws against animal abuse enacted… big picture stuff.
I’m not saying that talking about individual cases and doing something about larger problems are mutually exclusive; these egregious, very public cases often lead to legislation, some of it thoughtful and well written, some reflecting the hyperbole of the people who took up the causes (remember, BSL laws themselves are the result of blowing a problem out of proportion).
My problem is that a lot of people get too riled up about the details, the ins and outs and the nuances of the cases, to do anything useful. The emotional energy invested in those individual dogs would be far better directed towards trying to change things. And, as I started out by saying, such emotional investment can lead to the type of misdirected rancor that good people like Karen experienced by trying to be rational and to provide some perspective.
And that’s a fucking shame.