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March 2007 - Nr. 3


The Editor
In Canada, eh?
"A Matter of Trust"
KW & Beyond
More of KW & Beyond
The Threepenny Opera
Erhard Matthaes
Dick reports...
AutoShow 2007
Have a (Healty) Heart
Welcome Al Gore!
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Ewa Podles at Roy Thompson
Nathaniel Dett Chorale
April Listings
Good Shepherd Wins
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Don't Let The Pigeon...
Planet in Focus Call
Aretha Franklin
Red Elvis
Organics Growing in Ontario
Canada's Food Aid
VW Seeks to Tempt US Buyers
Tempelhof to be Closed
Transatlantic Ties
Baby Boom
Germany's Dirk Nowitzki


by Dave McKague

My Dog Teaches …
The Way to Happiness

Hunny: "Throw the ball and I love you forever!"We live in an increasingly inter-dependent society. As individuals we must interact with our families, neighbors, work associates, governments and the animals with which we share this earth. Especially as we become increasingly urbanized, we become more and more dependent on these interactions for the food we eat and the products and services we buy and use.

The pursuit of some measure of security and happiness is for every person a vital quest. Because of the relationships we have with others, their actions can either aid or impede our own survival and happiness. This is why morality, honesty, decency and integrity are still important, despite what some might have you believe.

It is especially vital that those in positions of authority and power exercise sound judgment, as their decisions can impact on so many others. When the Ontario government passed the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, it did so ignoring the facts and thus created hardship for untold numbers of pet owners and their dogs.

Declaring that all "pit-bulls" are dangerous, as the Ontario government has done, is patently false. And it is false because our lawmakers have substituted a generality for any real observation or thinking. Imagine the outcry if they had tried the same with humans. "[insert Race here] are inferior." "[insert Religion here] are fanatics." "[insert Nationality here] are terrorists." Yet that is exactly what they have done with our canine friends.

It is a very unhappy fact that the Humane Society has been inundated with "pit bull" type dogs since the passage of this act. Owning a dog such as Hunny in the wake of such a law has its own potential problems and pitfalls, making it extremely difficult to find homes for these animals in the current politically unfavorable climate. And let’s face it, it is not likely to be the criminals or irresponsible dog owners (who should have been the real target of our lawmakers) who will give up their dogs, but the responsible owners who feel they cannot cope with the onerous demands of the legislation or the social ostracism that potentially comes from owning a "pit bull." As a result, many innocent dogs have been euthanized.

Once thinking has been subverted by prejudice and false information, it is not too much of a step to go the way Denver, Colorado has in being able to cause a lot of misery to a minority population; since they have enacted similar legislation over 1,000 "pit-bulls" have been seized from their homes and destroyed.

In The Way to Happiness, L. Ron Hubbard gives us some guidelines to improve our chances of achieving harmonious relationships and happiness. One of the points made is "Seek to live with the truth."

The truth is that one should be cautious with any dog one doesn’t know. All dogs can bite. Some dogs are extremely territorial and protective; others are not. Some will cower to a threat; others will react aggressively. Most dogs are simply companions to their owners; a very small percentage are brutalized and trained to be aggressive. Breed, like race, has nothing to do with it.

If we are going to seek to live with the truth, then we must first look. "What you observe is what you observe. Look at things and life directly, not through any cloud of prejudice, curtain of fear or the interpretation of another."1  If we are unable to look, we will never learn. When we can really and honestly observe, only then can we learn. And we might just learn to live harmoniously and safely with our animal friends.

Prejudice and bias are born in ignorance and can only flourish in the absence of true data. It should be the function of our lawmakers to help dispel lies and myths and not to promulgate them. And if you are a pet owner, be aware that the precedent has already been set … "[insert Breed here] are dangerous and hereby banned" might find you and your pet in the dog-catcher’s net.

1From The Way to Happiness, by L. Ron Hubbard. For more information, visit



Previous "Petitorial" articles by David McKague:


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