"A Special Place in Hell"...
That’s the term an ardent dog lover used for Michael Vick following his guilty plea to promoting dog fighting on Tuesday. Had they offered opinions, Sammy Dammit the Wrong Dog and Little Lupe would have offered similar opinions. My dogs speak perfect English; they just don’t say a lot.
Time was, a dogfight was fighter pilots swarming the skies and duking it out with available guns. Now, it’s bloodsport, like politics.
I have always regarded dog pitting to be a redneck activity, not some ghetto-mentality “black thing”. Spike TV—where I used to visit for the cop-dash-cam videos—features all manner of fight club nonsense and wrestling theatricality. Okay; that’s between humans. If you’re some corn-fed chap who can take the pounding, jump in. I’m a Libertarian; make your choice, and live with it. I prefer my body-slams on the floor of the Senate…but, that’s just me.
Dogs don’t necessarily have that option. Ever since wolves surrendered their autonomy to our cave-dwelling ancestors, dogs look to us for guidance, affection, and support. They could be living in a feral state somewhere, but they like us big ol’ bipedal caterers to attend their every need.
I hate to disappoint the PETA crowd, but I do not consider an animal’s life worth more than a human’s. On the other hand, I’ll kill for my dogs. They are fortunate critters, and they know it. To quote the late, great Lee Marvin from “The Professionals”: “You don’t die for a good woman, you kill for her.” I don’t know too many good women at my age, but my dogs are always glad to see me, and they don’t question where I’ve been.
I am larger than the average dog, and no matter what else happens, I know I can throw and probably kill one if we get into an all-out attack.
I have friends—a cop, a close friend, in fact—who has raised pit bulls in close proximity to infant children. The closest guardian of my children was a Doberman named “Ransom”. Such dogs are only dangerous if you make them so. What Michael Vick did was to make his “pets” so dangerous that they will probably have to be euthanized. He also participated in the brutal executions of un-performing animals, or whatever.
I once took in a Dalmatian who had been trained as a volunteer firehouse watchdog. Then he had gone deaf, which is a common genetic trait among Dalmatians. Generally unmanageable, I took him out to my farm. The firefighters were ready to do away with him as a bad deal gone wrong. He settled in beside the woodburning stove and snoozed off. I sat at my desk for a while, pounding the typewriter with some work-related stuff.
I eventually rose from my desk and headed toward the kitchen, intent on a cold beer or some such. My path took me past “Spot”. Although deaf as a rock, he felt the floor of the 120-year-old house vibrate, and woke in just enough time to bite me firmly behind the knee.
All right, dog lovers! Cringe, and ready your slings and arrows!
I picked “Spot” up by his hind legs. He weighed over 100 pounds, but I had the adrenalin going. A good dog bite will put you into traumatic shock. I swung him like a bag of horse feed, once, twice, three times. Then I let go, and he crashed into the wall like a sack of rocks.
We never spoke of this again. Dogs have short memories. You can’t go back later, lecture them, and then punish them. “Spot” never tried to bite me again. After some more “tough love”, he never bit anyone again. This was a dog who could yank a 250-gallon propane tank off its blocks, charging at intruders in the yard. He always responded well to “Who’s your daddy?” All you to do was “duck and cover”; show submission, and he’d lose interest. He ended up doing quite well with kids. I had another Dalmatian to teach him manners; they both ended up attacking a guy on crutches because they thought the shiny things were rifles; but then, a dog will do what you ask. You who fly bet your lives on Homeland Security every day. Want to bet your life on a dog’s?
Later in life, I became guardian and servant to an impressive Doberman. She had never been “trimmed”, so she had giant bat ears and a long, curly tail. Had she asked, I might have gone for the cosmetology, but she never asked, so I didn’t do it.
This dog was ¾ Doberman and ¼ German Alsatian [Shepherd]. She stood quietly by while the kids played. She rode quietly in my car or pickup truck. She never attacked a stranger, or mauled an innocent bystander. If, however, someone had attacked any member of our family, they would have faced over 100 pounds of snarling fury, to coin a phrase. The dog could smell gun oil, my children knew the difference, and predators walked up at their own peril. Few tried.
There are now people who are saying we have to “understand” Michael Vick, and somehow forgive him for what he has done. If my dogs deigned to speak to you, they’d say what I do: Bullshit. [That’s PG-13 by modern standards; I’ve been watching the movie channels.]
I am not without sin, and should perhaps not cast the first stone. Judging by the hooting at his court appearance, there is no shortage of those who want Michael Vick drawn and quartered. I might parse things with PETA, but if the darlings of the Liberal Left care to take a stand on this, I am with you. There is no limit to what I will do for my dogs; on the other hand, there is no limit for what they will do for me.
I grew up with rednecks, so it ain’t no surprise that we fight dogs. Stupid people are capable of incredibly stupid things. I once had to body-slam a dog because there was no other way to get through to him; I still get grief from other “dogsters” because I had to resort to such measures.
My dogs would die for me; I will kill for them. Such is the ageless relationship of man and beast. I have heard all the rhetoric about “Mike Vick is being unfairly used as the poster-boy for dog fighting.” There are apologists who want him to resume his NFL career once he exits prison for this little “hiccup”. Utter rubbish; he needs to hide and pray.
My pictures doen't publish the way I'd like them. However, the shot of Ransom is at the beginning of this column. She was a really sweet pooch, but if you made a pass at the kids, her facial expression and more is what you got.
My friend has it right. There is a special corner of Hell for those who inflict suffering on the beasts of God’s creation. PETA people be damned; we are given dominion by Biblical decree, but that doesn’t mean you go out and act like some kind of king-hell beast. I might not trade the average human life for that of a critter, but Michael Vick’s life isn’t worth that of a dog. Bad boy! Get down!