A few words for the dogs


To the Editor:

I read with interest the article [West Tisbury selectmen clamp down on poultry-eating dogs, December 14] a couple of weeks back regarding a couple of dogs who killed some ducks and chickens.

Certain notable town leaders decried the actions of those dogs and made a pretty good case in the process. I’d like to just say a few words for the dogs, though.

Now, it’s a natural fact — and this is one of the few times one can use that turn of phrase — because it is a natural fact that dogs have a taste for fowl. I don’t think this ought to be held against them. Do you?

Now, I know how attached people can get to their ducks, and chickens also, and I’m sympathetic. But still.

The difficulty, as I see it, is that most dogs don’t have easy access to money, and even those that do aren’t allowed into any of the food stores that I know of, although Elio feels bad about that, I think. So, really, what’s the alternative?

I don’t like to point fingers, although I seem to have a hand full of them, but I have it from a really reliable source that more than one of West Tisbury’s leaders are chicken eaters. It seems to me that what we have here is a prime example of inter-species snobbery.

We don’t raise an eyebrow when half the human folk of West Tisbury go chicken wild. But, one or two dogs obey their natural God-given bent; the next thing is, we want to kill the poor creatures.

It’s my guess, without being a chicken myself, that it’s pretty much the same to a chicken whether they get permanently killed by a human or a canine. Why, in fact, one could make a case in favor of the canine, as far as chickens might consider, as there’s always the chance that the chicken, or duck for that matter, might just flutter out of reach.

One thing we all have in common — dogs, people, chickens and ducks, for that matter, is we have a strong predilection to stay in the body we were born in. So, my deepest sympathy goes out to the fowl. However, after doing some research for this letter on account of not wanting to go off talking about a subject I’m not familiar with, like so many folk, I studied a few chickens up close and noticed that they ate quite a surprising number of innocent bugs, who almost nobody cares about whatsoever. I’m going to have to think about that, you can be certain.

So, before we go around killing anything like a dog or such, we ought to remember the Golden Rule, and that means to put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes, even if the other fellow is a dog, or such. Not many of us would go around killing a dog if we happened to be that dog, if you follow what I’m getting at. That’s the real lesson here, is what I’m thinking.

Ted Box

Vineyard Haven