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New Tricks

badger
July 12th, 2008, 09:40 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/magazine/08animal.t.html

Dingo
July 12th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Good article.

Great quote:

The hunters and sheepherders and the high-strung, ground-tearing terriers of yore — born ferreters of rats and badgers — are being increasingly disappointed from their intended earthly rounds, pulled skyward into high-rises, where there are only our ever-shifting moods, anthropomorphic projections and stuffed toys and couch pillows to alternately grasp, negotiate or tear through.

We look to dogs now to be not only companions but also substitute children, emotional and psychological support in the wake of deaths, divorces and breakups. We are asking them to be, in essence, little people, animate worry beads and stress absorbers: to undertake jobs that, while they may engage — to the point of exhaustion — the canine species’s long-heralded loyalty, exercise precious little else. The outcome has been an ever-growing number of incredibly messed-up, neurotic dogs, and with them a rise each year in the incidence of dog bites and other aggressive, antisocial behaviors — all of which contribute, of course, to the huge number of abandoned dogs.