Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Of Dogs & Dingoes

Celeste (the Dog) has been popping up on this blog a fair bit recently, and although I don't begrudge her her 15 minutes of fame, she should probably be making better use of her time by acquainting herself with the plight of most dogs in Iraq. Or at least the dogs in Baghdad.

Yes, at the same time that she's been with us - some three months now -
58,000 stray dogs have been shot in the country's capital. And the shooting isn't over.

Now strays - along with members of various ethnic and political groups and people who parted their hair the wrong way - were routinely rounded up and summarily executed by Saddam Hussein under The Former Regime
but, what with the US-led invasion 7 years ago and all that nasty sectarian violence of late, no one's been paying much attention to the dogs. Dogs who, by virtue of not being shot in the street, reproduced, and then reproduced some more so that now there are over a million strays roaming the city.

At least
no one's been paying much attention to the dogs until now.

Residents claim that the dogs are attacking and killing children - which may or may not be true. Dogs get such a bad rap here that it's difficult to say what's what. Certainly, many children Celeste (the Dog) routinely encounters taunt her, only to elicit a toothy growl and lunge from her. Go Celeste! Recently, one of my students advised me that dogs by nature are child-killers, for he had just seen a documentary which proved it, but after a clever bit of prodding on my part, it turns out that the film was A Cry in the Dark - as in "the dingo ate my baby".

For the love of God.

Are strays a menace in Baghdad? - I have no doubt. But killing 58,000 in 90 days? Isn't that a tad draconian? Can't they be rounded up, inoculated, and neutered - and then released, never to have doggie sex again? Of course the response to this is that in the Grand Order of Things, providing a safe environment for Baghdadians is the government's one and only priority - although I would add that in a city where people have died protesting the expense and/or lack of electricity, the future looks dim.

I would also add that the funds to shoot the city's dogs only just became available - could that money not be used to neuter them instead? Yes, I know: bullets cost less than sutures and anaesthetic.

But it doesn't mean I have to like it.

By the way, because I am by nature an inordinately sensitive individual, I have elected not to post to this blog the photo which accompanied the original news article. You're welcome.


Anonymous said...

This article was in our newspaper yesterday and unfortunately they provided pictures. Not a very pretty sight. Somehow the general population should be convinced that most dogs are good. What a sad world we live in when the answer to everything is to shoot it.

This Cat's Abroad said...

"What a sad world we live in when the answer to everything is to shoot it." ... well said Anonymous.

Joanna D'Angelo said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am appalled! But unfortunately not surprised that this is going on. It's shameful. But you've given me an idea...

Take care my dear! Stay safe! And keep in touch! ;)