Who Owns Whom?

Sadie resting - a rare momentToday I really enjoyed reading Investigation of a Dog’s paper on animals in history.

As I read the first paragraphs, I thought of an eighteenth-century hunting scene I had once seen in a book:  elegant men astride their horses, several hunting dogs at their feet, hard at work.  This is a symbol of affluence and power, in that the men not only afford to purchase and keep the animals but also control their behavior.

I have a Springer Spaniel and though I don’t hunt her she exhibits many signs of instinctual bird hunting behavior – including the dive into brush to spring the birds, which is one of her breed’s defining behaviors. She is a product from hundreds of years during which breeders selected stock for specific behaviors: the dominion of man over beast.

I say that she is ‘my’ dog.  She’s a pure bred dog, not a mixed breed.  We paid a good deal of money for her.  We acquired her after researching many breeds and selecting one that is loyal, friendly and not an annoying neighbor.  We selected a breeder who believes in out-crossing to reduce the risk of getting a weak animal.  Focusing on animals helps us to see property rights as something arbitrary.

All in all, an interesting read that has me thinking – check it out!

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3 responses

  1. amberfireinus | Reply

    Let me assure you… you do not own that dog. She owns both you and your husband completely!

  2. I agree! She won my heart at nine weeks, when I first held her and looked into her happy little face.

  3. Awwws look at that face! Can see how see wraps people around her little pinky paw! Cutes!

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