Thursday, July 29, 2010

Woodland Stewardship Institute

"Ain't Gonna Play War No More"

Common Dog Gone Sense
Dog Control, Gun Control, or Self Control

You can be sure this will be a touchy subject!
But something needs to be done. There seems to be more people with more dogs in more places, who know less and less of how to treat them, handle them, or train them. Everywhere I see the results of our society having lost what they used to call basic, common "HORSE SENSE". In other words, a lot of people don't know how to be neighborly or how to raise children! Naturally, education is the solution. When we start to learn our manners (good old country "horse sense") everyone will be healthier and happier.
OK, the number one issue!!! --- "CONFINEMENT"---

Control Freaks always lose control !!!

Confinement is the root of all the other problems; barking, biting, and being out of control. There is a growing majority of "City Slickers" with the legalistic "Barney Fife" mentality that all dogs should be locked up or tied up at ALL times. This is inhumane. There are people that need to be locked up, but I'm not aware of any real animal criminals or perverts. Everyone knows about the typical hard core "dog control," but the results are disastrous. In other words, a strict leash law is not the solution but the most significant contribution to the problem! You think I'm crazy? We are about to find ourselves in the same predicament as a herd of animals, because of our stupidity. It's called "MARTIAL LAW." Most city people aren't responsible enough to have a gun or a dog! I'm not talking about people that live in the city, I'm talking about city people that are everywhere! Fortunately, this is still a free country. That is because our country was built on Laws, but it is based on freedom. True freedom is based on obedience. "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom." Ben Franklin.

What is the solution? If you don't have the time and the space, your critter is going crazy! They can't learn anything if they are never free. That means that YOU the owners are OUT of CONTROL! It's time to downsize, or phase out your stock. Why make them and your neighbors suffer?

I know what you are thinking. We can't have dogs running lose everywhere. Listen, a dog on a leash has to be considered dangerous and uncontrollable. I'm not talking about letting your dog run. I'm talking about tolerance. Especially the process from puppy to adulthood. Puppies, colts, children, all need a happy, free, atmosphere growing up. Until they learn self discipline. You start introducing them to the rules positively. You strive for voluntary, unaware, complicity in their own confinement. They learn that obedience equals freedom. In other words, they come when you call, and want to follow you wherever you go. It all has to be built on a relationship. A relationship where you are the Master, the Good Shepherd, not the tyrant. Not a relationship based on fear and coercion. "Perfect Love casts out all fear."

This begs the question, "Who's gonna keep the dogs out of my yard?" The answer is YOU! No one else is going to camp in your yard and make sure nothing ever goes there! It is a well established fact that no matter what kind of a policy you try, there's always going to be dogs loose. If you can't get over it, move to the big city where all the paranoid control freaks can get together in one big pile until they get murdered, robbed, or mugged. If the neighbors puppy wanders into your yard, you don't have to call the City, just get after the little squirt, they are real sensitive at that age. They are just like children. They don't need discipline, as much as they need training.

You can see this is turning into a book already. I need to talk about manners though. Here the number one issue is obviously mean and vicious dogs. In order for any of this to work, and for there to be any freedom and tolerance, we have to eliminate the attitude of having a dog as a weapon. Or even having one as a guard or an alarm. Mean barking dogs are for people who put their faith in mean barking dogs. It is a pathetic excuse because they are a very poor insurance. You can go into any hospital emergency room and they will tell you the most common situation is people with dog bites. We have known several beautiful young people who were scarred for life, bitten by their own dogs or their friend's. I'm coming down real hard on this, the same way I do with my dogs. You cannot tolerate any form of aggressive behavior. I know it's probably impossible to even dream of correcting the problem, because people think, that is what dogs are for. They are supposed to be protective and bark and maybe they will save your life. FORGET IT. What a bunch of crap!!! There's no other solution!!! Other than Martial Law.

There is no reasonable excuse for bad manners. Or for going to someone's house only to be accosted by their dogs. We need to keep the 3 R's in the right perspective, Respect for God, Respect for people made in His image, and Respect for Nature.

Now it appears I have raised more questions than answers, so I have to commit to writing the book. I will begin with a series of hypothetical situations that, believe it or not, are at the same time, true stories. While we are at it, let's try to imagine a better system of government for the way we relate to the people and pets in our rural neighborhoods.

It all started when we began learning about natural horsemanship 30 years ago. You know the old proverb, "If you want something to come back to you, you must first set it free." The first sign of poor horsemanship is when you can't catch your horses, and when you do catch them they are looking for the first chance to escape. We live on Main street, but we are also on the edge of town. The horse pen extends a quarter of a mile out back, beyond the City limits. When we bring them up to the house they are loose most of the time. When I go back to gather them, they come running and put their noses in the halter. When it's time to load them, they go right in the trailer. They are content to mow the lawn right next to the Main street. They know that if they cross the street they will be out of favor and I will just bring them back. The funny thing is when city people (which are everywhere) that don't know us, drive by they freak out. "Oh no, look, your horse is loose!!!" That's not all, some complain to the City. Barney Fife (not his real name) the town clown (who also so happens to be the town drunk) says, "These horses can't be on the sidewalk, or the street, or even in town for that matter. City streets are only for vehicles." (speeding with impunity). I say, "You're full of it, horses are allowed on the streets, so are children, and dogs. This will slow them down!" He's not impressed, but of course he doesn't have a leg to stand on.
This brings us to the next relevant incedent. This is another true story. I watched a big German Shepherd dog give his life for a child! I stopped at the old gas station at another small town near here. After filling up I was getting ready to pull out on to the highway when the school bus stopped right there. There were a few cars that stopped behind it. A little girl got out and proceeded to walk in front of the bus to cross the road. All of a sudden I heard tires squeal when this small import pickup, with three guys in the seat, screeched to a stop, just missing her. I looked back behind the bus to see the big dog splatted in the middle of the road. I stomped on the throttle to try and get in front of the knotheads in the little pickup, but I had my big trailer on behind with three big horses. They just drove on, a little wild eyed! Of course they were speeding and were going to pass everyone.

Next story. We have an old dog here, his name is Buddy. Now he is 14 or 15, in other words about 100 in dog years. His mother was Australian Shepherd and his father was a Lab, Rottweiler cross. He is so indifferent it is funny. When he was a pup we did the usual, taught him not to bark, taught him to get along with the chickens, taught him to be nice to strangers, etc. Also, like every pup we have had, I taught him right away to be street wise. This begins early. When the pup gets in the way, HE GETS STEPPED ON! When he tries to run in the door to the house, HE GETS PINCHED. When he gets a little bigger, he has to learn to watch out on the street. When he tries to follow the car, I spin some brodies, make a lot of noise, and start chasing him! If I catch him in the street when I'm driving, I TRY TO RUN OVER HIM! Is this discipline or training? Maybe they aren't much different. This is the basic principle of horse sense that is sadly deficient. I'm sure all the animal worshipers think this is unthinkable. The fact is, it is just a fact of life, and this is how you preserve their life. I have actually seen the ultimate example of the opposite of this, and I'm sure you have too. That is people stopping and getting out of their car and picking up their dog when they come home. You know what happens when a visitor comes and doesn't see the dog. Believe me I know! Now Buddy the wise old dog has made his retirement business that of playing with the traffic. He is kind of an extension of myself, you know how that can be. When we are working and playing around here with the horses and the kids, he guards the street. The funny thing is, he has almost all of the people buffaloed. He hears them coming. He knows from the sound of their throttle, what they are going to do, before they do! One time just recently, while working with the horses, logging next to a county road, he had a loaded logging truck completely stopped!!! Now that is proficiency! What has happened with the majority of people now. I guarantee you this was never a problem in the not so distant past. Maybe it is linked to the same ridiculous idea of having dogs in the house. I read a recent article which stated that 62% of people with cats and almost 50% of the people with dogs, SLEEP WITH THEM!!! The just of the article though was the fact they are finding serious disease problems with people because of it.
Now I know this is a lot to take in. What do you think? Should we learn about these things, or should we just make sure ALL critters are confined and contained at ALL times?

Next true story. Having horses on the edge of town has been trying. The worst problem we've had was vandalism. At first we thought it was kids, but as time went on, it became apparent that it was adults. Letting the horses out, cutting up the fence, destroying the fence charger, terrorizing the horses, etc. Any time there were horses loose anywhere around town, everyone assumed they were ours. Once a neighbor (drunk) called from just a quarter mile away. His house is in the middle of a small field. He said, very belligerently, "Do you have three horses? Well, they are in my field and you better get them the blankety blank out of here!" I knew they weren't mine, so I said, "What makes you think they are not going to come in your yard? Do you have a fence?" He said, "I don't have a fence, but I've got a gun!" I said, "They are going to take our guns away because of idiots like you! Go ahead and shoot them, you have my permission! THEY'RE NOT MY HORSES!!!"
Now what do you think? Should we build our community on tolerance, hospitality, and understanding, or "Drinking, fighting, and gambling"? Again, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom." The other alternative is MARTIAL LAW!!!

The next true story. One Sunday afternoon, a few years ago, a young couple came strutting into our yard. They had a black lab that they said was ours. It had just killed one of their chickens along with an accomplice that happened to look just like our other dog at that time. I said they weren't ours, they called me a liar and started mouthing off. They said, you must have just tied that dog back on it's run. I said, she's been there all day. He had a gun, and said, "I'm going to shoot your chicken killing dogs that run loose." Like everyone else they knew that any critter that was loose had to be ours. I said, "Go ahead, there they are, have at it!" They left. Those two dogs had the run of the town for the next four or five days.
The other day, two big dogs that keep jumping the fence, came straight into our yard and got off with two nice hens. The City maintenance man was going by and saw it. He and I followed them home, just a block away. I think he couldn't understand why I wasn't upset. I said, "There's always going to be dogs loose, and they are always going to like chickens. I took the risk when I let the birds out of their pen."
Now what do you think? Is the problem the animals, or the people?

Next. Several years ago, we took the horses and the two dogs and went for a ride. Over the mountain and back around by Brush Creek, about five miles. Coming back into town, Buddy gets in a fight with a neighbors dog in the trailer park. Male dogs love to fight and there wasn't much that could be done. A friend up the street had 21 stitches in his leg, bitten by his own dog, when he tried to break up a dog fight. We had just dismounted and went in the house to get a drink, and here comes the neighbor with a pistol, calling me an idiot. He says if he sees my dog any where near his place he's going to shoot it. He kind of gave me the impression he would just as well like to shoot me! I just went out to face him, didn't say a word. He left and never came back. You don't have to go get your gun to stand up to people, unless you are a coward. The worst thing about having a gun is, you might have to use it. The only solution is for stronger men to come and overcome. Men that are spiritually, and morally stronger.

We are not the only ones that have been threatened by stupid ignorant people over stupid animals! Our society is going to the dogs!

Now what do you think is the solution? Lock up all the critters all the time, or just lock up the people and take their guns away? If you value your freedom and independence, I hope you value obedience, to all of God's Laws, Natural laws, moral laws, physical laws, laws of science, laws of diet and health and fitness, they are all His Laws. For the third time, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom!"

1 comment:

Chip said...

Interesting thoughts, Mark. Definitely thought-provoking. :)