“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
Galileo Dog is a pseudonym for a worker in the animal field. Because of threats from animal activists, particularly from pit bull apologists, Galileo Dog chooses to remain anonymous. The commentary that is written is not to convert the activists, but to provide insight and testimony to those who desire to listen and hear the truth about the animal industry. It is not necessary for Galileo Dog’s identity be revealed for the words to make a difference. Those who listen closely will know that Galileo Dog is authentic and speaks from genuine experience.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
“Methinks thou dost protest too much” – William Shakespeare
Just another day living in a world gone mad. I only follow the online world in bits and pieces. I am not glued to social media waiting for the next post about a dangerous dog so I can throw in my brilliant and witty two cents. I pop in and out to check on my family and friends. I don’t own a dangerous dog breed that I need to constantly defend through every social media outlet. If I did I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that someone out there is afraid of or disdains my breed of choice. Nor am I a victim or parent of a deceased child finding ways to cope or comfort myself through the sleepless nights. I am a regular person living a very regular life in Middle America.
My job just happens to be working with animals. I give very little information about that part of my life, not because I lie about my animal experience and knowledge, but because I must remain off the radar about the current war with pit bulls. Even though I pop in and out of social media, I have gotten “the message” loud and clear from the pit bull activists. Not only do I get to watch keyboard warriors in action, I also get to witness their mounting insanity in my work environment on a daily basis. If only you could see what I see!
Initially no one gets into the animal business for any other reason than loving animals including myself. For most of us, there is little money to be made and far more emotional lows than highs. In my 15 years of professionally working with animals, I have grown and developed as a person through advocating and working with animals. Through my personal growth, my compassion for animals has never wavered. I know now that I have clear boundaries and have compassion and love for my fellow humans too. I know the difference between human existence and the place that animals have in our lives.
Perusing the Internet and social media, I came across a few disturbing articles this week that I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around. Actually, I am not even going to refer to this as an article as it does not even resemble responsible thoughtful journalism. This is an opinion blog written by a pit bull activist/novelist, Douglas Anthony Cooper, published on a website renowned as pro pit bull. This is the same publication that while highlighting the wonders of the pit bull using photos with children kissing or snuggling these potentially vicious dogs they accidentally posted a picture of a child hugging the pit bull that killed him soon after the photo was taken.
That being said, I would like to comment regarding Merritt Clifton, the focus of the editorial blog. I happen to agree with the apologist author on one thing, Mr. Clifton is WRONG. Yep, I think his numbers fall pitifully short of where they should be. Mr. Clifton is very much low-balling it. From what I observe on a daily basis and doing the calculations for my area (which I consider for the most part not to be high density bully breed area} his numbers have to be low. Much like Colleen Lynn from Dogsbite.org, he merely records and logs information found in publications, reports, and news articles. I know that in my career only a handful of incidents were given notice in any news publications at all. The public has no idea of what goes on behind the doors of police departments and animal control agencies on daily basis. Clifton is just recording and touching on the tip of the pit bull iceberg. He logs and records “real incidents with real people and real animals”. Ms. Lynn uses Dogsbite.org to post the information of the attack with the victim’s picture, and some even includes the dog’s picture. Inexplicably the pit bull advocates argue that Clifton and Lynn are wrong. How can they be wrong? These people really existed and really were killed by a dog! With a few seconds of research, each victim’s cause of death can be verified. These people are considered “facts”. There is no denying that they lived and died. So why are we “shooting the messengers” of this information? They are not inaccurate just because some don’t like the facts!
Naysayers should also ask themselves “What do Clifton and Lynn have to gain by “lying”? It absolutely makes no sense to conclude that over 30 years ago (simply by chance or by design) Mr. Clifton decided to start logging canine attacks so he can skew the numbers and make pit bulls appear to be a high danger risk. Unlike advocating for pit bulls, there is no money to be made for discussing their dangers. His payoff is that now he gets negative libelous articles written about him, daily hate mail that often includes death threats. Ms. Lynn herself is a victim of a canine attack who is trying to educate others about the dangers. After she was assaulted by a pit bull, she began her website as an educational site and a way to honor other victims. She was one of the first to make all their stories easily accessible to the public and putting a face to their narratives. She made these people matter and refused to let them be brushed under the rug. In return, she, as well, has received threats, hate mail, and a website dedicated to slandering her and promoting hate towards her. The pit bull apologists have minimized her attack and have made hateful memes to spread all over social media. This sounds like she struck a raw nerve with her advocacy. There is absolutely no reason or motive for Ms. Lynn or Mr. Clifton to be dishonest. There is no benefit for being realistic and honest about dangerous dog breeds except to prevent future victims and educate people about public safety and dangerous dogs.
Inevitably someone is reading this and actually thinking,” how do we know the culprits are pit bulls?” Very simple, in the real world, all dog fanciers can identify a pit bull. Many of the pictures of the dogs are posted online and they are unmistakably pit bulls with distinctive bully breed characteristics. Police Departments and Animal Control agencies identified them as pit bulls. Owners have identified them as pit bulls. The witnesses have identified them as pit bulls. Veterinarians have identified them as pit bulls. Police cameras and other recording devices have identified them as pit bulls. The ONLY people who have a hard time identifying them are pit bull activists. Yes, there are a few other breeds that regularly kill people such as Rottweilers and Bullmastiffs, but no one seems to argue or care much about their identifications. Go figure!
“Anyone who thinks they stand apart from society and defies all which govern its existence has less in common with the lone wolf patriot standing up to dystopic forces of oppression – a myth- and more in common with the disease known as cancer.” – Steven Weber
The second story of the week that caught my eye was controversy of the art exhibit in Grand Rapids, Michigan honoring the 2014 victims of fatal dog attacks. The irony escapes me that there can be controversy over honoring dead people. Apparently, the pit bull lovers are upset because they dislike the truth about how these people died. The knee-jerk reaction of the apologists is to protest the exhibit. To regular people like me, this seems a bit INSANE! Seriously, how could the manner I which someone died be offensive to someone to the point it demands a protest? Some of the deceased are innocent, little children. Are their lost lives irrelevant? Somehow people have forgotten, or most likely don’t care that these people are dead and gone from their families. Dead is forever. Now even though I only occasionally check social media, it is enough to know that the families of the deceased are NOT allowed to be upset that a dog, most likely a pit bull, has killed their loved one. If they dare express their feelings they are persecuted to the full extent of social media, which includes being called a racist, a Nazi, a dog hater, and receiving a ton of hate mail that degrades your loved one and describes the violent acts that the author would like to do to you or have happen to you. Sometimes they wish it to be done by a pit bull. Insane I say! The same people will then have the gall to go on and on about how they are offended and hurt that someone dared to say that a pit bull killed someone. They will then post a million pictures of their precious pooch often with the dog licking the face of a child. It doesn’t matter that someone, especially a child has died. You must never say a peep about it because the only thing that matters in this world is their own self and how they “feel” about their dog. Then they whine and moan about stereotypes and how “any dog can bite”.
Well, I have a news flash for them; it’s not a stereotype if it is really happening. The event is factual Pit bulls and other bully breeds really are maiming and killing humans, pets and livestock. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be an art exhibit of dead people. Yes, “any dog can bite”, but most of these biters are not mauling and slaughtering as the bully breeds do. If they were, there would be obvious breed variety when it came to the human death toll. Maybe instead of holding protests against dead people, pit bull activists should have a little chat with their breed of dog and ask them not to do things to make it into the news, or Dogsbite.org, or Clifton’s report, or an art exhibit.
Leaving the pit bull madness behind, I would like to comment about bears. I was just reading an article about how a 22 yr. old man was killed by a black bear in New Jersey. My natural reaction was of sadness. First my sadness goes out to this young man and his family and secondly, I feel sadness for the bear. I never like to see wildlife killed for being wild, but completely understand that for public safety, it is a measure that has to be taken. At no point, does my sadness for the bear outweigh my sadness for the victim. He is someone’s loved one and most importantly, someone’s child. As a parent myself, I realize that your children are always your children, no matter how old they are. After reading the article, I glanced at the comment section. I was appalled. Much like the dog issue, the comments that were being made were horrifying. Here are some highlights of what has been written…
Yeah, blame the bear. These idiots cost the bear his life (1 idiot paid the ultimate, can’t feel sorry for them)
I always blame humans over animals!
Act like food get treated like food. If a predator thinks you’re on the menu, it’s because you didn’t explain the situation to the animal in a way it can understand.
Typical idiot city yuppies out in the woods completely ignorant and unprepared. Morons.
I blame the hikers. Common sense says you learn how to handle yourself in the wild BEFORE you go into the wild!!
So sad that the bear was killed. I don’t care about the hiker…R.I.P. to the bear 🙁
A Patel is no big loss, too many patels in NJ anyway…I say give the bear a medal.
Bears live in the woods. Bears defend their territory. Bears do what bears do. Humans are f****** morons.
If you walk among the BEARS, you could be Eating by the BEARS. Here is your sign, just thinning the herd.
Eating someone from NJ will make you sick. Poor bear.
Indian programmers make poor bear food.
In my wildest dreams, I never imagined what the animal welfare/rights movement would turn into when I joined over 20 years ago. I merely wanted animals to be treated humanely and with respect. I never realized that it would result in my fellow human beings being treated poorly. I never had the intention of devaluing human life. I never thought that to love animals I would have to hate people. I never wanted dogs to have the right to kill people. I never wanted people to have the right to own dogs that kill people. I never wanted parents of dead kids to be taunted mercilessly. In my quest for compassion towards animals, I have discovered a great love of my fellow man. In the end, I continue to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. The voices of victims must be heard, remembered and heeded.