Ask a Terrier: Hero or Hungry?
Did you see this video on social media where a Golden Retriever called Storm drags a drowning baby deer from the ocean? Then Storm nuzzles and paws it, and probably would have attached a defibrillator if he was vocally able to shout, “Clear!” Dogs are awesome! Do you think I can train Millie, my Rat Terrier, to be that cool or has that ship sailed?
Love your column! Michael M., Madison, WI
Dear Michael M.,
I’ve heard about Storm’s dramatic rescue, but not seen it because I can’t access social media due to paws.
However, my Giants seemed quite taken with the story, watching it repeated on the news shows, praising Storm with teary eyes, then sighing at me.
OK, Giants, message received!
Why is anyone surprised that a dog would save an animal? Dogs do that all the time, especially showboats like Goldens. What’s praiseworthy is when we save animals even when we’re kinda hungry.
Rescuing or killing animals. Frankly, I don’t see the difference, but I’m thinking Big Picture. I’ve rescued a number of rabbits, but just for a couple of minutes. Whether my intention was to save or kill them, we were all just having a bit of fun.
Not them, of course.
The Giant Vet called me a “natural predator”, which I thought was rude to say right in front of my Giants. They’re worriers, although they enjoy a vegetable garden free of vermin.
So, is Rat Terrier Millie more savior or killer? Her breed’s name would indicate deep inner conflicts. To help resolve such cases I developed this simple diagnostic chart, The Great Chain of Eating. Score one point for every animal Millie would kill and one for each she’d befriend. Then add a bunch of extra points, if you’d like. I don’t know what to do after that.
|Flies||Small. Buzzy. Helpless. Tasty. (Not the green ones!)|
|Cicadas||Large. Clumsy. Often entangled in fences. Sad and delicious.|
|Butterflies||Don't bother chasing. These things know a trick.|
|Larger things||Squirrels. Chipmunks. Mice. They're all the same, right? Just different costumes?|
|Dogs||Do not kill! Bad manners, terrible PR.|
|Creatures that fight back||Includes anything with claws, spines, fangs, sharp edges or broken glass. Save or kill at your discretion.|
Please share these tips with Millie, Michael M. It might help her fulfill her life-saving, heroic potential. Or barring that, just fulfill her hungry tummy.