Sunday, December 02, 2007

In defense of the underdogs

Today's news on page 3 is very unashamedly a strange article titled "Has Singapore Gone to the Dogs?" which honestly had no actual point to it, and I failed to see it if there were. In fact, I may go as far as saying that the article was run so that some journos could use a cheesy headline.

"They splash around unleashed at beaches" and who are they bothering? A couple of interviewees said that they are scared of dogs and are afraid that unleashed dogs will come up to them and sniff them.

Some say allowing dogs to sit on chairs is unhygeinic. Others are just uncomfortable with dogs hanging around eating places, albeit al fresco.

Once again, bizarre arguments are supported by these strange unfounded claims. Sure, one dog attacked a child recently, and cumulated statistics against pets come up to set the foundation to these claims.


Singapore is not a third world country -- animals don't always harbour disease and pestilence, they don't serve as vectors of disease except in rare cases of say, mange (which are mostly dog-specific anyway). Truth is, no disease (if any) spread by domestic pets (or even strays) pose any problem in our country. Even rabies is almost unheard of.

I mean, have you even sat next to a whole team of soccer bengs fresh from the field on a bus? These guys are dirtier than 10 smelly dogs combined. With bonus sweat. Times 100. Add +50 inconsideration and 100 bacteria points.

I have the answer. Humans -- we spread disease like nobody's business. Seriously, we should ban humans from public places.

Animals have control over their bladders and rectums just like us.

In fact, I dare say they have more control than a 2 year old. Just because a dog is a dog is a dog in a cafe, does not mean that the dog will just urinate or poop whenever it can. Please, dogs need some downtime from defaecation and excretion like the rest of us humans. People just think they are like, shit machines or something.

Some people are uncomfortable seeing dogs unleashed in the vicinity. Hell, I'm uncomfortable seeing babies unleashed in my immediate 10 metre radius and I'm not complaining. Do babies have rights? Sure. Do I have the right to feel comfortable? Yes, but I'm not expecting anyone to bend over backwards just because I'm uncomfortable. Because I respect the parents of the thing, and its rights, and most of all, I accept that I'm not the Center of the Universe. Certainly, if your baby is violent and loud and annoying, you shouldn't be taking it out to the park to terrorise members of the public? Similarly if your dog is badly behaved and vicious, you shouldn't let him loose unleashed.

If anything, I have faith in that most dog owners are responsible this way. I've seen dogs dining with their families al fresco, and usually in the corners away from people. Surely there are sore thumbs, and these people give dog owners a bad name.

But then I blame the citizenry whom, from isolated exceptional cases, establish the premise that all dogs are therefore, dangerous, dirty and just, well, scary. It's become almost like a witch hunt not unlike those centuries ago, where one would hear the refrain of "stone them all!" reverberate in the air.

And it just saddens me further that the authorities plainly set laws to placate the noise-makers, instead of attempting to reason or engage everyone else in these issues.

We whine about being paternalistic, a nanny state; but isn't it these noise-makers that almost always ask to be nannied? "Will the authorities do something about this and that..." etc.

When will we see the day where a forum letter says "Hey we all need to start doing this and this to help make things better" without the tune of a nannying request?


Anonymous said...

funny post.

Anonymous said...

But you're, like, how hot, can?

budak said...

think it's partly the media's fault too.. they try to be 'balanced', presenting both the stridently virulent views and softer moderates as if both were equally valid.