Pitbull and politics
You never read about a plane that did not crash or about the laws a politician did not break.
This is the nature of our daily news. It is called the “man bites dog” phenomenon or the statement made by a news editor (attributed to several different editors including the legendary American journalist, Charles Anderson Dana) that “When a dog bites a man that is not news because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog that is news.” What about when a woman bites a dog?
This was big news several times in the past few years. In 1997, a pit bull attacked Dagmar Vidivic’s poodle. The Croatian widow leapt from her second story apartment and, despite a broken ankle, bit the pit bull in the throat. In 2001, Margaret Hargrove, of Tennessee, 73, bit a pit bull in the neck, twice, when it almost killed her dog Alex. According to one wit: “Her teeth might have been false but her bites were real.”
Then in 2008, Amy Rice, 38, bit a pit bull on the nose when it tried to kill her dog Ella. The police made no effort to catch the pit bull until Ms Rice’s doctor pointed out that Ms Rice could be in danger of contracting rabies. The police eventually rounded up the dog and both they and the dog are now in the doghouse.
The pit bull is not the only dog in the doghouse. According to the BBC, two Indian police dogs are now in trouble because they got themselves into “trouble”. In other words, they became pregnant and their trainers have been suspended for dereliction of duty.
In a story headlined: Life is ruff for two star Indian Police Sniffer Dogs Who Are Now In Disgrace After Having Puppies, the BBC’s Salman Ravi, wrote: “Police in central India’s Chhattisgarh state have suspended the bitches’ trainers for dereliction of duty. The dog handlers said a lack of proper enclosures or kennels at the squad’s headquarters was to blame. Labradors Seema and Liza have little time to dwell on their career setback – the proud mums have given birth to litters of seven and ten, respectively.”
The commandant of police, who is said to be having kittens over the incident, has ordered an inquiry into the “serious security lapse”. One of the trainers, Mohan Gupta, blamed the lack of proper kennels at the station. He said the dog squad wing had broken doors and that “the bitches might have sneaked out or the street dogs might have strayed into the kennel”. He explained: “We were ignorant about the bitches conceiving till we noticed their stomachs swelling. I am just a trainer. How can I be held responsible for the bitches becoming pregnant?”
What the police need is a different kind of dog – one that will begin an investigation, uncompromisingly stick to the scent, butt me no butts, and sniff out the absconding males who committed the acts. There is a story about a dog that is more than able to undertake such an enquiry. A woman saw an advertisement in a newspaper that read: Purebred police dog for sale, $20. She called up the number and bought the dog. However, the “purebred police dog” turned out to be a mangy-looking mongrel. She phoned the person who had placed the ad to complain, “How can you call that scruffy creature a pure-bred police dog?” she asked angrily. “Don’t let his looks deceive you,” was the reply. “He’s working undercover.”
Dogs are not the only creatures in the doghouse. In January 2010, Zdzislaw Bukarowcz, a 75-year-old Polish man from Scinawa, lived in a dog’s kennel for three weeks. It was all the work of his zona (wife). Mrs Bukarowcz said that her reason for dishing out this punishment was because Zdzislaw repeatedly came home drunk. She chained him to the kennel and fed him on dog food and water from a dog bowl. At night the temperatures often dropped to minus 20° Celsius. Pani Bukarowcz told reporters that she was sick of him wasting all their money on vodka. His drinking companions, worried by his non-attendance in the pub, eventually freed him from his imprisonment and called the police.Sometimes, men can be consigned to the doghouse for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
A man was sitting on his front step staring morosely at the ground when his neighbour strolled over.
The neighbour asked what the problem was.
“Well,” the man replied, “I ran afoul of one of those questions women ask. Now I’m in the doghouse.”“What kind of question?” the neighbour enquired.“My wife asked me if I would still love her when she was old, fat and ugly.”“That’s easy,” said the neighbour. “You just say, ‘Of course I will’.”
“Yeah,” said the other man, “that’s what I meant to say. But what came out was, ‘Of course I do.’ ”We don’t have a doghouse but if we did there is one person I would reluctantly consign to it. I can understand the heat of the political battle, the dog-eat-dog savagery of the hustings, the hard-bitten world of politics and the dogged pursuit of power, but I cannot understand how one of the bastions of the regional integration movement, former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, could attack a woman like Mara Thompson.
Worse, some other members of his party joined him in the attack. Arthur added insult to injury by dogmatically insisting his criticisms were valid. This is why the media, reporting Mara Thompson’s victory at the polls last Thursday, should have treated it as one of those rare stories. • Tony Deyal was last seen saying that the Indian police chief was so angry at the two sniffer dogs for getting pregnant that he charged them for littering.