Sunday, May 10, 2015

A missing police dog makes the headlines in New Zaland!

How can it be that when a police dog goes missing in the New Zealand bush, that the event replaces the headlines about other issues currently facing the nation? Social media and mainstream outlets were united in their response to the plight of ‘Thames,’ the beautiful dog.’ He went missing during a training exercise in a rugged bush area not too far from Palmerston North in the North Island of New Zealand. For a week, every paper in New Zealand and many FB posts expressed concern for Thames. The New Zealand bush does not have dangerous snakes or other predators, other than the odd rogue pig that can do some damage, given the ’wrong’ circumstances, but other than that, deaths occur more for being caught out without cold weather gear or through injury. Thames had survival skill and even though he was a bit hungry when found, he probably scored a few rats and unsuspecting possums, earning him some ‘brownie points,’ from conservationists. Hopefully, he left the Kiwis alone, had he chanced upon them! Many a kid (OK---I’m one of them!) went to bed each night, asking their parents if Thames would be OK. ‘Yes dear, Thames will be fine,’ came the reply from a not so sure adult but Thames did survive, true to the nature of his breed. When the news broke, we can be dammed sure that a few tears were shed; tears of genuine joy. ‘WHY---- It’s just a dog,’ you say. I can’t answer that with any real knowledge. Is I that part of us has this needs to love something that does not represent opinion, anger, hurt, destruction and generally is seen as an extension of family? The relationship between dogs and humans goes back thousands of years. Ask most dog owners how their dog is after an accident or sickness and you may well see a tearing up. My own feelings re my dog are very strong, to say the least. That she could go missing is the stuff of nightmares. Night after night, we have witnessed the very lowest of human behaviour, re other human events, not the least being a revolting video of an ISIS ‘execution’ a young man—the reasons way beyond anything I can relate to. It is ‘news’ like that and other reports around man’s inhumanity to others, which usually takes the slot. Are we so sickened by that, whereby we search out something more---healing?’ I think so. Dogs and other animals represent an innocence, an escape from the nasty side of humans. When we hear a story as reported in the last week, we latch onto it and it gives us hope when we hear a happy result. It is this hope and consequent happy ending that we yearn for. Hope---the missing factor in so many lives and a humble dog fills the gap!

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