Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kids and Furkids

I really should stop reading CBC's Viewpoint website. It's one of those things, though. Like when the waitress (sorry, that's 'server' in Status Of Women Canada sanctioned speech) tells you that the plate is hot, so be careful, the first thing you do is reach out and touch it. CBC's Viewpoint has a terrible fascination; I know I'm going to get steamed up, but I go back for more anyway. At least since I started blogging I have something to do with the steam...

Once again, the target of this post is Heather Mallick, although, for a change, we don't disagree on matters of politics. Her latest is titled 'Dogville' and, once you've worked through her writing style, it's essentially a complaint that as a society we place too much value on dogs, and not enough on children.

Along the way, she takes a shot at dog owners who have 'furkids' - in her words, "That means dogs that are fed, dressed, housed and spoken to like children." She complains that when her local paper asked residents about whether they would like to see pets allowed on patios at restaurants, many readers responded that they would sooner sit next to some people's pets than many people's children.

Mallick sees this as a symptom of some deep malaise within Canadian society. I see it as a sign that we've treated our children as gods for so long that the average family dog is now often a more pleasant social companion than the average child. Mallick castigates the newspaper readers for their response without considering at all the possibility that it might be true.

Far from indicating (as Mallick seems to think) that we care too much for dogs and not enough for other people's children, I think this trend indicates that parents don't care enough for their own children to make them pleasant members of society. An ill-mannered child is unpleasant; an ill-mannered dog can be dangerous. But it would seem that in Mallick's neighborhood at least, the dogs are better behaved than the children.

I refer readers to this earlier post, and maintain that Mallick's observations are a symptom of the same problem - kids are gods and nobody is taking responsibility for bringing them up properly.

As for furkids? My corgis are known as furkids, and we do treat them every bit as well as we treat my daughter; they get great food, better healthcare - cos it's private ;) - and lots of love. They also get discipline, training, correction and rules. They are not treated as children, they are treated as dogs, but they are treated as well as any other member of the family.

Mallick makes the common mistake of all socialists, all the time - she cannot understand the concept of equal but different. If only the left could ever grasp the concept of difference.......