“Barking mad” is how disgusted I felt after seeing the photograph accompanying the editorial titled “Barking mad” on the front of the Feb. 23 Opinion section of The Augusta Chronicle. In the photo, a dog is seen tied to a house with a rope, barking in distress and discomfort, apparently in the sunlight and with no water in sight. The editorial discussed the nervous disorders and stress caused to neighbors by the never-ending noise.
The end of the editorial admonished: “The barking dogs have been heard. Loud and clear. It’s time for the beleaguered victims to be, too.”
I would say to whoever wrote the editorial that the beleaguered victims in this instance are the dogs, not the neighbors!
Yes, barking dogs left running around a yard or neighborhood at all hours of the day and night can drive one to distraction, and their owners should be held accountable. There are laws to address that situation if the owners fail to pay attention to their dogs’ behavior. But – and this is a big but – if a dog is left tied up with no means to exercise, no access to water, no companionship and no shelter, his barking is a huge plea for someone to come and help him. It is the only means he has of communicating his anguish at the unbearable treatment he is suffering by an uncaring human!
The people who own these poor animals should be the ones to suffer. They supposedly have the power to think, though that is debatable, and the dogs only want love and attention. They’ve been deprived of that through totally uncaring, mean-spirited or mindless cruelty! Perhaps the owners should be tied up for a while.
In The Chronicle’s Your Life section of the same Sunday issue, there was a lengthy front-page article about roughhousing dogs. The last paragraph in essence says that a dog’s most important playmate is its owner because the play is an enriching and bonding event, and is healthy for mind, spirit and body. Yes! How true that is.
The two articles are diametrically opposed in thinking, with one worried about the mental health of people, and one encouraging the love and companionship of dogs. My heart is with the dogs!
Molly C. Gray