Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics and Dogs

Overall, I think the coverage of these winter Olympics has been rather poor. They show one pair skate, break for commercial, come back for their scores, break for commercial, whip you away to some snowboard event, break for commercial, do a taped piece, and on and on. You sort of lost the drama of competition because they dilute it to last all night.
But that has nothing to do with dogs. I have noticed that in their little "get to know the athletes" pieces, dogs are mentioned rather frequently. A skier lives on a farm with his four dogs, another skier named her dog for a past competitor she admires. But here's the one that really caught my attention. American pair skater Jeremy Bennett (I think I got that right) has a scar on his left cheek. The commentators noted it, and said that when he was a boy, the family Greyhound bit Jeremy in the face. His parents were going to put the dog down, and young Jeremy proclaimed that he loved that dog, and he would run away from home if his parents had it killed. The dog was spared.
I was bit by a dog when I was young - not my own dog, because I wasn't allowed to have one, but one of the many neighborhood dogs I associated with regularly. (I was also bitten, more severely, by a horse, by the way.) It did nothing at all to put me off of dogs. In both the dog and horse bite cases, I tried to hide the damage for fear that my parents would take the next step of forbidding me to associate with animals.
This is a testament to how strong this human-animal bond can be -- it can't be damaged even by "attack" by one of the partners. I think some people just innately understand that animals do us a world of good, and will do all they can to keep associating with them.

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