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Columns: No Limits, No Kidding!




A new look at Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) through an outsider's eyes. Pet laws ain't a pretty picture.


Col. Sam Harper, Dogsport Reconnaissance

September 8, 2005


Well, I’ve sat back and watched TV coverage of Hurricane Katrina and tried to keep up with PAWS.  In between I talked to some dog people and a few old codgers who remember how it “used to be.”  So, for what it’s worth, I’ve come to some conclusions about what you guys call the dog game and about men today.


Show people want a big strong dog that can be the best dog in the show.  Well, that's what makes a man stand out too but men are not what they used to be.  Like most males in the animal kingdom, the human male is supposed to be the leader of his pack but today some guys can’t find the way home.  Can you imagine bumbling Dick Van Dyke commanding an aircraft carrier? 


No wolves sniffing around this hero!  Real males stand up to PAWS laws and disasters.The human male is a fine figure of masculinity, handsome or not.  It was easy to be a hero when you fought for what you believed in and took care of family.  No wolves sniffing around this man's door.


We have a lot of good young men defending us right now but most of them weren’t strong when they went into Basic.  Hell, some of them never did sports or even had words with a classmate, then all of a sudden they’re told to hit somebody like they mean it.  No, these guys were made into men because when you’re in a real war, you fight, run, or die.  You could be scared, we all were, but if you ran, you might as well be dead because it would haunt you forever.  I look around today and I think a lot of men have cut and run.  Worse yet, nobody seems to care.


When I was young, a man spoke his mind and didn’t lie to protect or advance himself.  He didn’t cheat and he didn’t like those who did.  He was a nice guy because he was brought up that way by a loving mother and a strong father who did not equate being kind with being weak.  Yeah, he wanted to be John Wayne because he had noble heroes as examples.  Like that Statler Brothers song I heard the other day, I have to wonder “where have all the heroes gone?”


Katrina stranded people and pets and brought out the heroes among us!This thing with Hurricane Katrina revealed a spineless bunch of politicians who put their careers before the people they were sworn to serve and protect.  It seems to have brought out the best – and the worst of humanity.  While real men risked their lives pulling people to safety, healthy young males sat on rooftops and railed at the government.  Or they loaded their shopping carts up and pushed them right by the sick and the elderly, and yeah, the dogs swimming in water over their heads.


Now I read on this website all the things going on with PAWS.  I talked to my daughter about it and she is pretty upset too.  I observed that it seemed like the men have all decided it is easier to give in than to fight for their rights or protect the future for their families.  She says I’m exaggerating and it will all work out.  She believes the AKC will come in on a giant ‘copter and lift us out of this mess.


I used to tell her fairy tales.  Now she tells them to me.


I asked her why the clubs and the breeders don’t get their act together.  She says they will.  I asked her who is running the show.  She’s not really sure.  She said something about AKC is a club of clubs.  So why don’t the clubs just call a vote and if the members are against that PAWS legislation, then they'll have to deal with why AKC is pushing for it.  She didn’t know, she thinks that is why clubs have a delegate.  Okay, so that person is like your state representative.  I guess he represents the clubs like Santorum represents people in Pennsylvania.


Well, it comes back to what I said.  We have a generation of human males who are afraid to stand up for anything.  What was it Arnold called them?  Girlie-boys?  After spending half a lifetime with my wife, I learned that women will fight like tigers to protect those they love.  My daughter is more discreet and diplomatic but I suppose that's the way of the world today.


So here we are in a time of being “correct” whether politically or career-wise.  Maybe it is good to roll with the punches, to take what comes and make the best of it. I suppose this PAWS thing is just a blip on the radar screen of social change.  It just bothers me that so many of us fought for freedom only to give it to a bunch of people who reject it!


So now that I can see the picture so clearly, I think I’ll just keep on doing what men do best.  We go out and fight wars, bring food to the table, drink beer, and watch NASCAR.


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