Innocent animals’ trust met with humans’ cruelty

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

Several weeks ago, I had to make a business trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix, which involved an overnight stay in Albuquerque and a late drive home on the second day of my absence. It was during a phone call home, preparatory to that drive, that I discovered we had a new inhabitant in our home.

A flop-eared, gangly-legged dog of indeterminate origins, with the impossible name of Tory, had been acquired in my absence. Though she had been touted as three months of age, I doubt she was more than two, given the amount she has grown since then and her general puppyish behavior.

I have always been proud of the fact that I have never, in my life, paid more than the pound fee for any dog. I have had three purebreds, a Westie, a German shepherd and a Labrador, and in each of these cases, like the mixed breed dogs I have had, I did not pay any amount.The reason this is important is that one of the issues in this particular column is the love of dogs. If you truly love dogs, it is an open question why you would pay for a pup when there are numerous ones who need a loving home. I know, you may have your reasons for wanting a particular breed. I am just raising the question.

More to the point is the trust evident in this particular puppy, and in puppies in general. She bounces over to greet you, she klutzes between your legs as you are walking, she assumes that you will like her and nurture her. At her age, she cannot conceive of a world in which she is not welcome.

I hope she never does.

The issue of cruelty to animals, especially dogs, has been much in the news lately, due mostly to Atlanta Falcon’s resident “sadist masquerading as a quarterback”. Oops, I guess I should say ex-Falcon, right?

I once owned an 80-pound male chow of typical chow temperament who would have, I believed, provided a perfect solution to those who wish to abuse animals. A couple of hours locked, weaponless, in a garage with Mally would have cured most people of dog abuse. It might have cured them of a lot of other symptoms, too.

Each time I encounter Tory, puppy-gangling across the floor to meet us or rolling around in play with our midlife Westie, I am struck by the trust she has that the world is a good place, a safe place, a place where a pup can grow and be loved. I have enough experiential evidence to say that this is typical of pups, as a rule.

Several times a year I express, in my column, my considered opinion about child abuse — that it is an act of cowardly transferance by those who lack the courage to face down adults.

One might say the same about animal abuse — dogs, or cats, or horses. If you have to take out your pain by harming an animal, or prove your manhood by letting your dog do your fighting, I have a fine solution for you.

He moved to Ruidoso so he’d have room to run, but his name is Mally. He and other big,hardnosed, strong dogs would, I am sure, love to meet with you.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: