Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Who’s a Good Dog?

 

“These are the tales the Dogs tell, when the fires burn high and the wind is from the North.” — Clifford Simak, City

The conclusion to the 1957 movie, Old Yeller, has to be among the two or three most heart-rending scenes ever filmed. If you remember the story, Old Yeller, the beloved family dog, fights off a rabid wolf who is attacking the youngest son of the family. During the fight, Old Yeller is badly wounded.

Old Yeller (a yellow Labrador mix) develops rabies from the fight and turns into a snarling, dangerous animal. The scene of the boy killing his beloved dog is so powerful that people remember it for decades after they’ve seen the film. I just went back and viewed that scene, and it’s just as I remembered it. I didn’t cry this time. Big boys don’t cry.

Who was a good dog? Why, Old Yeller was a good dog, just like all those other dogs who perfected their craft in Hollywood: the Astas, Totos, Rin Tin Tins, Sandys, Benjis, and Lassies.

I believe that my dog Bob, like Old Yeller, will protect me if I ever need a buffer between me and a mortal threat.

Alexander Pope, the 18th-century satirist, owned a dog named Bounce, a pet so beloved that Pope had his portrait painted with Bounce. (In the portrait, Bounce is sitting at Pope’s feet, looking up into his master’s face as he reads a book.)

As a Catholic in hyper-Protestant England, Pope was not allowed to practice his religion; neither could he attend public school or live within ten miles of London. But Pope didn’t need to belong to a despised religion to make enemies. Pope made enemies by the dozens all by himself. That’s because Pope was an eager and deft satirist, probably the best England has ever produced, and he struck back against anyone or anything that he thought needed “correction.” He wasn’t called the Wasp of Twittenham for nothing.

One time Pope gave a puppy, wearing a collar with a hidden message, to the Prince of Wales. Evidently, the Prince kept his pets at Kew Gardens, a botanical greenhouse and outdoor park where royalty — and of course the fops and courtiers who attended them — liked to hang out. Pope hoped that a bootlicking courtier, seeing the dog’s collar, would bend over and read this little piece of doggeral that Pope had engraved on the pooch’s collar: “I’m His Highness’ dog at Kew. Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?” Now that’s satire with a bite.

As a result of that kind of biting satire on fops, toadies, critics, backbiters, and scribblers (Pope’s term for bad writers), Pope had enough enemies to fill the ranks of a small battalion. One night Pope was set upon while out walking and beaten badly. (It wasn’t hard to beat up Pope. He was a little man, 4’ 6”, and a hunchback with a curvature of the spine.)

After that attack, Pope never left his home without a brace of pistols and his beloved Bounce, his very large Great Dane. (Bounce was once heard to say to one of Pope’s enemies, “Come at the little man, sir, and you’ll have to pry my teeth out of your tuchus.” At least that’s what Bounce would have said if he had a larger brain, a human-like voice cavity, and a knowledge of Yiddish expressions.)

Was Bounce a good dog? Of course, he was.

Islam has had a long and complicated history with dogs. A popular Hadith (sayings of Muhammad) says that angels won’t enter your home if you have a dog. In traditional Islam, the dog is one of the ritually unclean animals.

Hugh Fitzgerald, the author of Islam Has a Problem with Dogs, describes a young Muslim girl standing over a litter of puppies, and suddenly kicking one as hard as she could. When asked why she did that, the girl says blankly, “But it’s unclean.” Later, Fitzgerald describes a Muslim chopping to death a litter of puppies, one by one, with a spade’s edge.

According to Fitzgerald, the US stopped sending bomb-sniffing dogs to Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab nations after a number of the dogs died from neglect and mistreatment, including starvation.

I don’t mean to pick on Muslims. The Chinese slaughter roughly 15 million dogs a year for consumption. I’ve seen a video of a dog being blowtorched alive in the annual Dog Meat Festival in China (Yes, there is such a thing.) At this same festival, I’ve read, some of the dogs are bludgeoned to death, and some are thrown alive into boiling water to remove their skins.

So were dogs who were mistreated, starved, and tortured by Muslims and Chinese good dogs? Of course, they were good dogs. They just didn’t have anyone to bend over, look into their eyes, and rub their necks while asking, “Who’s a good dog?” The human who bent over had a club in his hand.

And those are the tales the Dogs tell, when the fires burn high and the wind is from the North.

To relieve you of any stress you may be feeling now after reading of mistreated dogs (after clicking on those videos, I’m feeling a lot), I’m offering up photos of two cute dogs who are treated well. First, here’s Boo, a Pomeranian who holds the title of the World’s Cutest Dog.

And of course, you knew I’d be posting a picture of Bob in a post about dogs. Here’s Bob in his fanciest winter outfit.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 48 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. JustmeinAZ Member

    Of course Bob is a good dog. That little rat pictured above him is not a “real” dog. 

    • #1
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    Fantastic post. I skipped right to the end hoping to see Bob the dog, and sure enough, there he was.

     

     = = = = = = =

    All setting all seriousness aside aside, this really was a beautiful article. Thx.

    • #2
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve noticed that cultures with less respect for human life than those of the Western civilization we treasure don’t seem to have much respect for other forms of life either. And, regardless (or irregardless at the case may be) of the political correctness of my POV, I’ll go on record here to state that cruelty towards any of God’s creatures is wrong. And unnecessary (this includes, in my estimation, non-medical, non-emergent animal trials for things like cosmetics). As for Old Yeller, I can’t watch it. I hope, were I ever in the circumstances described, I’d be able to end the life of my pet humanely and without pain. But, cruelty? No.

    And, since I’m here, I’ll just say that what some cultures do to, and with, defenseless animals is sickening and disgusting.

    As some of you know, I have two Great Pyrenees dogs, Xena and Levi. Both rescues.

    And, as some of you know, I’m in a situation at the moment where my beloved Mr. She is rather fragile, and not very well.

    Now, Xena and Levi mostly live either outside, or in their own part of the house, and they rarely come into the living room; nor have they, in the several years I’ve had both of them, ever expressed any desire to do so.

    Yet several times, in the past several weeks, I’ve come into the house after my daily walk, or after a foray outside to garden or take care of farm matters to find Xena having busted her way through the gate (easy for her to do, it’s just a spring-loaded mechanism) and into the living room, where she is sitting at the foot of Mr. She, who finds her presence enormously comforting and reassuring.

    Don’t tell me that animals aren’t sentient beings, and that they don’t know what’s going on.

    I know that Bob is up to speed on all these issues.

    PS, @kentforrester, great post. Love Pope.

    • #3
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:11 AM PDT
    • 27 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Great post, Kent. Except I won’t be able to get Old Yeller out of my mind. Thanks.

    • #4
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    She (View Comment):

    . . . . . And, as some of you know, I’m in a situation at the moment where my beloved Mr. She is rather fragile, and not very well.

    Now, Xena and Levi mostly live either outside, or in their own part of the house, and they rarely come into the living room; nor have they, in the several years I’ve had both of them, ever expressed any desire to do so.

    Yet several times, in the past several weeks, I’ve come into the house after my daily walk, or after a foray outside to garden or take care of farm matters to find Xena having busted her way through the gate (easy for her to do, it’s just a spring-loaded mechanism) and into the living room, where she is sitting at the foot of Mr. She, who finds her presence enormously comforting and reassuring.

    Don’t tell me that animals aren’t sentient beings, and that they don’t know what’s going on.

    I know that Bob is up to speed on all these issues.

    PS, @kentforrester, great post. Love Pope.

    She, I can always count on a well-written and interesting response from you. Thank you very much. Ricochet is so lucky to have you as a member. . I think that Xenia knows what’s up. Your husband’s response is touching. Dogs are sensitive that way. I know they are.

    • #5
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:26 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Locke On Member

    Gets a like just for quoting Simak, an underappreciated author.

    • #6
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. PHCheese Member

    My dog Jack saved me this morning on our walk from the neighbor’s plywood cutout of the Easter Bunny in their yard. He barked and his hair on his back stood up. He was a good dog.

    • #7
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:24 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  8. The Dowager Jojo Inactive

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    My dog Jack saved me this morning on our walk from the neighbor’s plywood cutout of the Easter Bunny in their yard. He barked and his hair on his back stood up. He was a good dog.

    My dog isn’t very smart either. But I am fond of him. He’s a g……He’s my dog.

    • #8
    • April 5, 2020, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. aardo vozz Member

    @kentforrester , I wonder if PETA has protested the annual dog meat festival you cite in your post. 

    Thanks for the picture of Bob. He looks quite dapper!🙂

    • #9
    • April 5, 2020, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Gets a like just for quoting Simak, an underappreciated author.

    Lock On, I used to teach a science fiction course fairly regularly, and I always included Simak in my course. 

    • #10
    • April 5, 2020, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    The Dowager Jojo (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    My dog Jack saved me this morning on our walk from the neighbor’s plywood cutout of the Easter Bunny in their yard. He barked and his hair on his back stood up. He was a good dog.

    My dog isn’t very smart either. But I am fond of him. He’s a g……He’s my dog.

    Actually Jack is very smart. He is also the mayor of our neighborhood. They had just put the bunny out this morning and it was out of place to him. He didn’t recognize it. He sniffed a few times and knew it wasn’t alive from about 30 ft away. He is a good dog.

    • #11
    • April 5, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kent: Pope hoped that a bootlicking courtier, seeing the dog’s collar, would bend over and read this little piece of doggeral that Pope had engraved on the pooch’s collar:

    I enjoyed the fresh view of Pope (I always thought that section of English literature too cerebral and thus under-stimulating), and thought this line was extra amusing. 

    • #12
    • April 5, 2020, at 3:20 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Front Seat Cat Member

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    • #13
    • April 5, 2020, at 3:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Kent: Pope hoped that a bootlicking courtier, seeing the dog’s collar, would bend over and read this little piece of doggeral that Pope had engraved on the pooch’s collar:

    I enjoyed the fresh view of Pope (I always thought that section of English literature too cerebral and thus under-stimulating), and thought this line was extra amusing.

    Carol, I know exactly what you mean. Despite the fact that I specialized in the early part of the 18th-century, I grew tired of Pope’s relentless attacks on his enemies, real and imagined. The Dunciad, let’s face it, is a bore.

    Thanks for your comment.. 

    • #14
    • April 5, 2020, at 3:48 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    You cat people have been quiet lately. Prod Arahant. He’s a cat person (though I think he secretly aspires to be a dog person).

    Front Seat, why don’t you gather up some of your cat photos and write a post on your cat? 

     

    • #15
    • April 5, 2020, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    She (View Comment):
    Yet several times, in the past several weeks, I’ve come into the house after my daily walk, or after a foray outside to garden or take care of farm matters to find Xena having busted her way through the gate (easy for her to do, it’s just a spring-loaded mechanism) and into the living room, where she is sitting at the foot of Mr. She, who finds her presence enormously comforting and reassuring.

    During the last month of my husband’s life our sweet Golden Retriever Suzi, barely left his side. The night he died she was right there with her paws on the side of his bed and her head on one of his legs, and when the funeral home came to take him away, she followed his body out to the hearse, sitting and watching until it disappeared from sight. When she died two years ago it was almost as bad as losing him all over again.

    • #16
    • April 5, 2020, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  17. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    Mostly, in our house, we wouldn’t have time to write an article about Cat Life, because we are the loyal staff, and she keeps us busy.

    • #17
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Doggos are the best, without a doubt. We’ve had a few in our decades together, and their loss is hard to bear. And I’ll never get over Old Yeller…that was the worst/best movie I ever saw as a kid.

    The child in this photo is now 35 years old, but none of us will ever forget the awesome Jed…

    • #18
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:12 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I love dogs.

    • #19
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    I have cats and I love cats, but really I think we all know the answer is never. 

    • #20
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Mark Camp Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    I have cats and I love cats, but really I think we all know the answer is never.

    And it would be too soon for me.

    Disclaimer: To my dear friends, the cat lovers: I hope you won’t take that as a negative statement about cats!*

     

     = = = = = = = =

    *My negative statement about cats is: They are nasty little creatures and should all be deported and not allowed back in the country.

    • #21
    • April 5, 2020, at 6:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    I have cats and I love cats, but really I think we all know the answer is never.

    And it would be too soon for me.

    Disclaimer: To my dear friends, the cat lovers: I hope you won’t take that as a negative statement about cats!*

     

    = = = = = = = =

    *My negative statement about cats is: They are nasty little creatures and should all be deported and not allowed back in the country.

    You’re being awfully hard on the cat people, Mark. They’re more sensitive than we are so they need to be coddled and humored.

    • #22
    • April 5, 2020, at 6:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. kedavis Member

    Truly, the people who think cats are totally aloof etc, or maybe just plain evil, simply haven’t spent enough time with them. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftIRIPcsqxo

    • #23
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Gatomal Member

    He was a good dog. Our first child.

    Then we got an upgrade. 

    • #24
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows are two of the saddest movies ever. They were traumatizing as a child.

    • #25
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Mark Camp Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    I have cats and I love cats, but really I think we all know the answer is never.

    And it would be too soon for me.

    Disclaimer: To my dear friends, the cat lovers: I hope you won’t take that as a negative statement about cats!*

     

    = = = = = = = =

    *My negative statement about cats is: They are nasty little creatures and should all be deported and not allowed back in the country.

    You’re being awfully hard on the cat people, Mark. They’re more sensitive than we are so they need to be coddled and humored.

    As Jack Benny used to observe, “[Long pause]…Now, THAT’S funny.]

     

     

    • #26
    • April 6, 2020, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Housebroken Thatcher

    I cannot go with the flow on this conversation: I do not like it at all.

    Of course it’s well written, but perhaps because of an overactive imagination I can picture the images presented and they are just too real. Comments such as those by @she and @goldwaterwoman make my heart ache.

    Last time we were at the vet an older couple brought their dog, and he was like Bob. I talked to him, it was a nice conversation. They left without him, he had been put to sleep and they were grieving. I grieved with them.

     

    • #27
    • April 6, 2020, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    I cannot go with the flow on this conversation: I do not like it at all.

    Of course it’s well written, but perhaps because of an overactive imagination I can picture the images presented and they are just too real. Comments such as those by @she and @goldwaterwoman make my heart ache.

    Last time we were at the vet an older couple brought their dog, and he was like Bob. I talked to him, it was a nice conversation. They left without him, he had been put to sleep and they were grieving. I grieved with them.

    ____________________________________

    Appropriate alias, Housebroken.

    Interesting response. I myself was troubled by the treatment of dogs in Muslim countries and China. I won’t forget those images for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for responding. 

     

    • #28
    • April 6, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    When will we see an article of this caliber about cats??

    I have cats and I love cats, but really I think we all know the answer is never.

    Don’t need it. That’s why YouTube exists.

    • #29
    • April 6, 2020, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. lhmoore Coolidge

    Sorry, never ever thought I’d write this but this article needs a trigger warning. Seriously, how can anyone get past what China and some Muslims do to dogs. Is there no limit to the horribleness of humans? This is pretty much the last thing I want to read about especially when I think I’m getting a light hearted article on dogs and looking for some good news.

    • #30
    • April 6, 2020, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • Like