Time to end the rage | AspenTimes.com

Time to end the rage

Dear Editor:Just when one thinks the anti-Krabloonik rage has ended, a new letter arrives. What is driving this harassment? Maybe it is just general intolerance of the way others do things. I go ballistic at the now-accepted norm of dog cages, where people put their pets for the night or whenever they are a nuisance. Does this make them immoral?I respect any individual’s right to choose how they live. If they don’t approve of a Republican agenda, a democratic agenda, abortions, war, or tethered dogs, that is their prerogative. But why do so many people want to vilify and outlaw what they personally disagree with or impose their views on society at large?Below are some excerpts from Mardy Murie’s 1957 book, “Two in the Far North,” describing her working honeymoon dog sledding on the Koyukuk River in Alaska.”Thus the first two miles every morning are real sport – first the dreadful racket; then, suddenly, complete silence, the energy now taken up in legwork. How their little feet twinkle along, and what a pretty sight, all those furry backs, rippling with the play of muscles, those prick ears alert for a rabbit or whatever adventure the trail may bring, tails curled stiffly over their backs.”What a wild eagerness to go to work, to get into harness and pull. If this exuberance could be expressed exclusively in speed, it would be great, but before we had rounded the first bend in the river, the two little rascals in the wheel had pounced on each other and the whole team was in a pile.”We are perfecting a technique in this dogfight business. At the first pounce, I leave the sled and run up to Pooto, who is always the last one to join in. If I can get there before he turns upon the dog behind him, I take him by the collar and drag him out as far as possible. This stretches the tow line and gives Olaus a chance to get more effective work with the loaded butt of the whip. That whip is never used except to keep these fight-loving, tough-skinned savages from destroying one another. A good dog musher is never found whipping his dogs to make them pull, but fights have to be stopped no matter how much the dogs enjoy them.”Dogs and people develop intense relationships. They trust each other and depend on each other. Obviously, if cruelty is a problem, it should be dealt with. However, we are products of our culture. When the only trail one breaks is through the pile carpet to the fridge, there is a disconnect in understanding a wilder trail outside. A “B.F. Skinner world” where everything is comfortable and easy would be a harsh sentence for me. The challenge is to enjoy the life that suits you best without imposing your agenda on everyone else. Be tolerant comrades.Marj PerryCarbondale

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