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#223218 - 05/09/11 06:43 AM Re: War Dogs [Re: LED]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Rich, I do not think Art's thoughts are in any way anti-American or deserve such an extreme reaction on your part.

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#223259 - 05/09/11 08:24 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: LED]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
[
Originally Posted By: LED
Whoa! Lets all keep in mind that if all the dogs in the world were gone tomorrow humans would still exist and do just fine. They are useful in some circumstances but they do not drive cars, perform heart surgery, or even talk. Lighten up guys.


Granted, dogs have limitations. So do humans.

It is a subject of debate exactly how well humans would have done, and where we might be developmentally, if our distant ancestors not participated in one of the great cross-species symbiotic relationships of all time. Some evidence shows we were partnered with dogs over 30,000 years ago. Inuits openly observe they wouldn't survive in their traditional manner without dogs. Certain desert tribes survived because they bred dogs that could run down and bring back game animals.

Given the tenuous margins of survival our distance ancestors maintained dogs very well have been the difference between modern humans making or not. It may be as simple as no domestication of dogs; no modern humans. maybe not, but it is pretty well established that without dogs human history and culture would be completely different. And likely much poorer.

We have, presumably, moved past the marginal days of the dawn of man when dogs were essential. We might get along without dogs but I'm not sure we want to.

Domestication of animals and plants has not been a one way street. Domestication of certain grasses allowed us to create modern wheat, corn, rice. But domestication changed us and the way we live. Grains gave us beer, a safe alternative to water when we didn't understand disease and germs. Having domesticated crops and something safe to drink meant we could have villages. We stopped being nomadic.

We domesticated sheep and had dogs take over their defense as they lost many of their own defense mechanisms. Hard to raise domesticated animals with wild predators around without domesticated dogs to help.

With town and steady inputs of food and water people were able to specialize and develop a knowledge base in their specialty. We got pottery and carpentry, and the basics of both knowledge and technology infrastructure. And it all started with a half-human carrying a sharpened stick and and a half-wolf that was genetically predisposed to use teamwork to hunt and to share anything they bag as a team.

In the words of "Rick" in the movie Cassablanca: "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

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#223261 - 05/09/11 08:44 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6575
Loc: southern Cal
That's a fairly extreme, although not unreasonable, statement about the role of dogs in the development of human culture. Let's not forget that while the guys and dogs were out running down the occasional wild boar or mammoth, the ladies and small kids were collecting the plants and herbs that formed the day to day staples of most prehistoric groups. In the process they became very proficient and pragmatic botanists. And so it began...

One anthropologist has speculated that the typical prehistoric hunter managed to kill one mammoth, and spent the rest of his life talking about it...

Nonetheless, I am a dog lover, and clearly it goes way back. Even in a non-hunting situation, I marvel at how my dogs' senses and mine combine in good teamwork. How would we ever get those ducks out of the water without a dog?
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#223262 - 05/09/11 08:51 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
By "pity", I was thinking of all the dogs, and all the children and other innocents who were dumped into wars that shouldn't have been started in the first place.

I have a Belgian Tervuren*, a breed that was used in WWI and WWII and later, as guard dogs, to carry messages, and harnessed with spools of wire to run communications systems covertly between units.

When all the American wars were over, the dogs were destroyed. Every single GD one. This didn't change until 2000. So much for loyalty, trust and affection... pretty one-sided, wouldn't you say?

The military don't give a rat's a$$ about anything or anyone, just getting the job done. Dogs are like soldiers, easily expendable, easily replaced. Fodder.

*The Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Shepherd, Belgian Malinois and Belgian Laekenois are basically all the same dog with different types/color of haircoats.

Sue

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#223270 - 05/09/11 10:20 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
I'm with Susan and Art on this one, they make valid points, thoughtfully expressed, and hardly deserving of such overwrought reaction. I'm supportive of the military but not to the point of being unquestioning about programs, strategies and body counts -- human and canine.

It is interesting to see the attention being drawn to how capable dogs are proving on the front lines in the Middle East. That dogs are astonishingly capable is not news to many of us but it is good to see that being recognized in the media. The next time some doofus disparages a "dumb dog" maybe I'll ask what the heck they've done for America lately.

Samoyeds were being parachuted into the Sierra Nevada in the 1940s for SAR work. Samoyeds also were WWII military dogs (naturally camo for snow).

I have had Samoyeds for the past twenty years. It only now occurs to me that if the news article were about hundreds of Samoyeds in harm's way on the front lines I would be both proud and profoundly sad.

It must be a great comfort to the soldiers to have the dogs with them. When the dogs are not working they're probably getting a lot of belly rubs from their soldier-comrades.

Certified Therapy Dogs and Assistance Dogs are also doing a lot of great work at military hospitals, such as Walter Reed in DC.

I also have mixed feelings about the Navy's program using dolphins. I hope they are treated well and not having a high mortality rate.

http://www.spawar.navy.mil/sandiego/technology/mammals/

I loved Flipper....


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#223272 - 05/09/11 10:26 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Susan - Gidget's best buddy is a Belgian Shepherd mix -- an amazing canine athlete. They are ebony and ivory walking around town.


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#223274 - 05/09/11 10:36 PM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Until 2000, with a few exceptions, working dogs used by the military were considered equipment and their welfare and transport were handled by the same simple cost/benefit calculations used when disposing of a well used truck. If it was deemed cheaper to leave them behind and buy another they were left behind if extraordinary efforts were not made. Some handlers were forced to quite literally steal their dogs, or report them lost in combat, and find unofficial ways of shipping them home. Too often they were left behind with little or no provisions being made for them.

Some of this goes back to the rules established in early in the formation of the US military for procurement and maintenance of livestock. Well into WW2, mainly in the Burma and Italian campaigns, the US military was purchasing and maintaining service animals in the form of horses, mules and donkeys in addition to some dogs. This wasn't unusual and the German army was still using horses in large numbers through to the end of the war in Europe. The common view during that time was that these horses and mules were entirely expendable to be used as transport or food, or liquidated at will.

I'm not saying any or all of this was a good thing. Acceptance of routine abuse of animals is a sign of a society that is also willing to abuse humans. Insensitivity and a lack of empathy is an expression of our dealing with others. Torture of animals is one of the defining behaviors of sociopaths.

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#223279 - 05/10/11 12:22 AM Re: War Dogs [Re: Dagny]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Originally Posted By: Dagny
I'm with Susan and Art on this one, they make valid points, thoughtfully expressed, and hardly deserving of such overwrought reaction. I'm supportive of the military but not to the point of being unquestioning about programs, strategies and body counts -- human and canine.

It is interesting to see the attention being drawn to how capable dogs are proving on the front lines in the Middle East. That dogs are astonishingly capable is not news to many of us but it is good to see that being recognized in the media. The next time some doofus disparages a "dumb dog" maybe I'll ask what the heck they've done for America lately.

Samoyeds were being parachuted into the Sierra Nevada in the 1940s for SAR work. Samoyeds also were WWII military dogs (naturally camo for snow).

I have had Samoyeds for the past twenty years. It only now occurs to me that if the news article were about hundreds of Samoyeds in harm's way on the front lines I would be both proud and profoundly sad.

It must be a great comfort to the soldiers to have the dogs with them. When the dogs are not working they're probably getting a lot of belly rubs from their soldier-comrades.

Certified Therapy Dogs and Assistance Dogs are also doing a lot of great work at military hospitals, such as Walter Reed in DC.

I also have mixed feelings about the Navy's program using dolphins. I hope they are treated well and not having a high mortality rate.

http://www.spawar.navy.mil/sandiego/technology/mammals/

I loved Flipper....



Well said Dagney. I've owned Dobermans for over 40 years and I'm too both proud and profoundly sad of all the dogs who have served our country.

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#223280 - 05/10/11 12:30 AM Re: War Dogs [Re: Art_in_FL]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Art & Susan,I Apologize for my Irrational Behaviour!

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#223286 - 05/10/11 01:32 AM Re: War Dogs [Re: Richlacal]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
No problem.

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