Radio 4 aired a tribute to the director Peter Brook this morning that contained an interesting parable, pertinent to dogs.
Actor Glenda Jackson describes a scene from Brook’s 1966 production of the play US, an examination of the Vietnam War which had then been raging for 11 years.
The parable describes an English woman who is visiting Spain. She witnesses some boys tormenting a seagull which has a broken wing and tries to wrest it from them. When they resist, she pays them 10 pesetas for it and takes it back to her hotel to attempt to repair its wing. Sometime later, there is a knock at her door and she opens it to be confronted by a group of boys, each holding a seagull with a broken wing, demanding that they be paid too.
Her actions are motivated by a desire to do good, but cause far more harm because she makes no attempt to understand the antecedents that lead to the consequences. She does not even possess the necessary skills to heal the first seagull’s trauma.
Are we not doing the same when we import street dogs and expect them to settle in suburban homes?
In all honesty, the importation of such dogs is simply a case of supply and demand and the insistence from owners that they obtain a dog as soon as they want one. Rescues have made it extremely difficult for many potentially excellent owners to obtain a dog and there is now a massive culture of virtue signalling in taking in a previously unwanted dog.
The level of trauma in those dogs is only recorded in the individual cases where owners do obtain professional help and – more importantly – it has done nothing to stop more and more dogs from being dumped on the streets to join the indigenous feral dogs nor has it had any effect on animal cruelty in their home countries.
Anyone can set up a “rescue” but, while there will always be legitimate reasons for dogs to find new homes, how many are just fuelling the dumping and puppy farming by providing an easy outlet?