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“Canine Columnist”: Can You Give a Dog a Break?

By Santino Corleone Berkwitt

Change is difficult. Many of us are creatures of habit, and we are comfortable in the surroundings that we know and with people who we know. These feelings of comfort are grounded in security and safety.

As rescue pups, Bella and I feel fortunate that we don’t have the PTSD that many pups who were in similar situations have. Bella speaks often of her anxiety during bad weather and quite frankly, I don’t like it when my parents leave. Even the sound of the vehicle starting evokes feelings of sadness and loneliness in me. I am able to express this to my parents by whimpering and they understand my emotions. Although these feelings are uncomfortable for Bella and me, we are fortunate that we do not suffer more severe emotions. Some pups aren’t so lucky.

You can imagine my disgust with the press making a major deal (pun intended) over Major Biden’s incidents at the White House. Major is a rescue pup. He is also younger than Champ. Major is feisty and is said to be fiercely loyal and protective. While the Bidens and assigned staff must exercise due diligence in making sure that Major doesn’t injure others, people must realize that Major is experiencing yet another change in surroundings. There are more people around and he probably feels threatened by some of them. The amount of press coverage on Major’s potty accidents and biting episodes makes me wonder why people can write about a dog while ignoring more disturbing and more vicious reports about their fellow humans. Some of these same people don’t seem to bat an eye when one of their entrusted officers kneeled on the neck of a man who was apprehended but not convicted of a crime. Where is people’s sense of justice and morality?
Bella and I wonder if placing the attention on President Biden’s dog isn’t an attempt to deflect from some sinister dealings of other people in positions of power. In the roughly 75 days since the inauguration, we have heard of people attacking others because of the color of their skin, allegations that some politicians engaged in sex trafficking minors, and other allegations of high profile people engaging in sexual predatory behaviors, yet some people seem fixated on the behavior of a dog. Please don’t use us as a scapegoat to deflect from the vicious cruelty that some people show towards one another. Most dogs can be trained and dissuaded from offensive behavior. I think that humans can change their offensive behaviors too, but only if they want to. And deflecting or minimizing won’t do anything to impact a change.

The next time that the press, particularly the “pick and choose” press makes a major deal about Major Biden, ask yourself what they’re trying to divert attention from. Ask yourself what they’re trying to slip by the masses. Are they complicit in taking away voter rights for some? Are they minimizing racism or oppression? Are they trying to escape accountability for their own wrongdoings or the wrongdoings of allies? Deflecting, minimizing, making excuses, the blame game, and manipulation are all things that people use when they are dysfunctional and don’t wish to address the real issues.

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