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I have a dog -- a female black Lab.

She's the most loveable creature on the earth.  I take her to the duck pond where the children and the parents gather, and I walk her around.  Children look and point and sometimes ask if they can pet her.  She sits and allows the children to touch her and rub her and pet her.  She's never met a child she didn't like.

This is my understanding of dogs.  If they are raised properly, this is how they are.

The dogs Michael Vick raised weren't raised to sit pretty so strange children could pet them.  They were raised to maul and kill, and if they didn't maul and kill frequently enough, Vick and his entourage killed them.  Once, they took a female pit bull and soaked her with water and electrocuted her to death!  Why?  She lost too much.

Why a man would want to treat dogs this way is alien to me.  A creature of love, wanting affection returned, should not be treated this way.  I'm not a member of PETA.  I'm not a vegetarian.  And the hunters I know admire and respect the wild creatures they stalk.

I understand the role of nature and predation.  But I also understand that duck hunters shoot the ducks and love their Labrador Retrievers who fetch them off the pond.  And in their canine genes resides a hard-wired code to get eyes wide at the sight of ducks. 

I know, because my loveable Lab goes into high anxiety when I bring out the leash harness and she knows we're off the visit the ducks in the pond and the children who feed them.  And I fasten the seat belt through her harness as she sits alert in the passenger seat and I roll down the window and let her stare and feel the breeze in her face.

And there is a peace in my life and a satisfaction in my heart.  I am in tune with nature and the way things should be, where dogs enjoy life with their master and feel the cool breeze over their face.  And the ducks get nervous as my dog remembers what nature programmed in her.  I marvel at her eyes as she sharply stares at a small flock floating down to land in the water.

This is my understanding of dogs.

My understanding of humans isn't so clear.

Why would a few thousand dollars in winnings mean anything to a man making millions a year?  How can seeing dogs rip flesh and splash blood be seen as a sport?  Men like Michael Vick think of dogs as commodities in death and violence.

I know one other thing.  I never again want to see this disgusting human ply his trade on a football field, any football field.  There are crimes, and then there are affronts to all civilization.  Michael Vick is an affront to the world I wish to see.

In my world, dogs love children and children love dogs.  And only the ducks are nervous.

-- Ken Stallings

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