A Hero? A Villain? No, Just A Dog

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Here are two stories plucked from the media, in one the dog is portrayed as a hero, in the other the dog is the villain. The fact is, both dogs are doing exactly the same thing.

Story 1:

“A heroic trainee guide dog saved a woman’s life by knocking a chocolate out of her throat while she was choking.

Nell, just 17 months old, rescued Lesley Hailwood, 61, on New Year’s Eve after a sweet from a Thorntons continental chocolate box got stuck.

Ms Hailwood, an IT technician who looks after Nell while she is training, told MailOnline how the insightful animal seemed to know exactly what to do when she got into trouble.”

Story 2:

A woman having a seizure was attacked by the family pit bull Wednesday morning, officials said.

Kern Animal Control, Kern County Fire and Kern County Sheriff’s Department officials were called out at about 9 a.m. to a home in northwest Bakersfield after a 911 call was received about a woman being attacked by a dog.”

in fact, both dogs responded in an entirely predictable way – by jumping up towards the human’s upper body. This is a common reaction by a dog who is frightened or confused by their owner’s behavior.

The only difference is how we interpret the narrative in our minds. A trainee-dog is seen as trying to help the owner, whereas the dog labelled ‘pit bull’ is seen as attacking the owner.

One wonders how much of what we believe to be true about dog is clouded by fear and fantasy.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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