Thursday, December 29, 2005

Echo The Dog

A dog has a distinct method of killing something it perceives to be a threat, or an annoyance, or as competition. Take rats for example. The dog will snatch the varmint up in his powerful jaws, and shake the unfortunate creature, until it dies from internal injuries. And so it was when Echo, a German Shepherd/Huskie mix-according to some reports, a dog/wolf hybrid-snatched within his powerful jaws little two week old Ethan, the only child of his owners, the Vest family, newly moved to Georgetown Kentucky. Both mother and father had stepped outside the house, leaving the infant alone in the house with Echo, when they suddenly heard the baby's screams. They made it in time to retrieve the child from the dog's jaws, whereupon the child was transported to Unversityof Kentucky Medical Center, where his condmition was just recently upgraded from critical. Apparently, little Ethan is going to be all right.

Echo, meantime, managed to temporarily escape from the cage in which he had been placed by the animal control people, and ran off. He was found some eight miles or so away, about as many days later. He was apprehended, and transported to the animal control sanctuary, where his fate for quite some time was uncertain. The dog even seemed to know his days were numbered. He quaked in terror in front of the cameras that filmed him for WLEX-TV out of Lexington, one of the many local news outlets that covered the story.

It was almost a sure bet the former family pet would be put down, sometime after Christmas, but a flurry of calls-more than 300 of them-to the Scott County Sheriffs Department, saved the dogs life. Upon word of the upgraded condition of the infant, the animal was transferred to the care of the Wolf Run WIldlife Sanctuary in Nicholasville, Kentucky. There he will be free to roam in an open though controlled environment, with plenty of space to run and romp. He's probably still wondering what all the fuss is about. Soon, he'll probably forget the incident ever occurred. He is, after all, a dog.

Too bad his former owners didn't have the common sense that would have been necessaryto realize this simple fact of nature, befoe they left the dog and theinfant alone in thehouse, suppossedly assumming-according to their statement to police investigators-that the two wee in seperate rooms. The police are still investigating theincident, though officially, for now, the incident is oficially considered to be pobably an unfortunate accident.

All's well that ends well. Still, this should be a cautionary tale for those who can't seem to understand that dogs, like all animals, including those of the human vairety, are programmed by nature to perform certain functions, and react to a certain set of stimuli. Through years of association, he had doubtless truly developed a bond of affection toward his human masters, the Vests. But little baby Ethan was a different matter. To Echo the dog, the baby was just another
threat, just another pest, just anotehr pest. Just another rat.

Translation to the Vests and to all those who think like them: Echo the dog is not Ethans loving uncle, brother, or trusted friend, or baby sitter.