I woke up to GMTV and it wasn't very pleasant.
(here's a link if you want to see it yourself - thank you to the kind reader for the comment pointing out the link!)
The new dog control measures being suggested this morning are so reminiscent of the knee jerk hysteria that resulted in the original catastrophic Dangerous Dogs Act. (DDA)
This morning we had all sides calling for all 'status' dogs to be kept on a lead in public places, wearing muzzles, registered, neutered, microchipped.
So a bit like the DDA on steroids then? And that's been such a very, very successful piece of legislation hasn't it! Children have been so much safer haven't they? Numbers of Pit Bulls are now the highest ever. It's worse than useless.
And then GMTV showed footage of a normal Staffie running around and having a sniff in a public park and all it needed was the Jaws theme in the background. A serious-faced councillor told the camera something like 'this was an accident waiting to happen'.
Would they show some youths hanging around in the park and say 'it's vandalism or a knife crime waiting to happen?' Shoddy reporting.
Would they suggest all young men should be tethered just in case one of them attacks another as there's been some terrible youth murders?
Should we neuter all young men anyway - that'll get rid of rape, too.
Then they put up the photos of the poor children who were killed by dogs over the last few years.
But do they point out where did these poor kids died?
Was it in a park?
It was at home.
In the 'care' of their own relatives.
How many of these children would have been saved by stopping dogs having a run in the park?
People say such silly things in front of a camera, too.
I'm typing from memory, but it's probably the same impression the general public got.
"Our shelter is full of Staffies - it's an animal welfare disaster. They make great pets. We need sensible people to come forward to home them - but you shouldn't have Staffies in the house if you have kids, you should house them outside. Status dogs should not be off lead in public and should be muzzled. "
I'm sure she didn't mean to say those things.
Can't see too many people rushing to take those poor dogs on when even the rescue thinks they need to be muzzled in public and kept on a lead - and kept apart from the family!
Kids should never be unsupervised with ANY dog.
That should be the lesson we learn.
That should be the united message we all put across.
Even the most lovely dog can bite a child if you've not taught it bite inhibition. Often the sweetest looking dogs have no bite inhibition simply because they've never been poked in the ear with a pencil until the day it happens.
Dogs need to be well socialised and trained, not just kept as status symbols.
And certainly not kept outside.
Most of the deaths have been poorly-reared dogs, usually kept outside or away from the family but suddenly getting unsupervised access to a child.
It's easily done, a kid opens the wrong door.
Probably feels sorry for the poor dog left outside.
Someone fails to shut a door properly because they're distracted or the routine goes out of the window.
Why keep dogs if they're not part of the family?
Keep dogs outside, under-exercise them.... yikes.
Sounds like the recipe for lots more tragedies, to me.
It's in the home that those children were killed, not the park.
These proposed control measures would not have saved a single one of those children whose photos were used to tacitly endorse this campaign.
What a mess.
Who is driving this agenda?
And I realise all the above is a pretty depressing way to start the day.
So to give you your mojo back without buying a Cheryl-Cole-endorsed hair product, watch this lovely video.
The majority of kids and the 10.5 million dogs get along really well and dogs have saved so many more lives than they've ever taken.
Here's little Emily and Pickle practising their heelwork to music routine for Crufts. (Be hard to do this on leash and muzzled.)