Saturday 31 July 2021

A DOG BITE BILL?

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“A bill introduced by Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) legislator, Ileana Brenes and currently being discussed in Committee, aims to establish regulations for “potentially dangerous” dogs. Source: QCosta Rica.com

Hold it, hold it! In our family we have had dogs, lots including huskies and the most ferocious of them all was Camila, the cat. We called her “psycho cat”. She would guard the house and me whenever in the bathroom. (Some times taking a shower was a little uncomfortable. Not even my own wife could pass without permission.)

Camila would certainly be on the Brenes list? She was a rescued feral and for some reason attached herself to papi (Me) and never hesitated to hiss a warning, scratch or bite hell out of an intruder.

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Now who is going to develop a list of socially threatening dogs? A dog lover? I doubt it. Perhaps an expert. Doubt that also.

Many, but many Ticos have dogs trained solely for protection and their little owners, the owners property and are one far less harmless than a gun. Wet noses, slurpy kisses mean nothing; they are for protection only. And they do their jobs as taught by humans; you and me. Suddenly, according to Brenes these animals get nailed as threats to the public at large. Hell, so was Camila whose best time of day was to jump from behind a a big pine tree landing on top of the local Rottweiler’s back to scare the poor sucker. (Sneaky? “No,” a good hunter to scare hell out of a dog 80 pounds her weight. (Give her credit when credit is due.) A learner, albeit a slow learner, the Rottweiler would always cross the street after four or five times being attacked by Camila and that saved me from cleaning a gigantic load of dog poop.

Currently we do not have dogs anymore at home in Costa Rica but we seem to have backed into a quasi refuge for cats which will take on any dog who defies their territory. (But their food is so damn expensive. One eats a mix of white fish and tuna, the other mixed grill another turkey…the list goes on and I know it is so our fault.)

What Costa Rica needs to do is license pets, no question. (“Hey, it is another source of income, right?”)

Designating dangerous dogs to society sounds a lot like the words Hitler used for the Jews. (Maybe we can pin a gold star on all Dobermans?) In Costa Rica, many moons ago, I adopted a Doberman, his name was Yogi and that dog let me clean his teeth with a fingernail file, cut his claws and the only ferocious thing he ever did was look tough and scared the cows.

“Lady Brenes, because young girls wear short skirts and have tattoos does NOT make them prostitutes or candidates for rape. What makes a prostitute is the selling of their bodies for money, just like the National Assembly does on a daily basis. Likewise, a dog by breed can either be taught to be lovable, protective or vicious. Regardless, it is a learning experience and I have yet to meet a puppy of any breed or mix that posed a social danger until trained otherwise.

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Licensing of all pets should be a regulation and the license should be issued only by veterinarians, not the government, while the government simply keeps a digital list of the owners names along with the names of the pet. In order to obtain a license, all pets need to be neutered and vaccinated. How hard is that?

Stop embarrassing yourself as a canine expert Ms. Brenes. Although far more complicated, please focus on energy, the cost of living of the poor (Who cannot afford a full time guard with a gun.) and reigniting the Costa Rica image we recently lost with the exit of Intel and B of A.

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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