August 18, 2003

Self-Actualizing Quentin

I posted about this before. Quentin is the dog who escaped his date with death by defying the dog pound's gas chamber. He was placed with Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and the director of this organization eventually adopted the dog.

This has raised the ire (probably because he has nothing else to write about) of Kevin Horrigan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist. The article is here.

Now, sampling Kevin's obra.

    I really hate to bring this up, what with the general jubilation over the happy non-ending for Quentin, the Miracle Dog, but is it really right that Quentin will spend the rest of his life as a public relations dog?
Okay. Whoa. Morals and animals, oh my, oh my. Is it "right" to put healthy animals to sleep simply because society doesn't have the sense to spay/neuter its pets? Wow, I don't think I want to go there. Next point.

    This is where Quentin's role as a PR-dog comes in. An organization called In Defense of Animals has hired him, for the cost of a $5,000 donation to the city pound, as a national spokesdog for the plight of stray animals. The money will be used to help hire a full-time veterinarian who can administer lethal injections at the pound.

    Two observations about that: One, unless the city can find a vet who works a lot cheaper than mine does, $5,000 isn't going to go very far. And two, what an awful job: "How'd your day go today, honey?" "Great, I killed 38 dogs." Quentin's new companion-human is Randy Grim, the founder of the Stray Rescue of St. Louis shelter, a man who pops Xanax for anxiety disorders but who has become a kind of Mother Teresa for stray animals. Quentin's new role will be as a celebrity, making public appearances around the country to raise money and awareness - a canine version of Fergie, the ex-Duchess of York.
Let's see. This is a DOG. I'm sure he's going to hate lots of attention from awestruck people who want to pet him and give him treats. Sure, 5k isn't much. But, last I checked, it's $4,999.99 more than a penny, which is a cent more than nothing.

And then there's that little matter of the ad hominem. SMEAR Randy Grim! Why? Because I can, says Horrigan. That man's job would make ME pop Xanax, too - so much heartbreak with unwanted animals.

And then comes the self-actualization part.

    Under the theory of dog fulfillment, tracking dogs like beagles or hounds should go to tracking classes, Labrador retrievers should be furnished with water and ducks, and French poodles should be furnished with a nice Bordeaux. Quentin is a Basenji mix, descended from African hunting dogs, so he should be taken out in the woods to hunt warthogs.
Geez. What next? Should my cats be given live mice in a controlled room with a dirt floor at least three times a week? I think they're faring just fine.

Maslow (and Pavlov) are turning over in their graves.

Mr. Horrigan - I'm certain, though I can't properly anthropomorphize a dog (doubtful you can either), that Quentin would choose life and petting over death and another gassing? You wanna try again with a new column?


Posted by hln at August 18, 2003 05:50 PM | Animals