(here's a response to a longer PETA thread found here: -- b)
Trouble is an Italian Greyhound.
Trouble was born in a puppy mill.
When Trouble was just a few weeks old, he was put in a semi-truck with hundreds of other puppies from the midwest to points unknown.
There were Iggies like him. Yorkies. Dachunds. Poodles. Boxers. Every breed of dog you can imagine.
There was no air in the truck on a hot July day.
The truck turned over in Nashville.
Trouble gasped for air in a dark truck and hearing the sounds of puppies bred for their luxurious fluffy coats died all around him. He smelled the smell of death in urine. For a creature that lives in a world of smell, that's a big deal.
If you think dogs don't have emotions. If you think dogs don't have memories, or don't feel TERROR...
...just try to put Trouble in a car. Or spend the night with him when his nightmares are so bad he screams re-living the scene in that truck. Feel his heart racing and work thru your own panic as he can't snap out of it lang after he's awake. Try to comfort him in his regular panic attack on the way to the vet. Witness his mortal fear of being put in a crate (if you've had dogs, you know what a mess it is when they won't "crate.")
It's all still there for Troubs.
I've heard that dogs have emotional/intelligence comparable to that of a 3-year old child. recently on NPR I heard Daniel Pinkwater describe teaching his dogs to "read" flash cards, so I taught Trouble and my other "iggie" Astra to "read" flash cards. They've associated card/command/treat just like Pinkwater said. They don't "know" The True Meaning of "sitting, dancing and standing," (I'm not sure I do) but they play the language game. all they want is approval.
Remind me again how that's different than people.
i was in the hospital for a summer. when i came home Trouble greeted me with almost an hour worth of clinging; crying; moaning; urgerling; snarferling; and cuddling. It was interesting for the first 5 minutes. then it was a little creepy, like witnessing a nervous breakdown.
my human friends didn't show such emotion. it's too scary. dogs are one hundred percent true. Isn't that a kind of nobility?
i don't know much about PETA and what they are doing in their latest action, but ANYTHING that brings the issue of puppy mills up for discussion is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Our dogs challenge us to be better people. Think of them as agents of God. He really can't be around a hundred percent of the time, so He's left his buddies here to keep an eye on us. When God comes back, if he's anything like me, he'll be greeted by his dogs and they will TELL HIM EVERYTHING.
or not. whatever.
the point is, if you want a be a better human, get a dog. let them teach how to read the flash cards. let them teach how much you are missed.
Let go and let DOG.