June 16, 2011

After the mauling

During his years as an RCMP officer in the northern communities, Clare Kines recognized the important role of the sled dog in local history and culture. "But because of the ubiquitousness of dogs in the north there have been attacks," he writes. "Too often I've seen the results of children and adults severely hurt or even killed by a group of dogs."

An attack earlier this month involved a dog he knew.
I played with that dog a lot, it bounded with energy and I never saw a hint of aggression from it. It was engaging, and although untrained would easily be led by the collar. Hell, my children played with it. A couple of weeks ago it was off its lead, bounding amongst kids never touching them. It came quickly to my whistle and walked back with me to its spot on the ice. It was playful and gentle, and yet it participated in a savage attack on a little child. Of that there is no doubt.

And that is why this won't escape from my mind. If this is a dog that can do this terrible thing, then any dog can. That the wild in their ancestory must lie in them underneath. Since the attack I look at my children playing with our big gentle puppy, Bolt, and wonder, if the circumstances were just right, what might happen?
Read the whole post at Clare's blog. [Clare is a favorite blogger/photographer of mine — in addition to The House & other Arctic musings, he contributes to 10,000 Birds, covering, natch, the Arctic beat.]

In Clare Kines's photo, above, his children Travis and Hilary play with their dog Bolt. See more photos in the post Sledding. The beautiful, unnamed sled dog at the top of this post was also photographed by Clare. As always, click photos to embiggen.

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