Stop blaming the dogs!

You may have seen the headlines about 2-year-old Deeon Higgins who was killed by the family dog, a bull mastiff cross, last week.

Various stories are of course doing the rounds online. And so I felt this is something I should discuss because after reading some of the sensationalised stories, carelessly written by journos from all over the news sphere, I felt angered. I felt less inclined to care about the tragedy itself, and more inclined to be pissed off at the one minded nature of some writers and some stories that have skimmed over the finer details and cut straight to the quick blaming the “dangerous” family dog.

For example – the fact that the 2-year-old child was outside BY HIMSELF according to some sources, with the 57kg dog, who, on most occasions was kept tied up!!!  His 71-year-old grandmother was inside.  First of all DO NOT EVER LET A 2 YEAR OLD CHILD BE ALONE WITH A DOG! No matter what the breed! Secondly, if you need to keep your dog tied up, you have clearly not trained it to be around people and especially kids. Thirdly, the dog probably thought he was playing at first until the grandmother started attacking him with a broom. This is not going to make the dog feel less threatened… this will make it angrier! Why can’t everyone watch Cesar Milan for god’s sake!

I’m sorry if this seems harsh, of course I feel terrible for this dear little boy and his family, what happened was clearly a tragedy, but I also feel sorry for the poor dog (who was put down). And for all the other Bull Mastiffs out there being looked down on by us high and mighty humans who today are labelling them, the ENTIRE breed, as vicious, dangerous dogs that need to be destroyed!

Check out the photo doing to rounds…

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Are you kidding me!!!!

I’m sorry but no breed is dangerous. And every breed has the potential to be dangerous. It all comes down to the owners and the way the dog is brought up. Yes, some breeds could be more susceptible to dangerous behaviour, but if you take on one of these breeds, then you better be bloody prepared and willing to provide it with the correct training and discipline it needs to become a loving family pet. It’s a simple as that!

You know if you buy a typically “dangerous” breed that you are taking on extra responsibility. If you choose to ignore that responsibility and then your dog does something wrong, well you are the one to blame. Not the dog.

And shock horror… how did these breeds become “dangerous” in the first place… humans made them so! Wow, who would have thought us perfect beings (cough cough) could be responsible for this. No, we are not to blame; the dogs are just born bad. Bull shit!

Stupid humans have been mistreating dogs, and well pretty much every other animal, for centuries! Dog fighting is a blood sport that can be traced back to ancient times and guess what dogs got used for that… not shih tzus and Chihuahuas.

I’m going to use a very controversial analogy here to prove my point – think back to the days of slavery, where people with black skin were forced into slave labour, tortured, mistreated. STILL, to this day, some of the descendants of the original slaves hold resentment against the people who did that to them. So if human beings are still affected by activities of the distant past, why wouldn’t certain breeds of dogs be the same?

This is why it is so important to understand the breed you are buying and understand the responsibility that comes with owning a dog – no matter what the breed.

Then maybe, just maybe, people will stop using our beautiful 4-legged friends as scapegoats for our own failures.

RIP little Deeon Higgins. If only your death could teach us a thing or two…

Here is one of said articles that I do not agree with! In fact, I’m ashamed of it and the source it came from … http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/dog-buyback-scheme/

Trolls be gone!

I hate trolls.

Not the ugly ones that hide under bridges waiting for damsels in distress to pass – those ones are ok. I hate the trolls that scour the internet with nothing better to do than post nasty, degrading, derogative, stupid posts on social media sites, websites and so on.

These trolls are the really ugly ones.

For those who are not aware, an internet trolls is someone who posts abusive and hurtful comments, incites arguments and provokes anger by making controversial comments, narcissistically dominates conversations making themselves the centre of attention. And they do this with the intention of upsetting and causing emotional stress and or harm to others – mostly people they don’t know.

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I myself have not been trolled (touch wood), but boy does it ark me up when I see others being subject to this abuse. And that’s what it is…abuse!

Unfortunately, internet trolls are very common. They can be found just about anywhere. Even on memorial pages for people who have been taken from this world. The argument could be that perhaps social media sites are not the place for memorial sites, but in this day and age, social media plays a MASSIVE part in how we communicate. And it’s not just our ‘in person’ friends who want to pay tribute.

Either way, trolls have become a very modern menace.

These people can use the World Wide Web to hide behind alter egos, to exert a sense of power and act out their own feelings of anger and insecurity, deliberately making others feel bad to help themselves feel better. All the while knowing their true identity is cloaked by an infinite online world and they will never have to face their victims directly.

Last year we saw firsthand the effects trolling can have on someone. Charlotte Dawson, a well-known public figure, who you would think is used to scrutiny, was driven to attempt suicide by her online tormentors!

‘Can you kill yourself already?’ was the vile online messages from internet trolls that led a 16 year old American girl Jessica Laney to hang herself in 2012.

This is incredible!!

Both of these cases, plus countless others, have attracted considerable media attention and triggered public debate about how to respond to the issue of trolling. But how do you contain something you can’t really keep up with?

My opinion, start small! It all just has to start with us. Each individual person needs to do their part to stop the trolls. Then hopefully one day, they will be eradicated…

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Bondi Vet – A hero to animals across the globe

vet1 The 5th season of Channel Ten’s Bondi Vet is on air now, so I caught up with Dr Chris Brown in between his busy schedule to chat animals and the show.

What made you want to become a vet?

It’s a funny thing; I guess you could say I was born into it. My dad was a vet and so when I was young I was always brining home injured birds and asking pet questions from John in the third   grade or my teachers. So my Dad would clock off at about 8pm and then clock back on at home answering all of my questions.  As a kid we had all kinds of animals around the house all the time. Dad would bring home possums, koalas, cows, dogs, even a penguin. My brothers and I would care for them. The penguin was actually attacked by a dog I think and needed extra care and rehabilitation which is why he was brought back to our house. It was quite special really being surrounded by all of the animals all the time and learning early how to care for them.

Did you ever image when you started out that you would be a celebrity vet with your own tv show?

Um, no, not at all. It’s actually funny how it all happened. I was in a pub after work one day in Sydney and chatting to a female friend at the bar. I was telling her all about the work I was doing and some of the interesting cases I got and a media agent overheard the conversation. When she left he came up to me and sort of laughed and thought I was telling stories and pretending to be a vet just to pick her up. He walked away but came back later and said; look if you were telling the truth then I have an idea. That’s how Bondi Vet came about. Before that my only stint in the media was in a school production where I was Dairy Springer. It was a spinoff of Jerry Springer.

Can you describe a typical day in the ‘office’?

I actually alternate between three typical days now. Sometimes I will just be working as a vet in the Bondi clinic and because of the show I get all sorts of cases come through the door now. I start my day off with a swim or a run to wake up and head in for the day. Other days I’ll be filming for Bondi Vet either in the clinic or on the road, mostly on the road these days, and either domestically or overseas.  The third day is filming for The Living Room where I’m out and about doing travel pieces. I could be doing anything like running down the streets of Japan half naked, the days are really mixed up.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

I love being able to help the animals I meet and to see that special bond between animal and owner.  And I enjoy the fact that by treating one animal on screen, we can actually help many more animals. One lady actually phoned the clinic and told us about her cat who had a litter of kittens and none of them were breathing. She remembered the episode where a similar situation occurred with a litter of puppies and we brought them all back with mouth to mouth resuscitation. She went back to the episode, watched how we did it and saved all the kittens. That’s quite incredible.

What can viewers expect from the 5th season of Bondi Vet which is airing on channel 10 now?

They can expect more compassion and seeing that special bond with animal and human. The show is pretty well known now and so people are bringing in all sorts of cases so I think this season the challenges are bigger but so are the rewards. We are also getting more requests for help from overseas. I’m actually heading to Kenya for something pretty special so keep an eye out for that. We are actually going to an area very isolated, I don’t think any other TV show has ever been there, and we will be working with a lot of zebras and rhinos but that’s really all I can say for now. I guess as far as cases go, we are helping a 6m salt water croc, some pretty special dogs, and so many more amazing animals.

Featuring charismatic vets Dr Chris Brown Dr Lisa Chimes, Bondi Vet is an unscripted 30 part, one hour television series set against the breathtaking backdrop of Bondi in Sydney. Bondi Vet airs on Channel Ten, Saturdays at 7.30pm. Visit http://ten.com.au/tvshows/bondivet.htm

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Why cant we all wear a smile?

I was trying to fly without leaving the ground,
Cause I wanted to be like Mike, right
Wanted to be him, I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to touch the rim
I wanted to be cool, and I wanted to fit in,
I wanted what he had, America, it begins

The lyrics in this song, Wings by Macklemore, got me thinking the other day as I drove to work in my designer jacket and shoes. It got me thinking about consumerism, identity, individuality and I guess it led to me asking myself some big questions about what it means to fit in, to stand out. As Macklemore puts it “I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement”. It couldn’t be truer.

We are all individuals. We are all made up of different stuff. But, we are also all part of some movement. There is not one person out there who could honestly say they were not influenced by something, someone. Even the so called “hipsters” are influenced by other hipsters and that has become a movement. Not a symbol of individuality. I remember when this happened with the punk movement. Everyone started dressing in black, wearing thicker eyeliner and listening to punk rock calling themselves individuals. But when thousands of others are doing the exact same thing, it’s not really individuality. This leads me to the next point. Why do people see what they wear as the thing that defines them and who they are? Why can’t someone who likes wearing pink floral dresses be a ‘punk rocker’? What does what you wear have to do with who you are anyway?

We want what we can’t have, commodity makes us want it
So expensive, damn, I just got to flaunt it
Got to show ’em, so exclusive, this that new shit
A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes I would never hoop in
Look at me, look at me, I’m a cool kid

I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement
My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it
They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said

We are consumers. We consume all the time. We are all influenced by adverts, people we look up to, celebrities we like, what our friends and family are doing. And that’s fine. I’m the first to admit I love to shop. New clothes, shoes, things… I enjoy buying them. I’m influenced by many things. And that’s just fine. But at times I forget that I can be me no matter what I’m wearing, or who I’m wearing. My insides, my personality, my way of thinking is not going to change depending on weather I’m wearing a designer jacket or a piece from Kmart. But it’s easy to forget that these days. It’s easy to believe that if we don’t wear what society tells us is ‘cool’ we won’t fit in. We won’t be looked at with admiration and respect. I look forward to seeing the day when people go around wearing a smile. When that is the movement we all follow.

That’s my air bubble and I’m lost, if it pops
We are what we wear, we wear what we are
But see I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all
Will I stand for change, or stay in my box
These Nikes help me define me, but I’m trying to take mine, off

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