British naturalist Chris Packham surprised quite a few people when he said pandas are doomed and should be allowed to become extinct. Rather than spending millions of dollars to save a hopeless species, people should support other endangered animals that have a better chance of survival, he said.
That’s a radical approach for anyone, but particularly coming from a conservationist.
I, on the other hand, prefer saving pandas over a particular species of animal that Americans just can’t seem to get enough of – domesticated dogs.
My own canine, Hazel, is a sweet little mutt I found on the street a few years back, and now we’re buddies. But she’s not good for anything other than eating, scratching, shedding, digging, chewing, and pooping. Sure, it’s nice to see her wag her tail and get excited when I pull up in the driveway at night. I feed her good food and scratch her belly and talk to her and we get along great. But if all the dogs in the world went away that’d be fine with me, even if I had to give up Hazel in the bargain.
Every place I’ve ever lived in has been surrounded by neighbors with noisy dogs that bark at every shadow, person, car, grasshopper, or blade of grass. I’m so sick of hearing dogs bark that if I’m watching a movie or TV show and the scene involves a dog barking in the background, I mute the sound.
Maybe I’ll start a Save The Basenji movement. Those little boogers are cute, athletic, good hunters, good watchdogs — and quiet as a mime artist with laryngitis.