DOGS: They can teach much about life

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There seems to be a general whipping of dog ownership at present.

In the last week or so there has been the question of banning dogs from certain beaches for the summer, a rule I must feel is necessary.

There are a number of irresponsible owners who throw their animals out in the morning and fetch them in after work. There are those who I have observed taking dogs across playgrounds or pitches for the purpose of their toilet arrangements.

As a dog owner of over 70 years and the daughter of the neurosurgeon who discovered the damage done by parasites of dogs in the human child, I know how bad it is to allow one’s animals to foul even one’s own garden.

Now there is a story of an attack on children in South East Northumberland by a dog.

I remember being a city of London child, how we used to disgracefully rattle a stick down the fence to annoy a dog in a neighbour’s garden. I would never leave children alone with dogs, even if I knew that animal was child-friendly.

This attack, which has hit the national media in full cry, gives us no idea of the full story. The damage done is bites on legs and arms, which suggests the dog thought it was play. Aggressive dog bites are usually at the head, ears or throat.

The poor dog will probably be sentenced for being regarded as dangerous, and yet more people will deny their children a chance to grow up with an animal which can teach them so much about life, as well as being a great companion and a guardian, who are a treat to them in town parks and the countryside at large.

Anne Wrangham,