On World Dog Day 2021
From the perspective of Gut Aiderbichl
Written by Gisela Pschenitschnig
The dog is man's best friend: He is a rescue dog, a counsellor, a playmate, but also an experimental animal in the laboratory to research medicines for humans. On the Dog's Day of Honour, I will now try to explain the important role dogs play for humans.
About the dog
The dog is descended from the wolf and, about 80,000 years ago, humans began domesticating the wild wolves. Today, people choose their faithful companions from 350 dog breeds. Dogs are kept both as pets and as working dogs. The latter are used in special training units for fighting crime, as rescue dogs, guide dogs or as herding dogs in agriculture.
The dog as a pet
In the lives of many people, the dog has the position of a family member. It is not unusual for the dog to replace the owner, partner or family as a loyal companion. Smilingly, in conversations with dog owners I hear again and again that "a dog does not argue, it can listen well and its loyalty and love lasts forever. A dog does not judge by appearances".
The four-legged friends encourage their owners to spend some time in the fresh air every day, so one could also think that the dog is man's health minister.
Free running of the dog is more and more pushed into legal restrictions
Again and again, we read about dogs attacking and seriously injuring people. Why does this happen? It happens sometimes in a matter of seconds that, whether it's a small dachshund or a large german shepherd, a person becomes the victim of a dog attack. A dog on a leash behaves completely differently from a dog running free. The biggest mistake is when, for the purpose of protection, the human holds the dog in his arms so that his own dog is not attacked by a strange dog. There is a lot to do in the field of behaviour as a dog owner, because wrong behaviour can cause a disaster.
Open-air dog runs for the exercise of four-legged friends
Every place has a football field, parks for the people, but not every place has a free-range meadow for the dogs. Almost all places in Austria have strict leash laws. Dog tax is levied, which could be used, for example, to finance well-maintained open-air dog runs.
The first open-air dog runs in Salzburg were created by Michael Aufhauser. In the meantime, they have become sought-after meeting places between people and dogs and are of enormous importance for the socialisation of all dog breeds that exercise there.
My dog and I - we are a team
When I fall tired into the comfortable armchair in the evening after a walk with my dogs, I don't stay alone for long. Three dog noses nudge me: that of Leopold, a Greek mix; that of Wambo, a collie and the little nose of my Celine, an Epagneul Breton. There is then a command: "Hello, my darlings, what would be good now?". Zack - all three of them cuddle up around me and tell me with their body language what they want: "We want to be with you, you should pet us".
But let's think about all the dogs that do their rounds as strays looking for food and all those who suffer for a long time of their lives in experimental laboratories. Let us think of the many dogs that are left abandoned somewhere.
Gut Aiderbichl and the dogs
Years ago we received a call for help from Romania and helped over 300 strays into a better life. The impressions our employees got at that time can't be replaced by anything. The dogs lived in a shelter without a protective roof, without a well to provide water. A woman gave her heart to the animals and fed them until she asked us for help.
The project in Romania is changing more and more to a good one. People come and have their dogs and also cats neutered. This is the only way to stop the growing number of stray dogs, which then have to die, in the long run.
"I found that in deep sorrow, in the quiet, devoted companionship of a dog, strength flows to you that no other source can give you". - Doris Day
Enjoy World Dog Day with your companion on four paws and don't forget all the dogs who don't have a home, who are abandoned or tortured.
Sincerely, your Gisela.