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PET TALK: The Power of the Dog

Wednesday 16 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in On the Street, Opinion

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PET TALK: The Power of the Dog
Te Are Manu Veterinary Clinic services vet Dr Michael Baer. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS 21092206

I haven’t seen the film, which has won praise, earned millions, and won high acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

I guess I will one day, but since it was filmed pretty close to where I used to live, I'm worried that it won’t seem real. 

I expect I will be wrong, and when I do see the movie it will be everything they say it is. 

Certainly the title has everything going for it. 

The Power of the Dog.

It would be an exaggeration to say the Power of the Dog is why we become vets, vet nurses and animal carers. 

For most people, cats, horses and other animals play a part too. 

But there is a special connection between people and dogs. 

No other species adopt each other into their families the way we do with dogs, and dogs do with us.

Puppies appeal to many people in the same way young children do, they invite affection, support and protection. 

Older dogs provide attention, genuine affection and companionship.

They nurture children and they protect “their” people.

Dogs have lived with people for longer than any other animals and they have a greeter variation of size and shape than any other single species on Earth. 

A Saint Bernard can have puppies with a Chihuahua, despite being 70 times larger. 

There is something special about the Power of the Dog.

But what about when there are too many dogs? 

Feeding and caring for a dog takes time, effort and resources. 

One or two dogs are OK but four or five are too many for most of us. 

In Rarotonga we have a lot of dogs, and judging by the number of puppies coming through the clinic every week, there are more being born all the time. 

Dogs with too much time and not enough food will begin to form packs.  

Packs of dogs with too much time and not enough food become aggressive and destructive, and in the last few weeks we know of at least five dog attacks on pigs and goats. 

How can we help? 

The best way to limit growth in a population is to lower the number of births.  

Desexing male and female dogs is the best way of lowering the number of puppies born.

Ensuring you have your dog desexed is the best thing you can do. 

That is where Te Are Manu is focusing much of our time, with the support of the DRAC Committee. 

I have outlined before what DRACC does and what it is achieving. 

Our Puna desexing clinics have been wonderfully successful, and the second round is under way. 

We also continue to desex dogs at the clinic because every breeding pair of dogs can produce 500 puppy descendants over three years. 

This, unfortunately, is the true Power of the Dog

*If you want to help Te Are Manu perform desexing operations, consider our Sponsor a Spey programme.  To see more check us out on Facebook