Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Gone to the Dogs...
Gone to the Dogs
A law to keep dogs from riding in the back of pick-up trucks was
watered down in legislative committee to a mere suggestion this
week. It seems that letting dogs ride in the back of an open truck
is a time-honored, southern tradition, and one that humans intend to
keep. Never mind that a dog could be thrown out and injured, or a
human could have an accident trying to avoid hitting a flying dog
after the truck swerves suddenly.
It’s just the idea of not being able to haul their dog around in
their own truck that has humans in a dither, especially since
they’ve been doing it for years. Keeping a dog in a cage or
putting us in the cab is not the same thing as letting us run and
leap into the truck with ears flying in the wind and dirt flying in
the eyes. “Dogs like it,” they say. Never mind that dogs, like
children, are not capable of knowing what’s in their own best
Only a few states have laws against dogs riding on the outside of a
vehicle. These are in New England and on the West Coast. That
figures. Any good ol’ boy knows that he can’t trust a Yankee and
that California is full of weird folks who live out there because
they can’t fit in anywhere else.
The humans that usually become the most upset about dog protection
laws are coon hunters. Never mind that hunting dogs were an
exception in the proposed law. “Today it’s the yard dogs –
tomorrow the coon dogs,” they say. As you may know, humans hunt
coons by driving around back roads in a
truck until the scent dog gets a sniff of coon. Then the tree dogs
are released and the chase is on till a coon is treed.
Specially trained, coon-hunting dogs are high dollar dogs costing
$1,000 to $12,000 each. For that kind of money, you’d think we
could climb up a tree and shake the coon out personally instead of
just chasing it. Obviously, humans who run around in the dark
chasing after coons with a pack of dogs
can not be overly bright.
Humans believe this law is just another example of government
sticking its nose into something that’s none of its business. They
say animal activists, who know nothing about outdoor sports, and
“bleeding hearts” that feel sorry for raccoons are influencing
Actually, coon hunting has evolved into a state of the art sport,
and killing the coon isn’t necessary. The sport is in the
competition of one dog with another to see which can sniff out a
coon and which can tree one the best, without getting sidetracked by
possums, foxes who don’t climb trees and run forever, or skunks
who fight back. It’s not the killing; it’s the thrill of the
chase that matters.
And so it goes. Dogs remain unprotected and will be allowed to ride
in open vehicles unrestrained without benefit of kennel cage or
harness. Not only hunting dogs, but also yard dogs and pets can ride
in trucks without any fear - at least of the law. Some good ol’
boys say that a dog in the back
of a truck is the best burglar alarm there is, a point hard to argue
with, but that doesn’t mean we have to ride there.
The love affair between human and animal is a long one. We not only
work and hunt for humans, but are pets and companions as well. Dogs
are valued for their loyalty and unconditional devotion to their
human. We have long been called “man’s best friend”. It seems
that they would want to take
better care of their best friends, doesn’t it?
And that is this week’s news from your roving reporter,
Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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