February 21, 2008

Why The Rich Are Different From You and Me

I wasn't going to blunder into the stolen dog story in Toronto, but it's getting stupid. The inevitable volley of letters have begun to the editors of the papers, first asking how someone could get so upset over a dog (it's not a kid, after all) and then the lob back (for some of us, our pets are our kids, so shut up).

As a fairly uninterested bystander, I read a guy had his dog stolen. He loved his dog. I'm sure his dog loved him. I also know from experience that dogs can quickly develop a deep and loving passion for anyone who feeds them and lets them sleep on the bed (as can cats and most furry creatures), but I too tell myself that my cats' lives are fabulous only because I am their owner. I too am nutty enough to imbue my cats with human qualities, something I am hesitant to acknowledge even in my children.

So, Huckleberry was taken. Huckleberry's daddy, who by all accounts is rich, and Huckleberry's grandfather, who is even richer, somehow manage to get the cops out looking for a dog. Babies are lying in snowbanks, but a dog merits cops. Whatever. This is the first way the Rich are Different From You and Me.

Because Huckleberry's daddy hasn't seen the right movies, he instantly offers 15K to get the dog back. You don't do it that way; you wait for the ransom note. Even I know this. I mean, if it was my kid, I might go on TV and intimate that I could lay my hands on some cash (I can't; don't bother), but I sure wouldn't start the bidding. This is another way The Rich are Different From You and Me. I know damned well that if someone had my older lad, they'd figure out how much he costs to feed, and I reckon I could get him back for a hundred bucks and a bag of Peak Freans.

Anyway, this silly story is all over the news. I fully expected to see a Huck Alert as I drove down the highway. And I'll say it now, to save my Comments section an onslaught: I love my pets. I spend too much on vet bills and food, they run the house, and I can't imagine my life without them. But, no, pets are not children. And even anonymous children take precedence over my own pets. Our police should be protecting children, not hunting for dognappers.

Of course, all has ended well. Huckleberry is home, and the cops have even busted the people who so conveniently 'found' him after being woken up by 15K fanning their faces. Charges have been laid to prevent copydog crimes, which is a good thing.

The dognappers' family are all pissy, and told the press 'it's nobody's business'. Funny. They should have thought of that before they heroically, and rather stupidly, grabbed for the reward money. They will be hounded, you can bet on it. I did like the request they made to give 5K to the animal shelter. There is apparently honour among thieves, though I'm interested to know if the shelter ever received the money.

Ransom returned, Bert Clark and Huckleberry (Finn, or Hound, I wonder?) have drifted off into the mist, having used the press for what they wanted and now able to buy themselves some privacy, no doubt. Yet another way the Rich are Different From You and Me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine, blame it on the media. This story is no different than wasting resources on Britney or Lohan or any others in the "lack of career and talents" of Hollywood. The media needs to re-evaluate what it is reporting and let's clean it up. I watched Dan Rather speak on this exact subject of how the media has stooped to new levels on reporting. IT is not reporting anymore but the sales of papers and associated items that matters. There is very little in news value for anyone.

February 21, 2008 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your use of semi colons. Well done!

February 21, 2008 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with anonymous on this one, the media took the ball and ran with it. Must have been a slow news week. Very tough luck for the inept thieves. Personally I'm glad the Star covered it well. I knew from the beginning something was fishy about this case.Anyone who flies back from his first day on vacation and organizes a search party is patently passionate about animals. It wouldn't have been hard to learn his background either. The Star made it so high profile, any chance of a successful discreet extortion attempt was blown out of the water. Well done, I say.

February 21, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as disconcerting as someone stealing a dog,do the media really need to bother with this crap. I read the story and laughed. The joker who offered the reward needs to donate more of his cash to the spca.

February 21, 2008 3:17 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

I agree with Anon 1.
But of course you know that.

Hows the book coming?


February 21, 2008 4:18 PM  

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