Thursday, 8 April 2010


“We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.” - George Eliot

I read the news with great dismay and my faith in the human species greatly diminishes each day. What monsters we humans are! What new horrors are we yet to commit, what terrible deeds to shock and terrify each other? What new ways to kill and maim, torture and humiliate shall we discover?

In Kingston, Jamaica, Garsha Wilson a taxi driver is accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, then strangling her. After thinking she was dead, he buried her in a shallow grave and covered it with rocks. Unfortunately for him and luckily for the girl, she was indeed alive, only unconscious, and she was able to dig herself out of her grave and raise the alarm.

In Russia, two men are being tried for killing, then chopping up a 16-year-old girl, cooking and serving her flesh with potatoes for dinner. Maxim Golovatskikh and his friend Yuri Mozhnov, both 20-year-olds, drowned and then butchered the hapless girl. Their excuse was that they were “hungry and drunk”. One of the jurors at the trial became ill after looking at the graphic photographs provided by the police. Remains of the girl were disposed of in a rubbish skip.

Brian Jones, a 63-year-old jilted husband in Britain stabbed his ex-wife to death as she was preparing to celebrate the end of their 10-year marriage with a “divorce party”. A lover was involved and the husband who was visiting a friend of his next door to the matrimonial home “snapped” when he saw a banner up with the inscription “The Party’s Here” and a picture of himself with the message “Pin the Tail on the X”.

Yet more bombs have ripped through apartment buildings across Baghdad, while another bomb exploded in a market, killing 50 people and injuring more than 160. Al-Qaida insurgents have been blamed by officials as the country struggles to come to terms with an unresolved election result. It was the fourth set of attacks with multiple casualties across Iraq in five days…

In Kyrgysztan, about 50 people died yesterday in riots in the capital while nationwide the death toll may be higher than 100 people. The dead had multiple gunshot wounds, the police being the ones suspected for the slayings. More than 500 people are also thought to be injured. Opponents of the president Kurmanbek Bakiyev took control of the country after the day of violence, which ended with Bakiyev fleeing the capital.

And then a ray of sunshine amongst the gloom… A guide dog helped his blind master David Quarmby, a British man 61 years old, to reach home (after a journey of nearly 200 km) before it collapsed and died of a cancer. The man had no idea his dog was dying of a malignant spleen tumour. The man had no idea the dog was sick, the only indication that something was wrong being its refusal to gobble up its usual doggy treat. When they got home and the dog was taken to the vet after it collapsed, the malignancy was found. I’m afraid the news is bad. The dog died as it was given anaesthetic to prepare it for surgery and its master is inconsolable.

Sometimes, I just wish I were a dog…


  1. Some days I think it is better to not know the news. I am reminded of Skinner's experiments with the population of rats allowed to breed out of control. The denser the population the sicker the behavior.

    I think it is time for another plague to lower the population. Hopefully the dogs and cats will survive.

  2. Dear Nick - in the face of all the malice caused by (just some people in) the human world - the huge tragedies - and 'smaller' cruelties which nevertheless also scar the soul - those who empathise and (even!) identify with the (other!) animals are and remain the best people(!) - my current 'mantra' - just 'garder la tête haute' - always ...


  3. What a horrible world we seem to live in. But Nic there are some really wonderful people here too!!!
    This blogs author and its visitors for example!!!!!

  4. How very sad we have become as the "civilised", "advanced", "evolved", "cultured" and "dominant" species on this planet...
    I think I share your desire to be a dog, Nicholas!

  5. some of my best friends are dogs