Thursday, 14 January 2010

Cute, or just a parasite?

Gail has been having words with me (and not just about the 'rest room issue').

I am accused of indulging in vanity and self pity in my last two posts, and have been instructed to "shape up" and turn my attention to more cerebral matters....

Well, let me think.  We did watch a most interesting programme on the BBC last week, which I'd like to discuss. It was all about the relationship between dogs and humans. Towards the end of the programme, a controversial - and arguably rather insulting - theory was put forward. 

Fellow dogs, do you think of yourselves as parasites?

That's what this bloke (a scientist of some sort, I believe, I didn't catch his name) was saying. He pointed out that dogs are found all over the world in their millions, whereas our ancestors the wolves have been much less successful in evolutionary terms and are now an endangered species. Then he suggested that the reason for dogs' success is that we have evolved as parasites, our cute looks and appealing nature acting to divert human attention away from nurturing their own young and rather devoting their time and energy to us. He drew an analogy with cuckoos laying eggs in other birds' nests.

So, parasites eh? Well personally I don't much like being classified in the same zoological category as a tapeworm or a tick! 

Perhaps it's no surprise that this so-called expert wanted to remain anonymous...

PS The programme was 'Horizon: The Secret Life of the Dog'. You may still be able to see it on BBC iPlayer if you click here.


Dexter said...

Oh my. I prefer the word symbiotic myself.


Martha said...

Hi Hamish
Of course we don't agree with that and will try to watch the programme.
We suspect however that our mum's two human children may well agree with those sentiments.
They regularly say they take a back seat to us.
Still they are adults and we are sure you will agree Hamish that is how it should be!
Martha & Bailey xxx

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

We never thought of ourselves in the same category as a tick - we would hate for Mom to squeeze us in a piece of tissue and then flush us down the commode - of course we'd probably stop it up!

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Byron said...

Hmmmm, I don't think I care much for that fellow's opinion . Sounds to me like he never got to enjoy a wonderful doggie of his own.

Licks and slobbers,

the magic sleigh said...

Woos Hamish! Mum has heard that before,at a dog training seminar... I do Not agree, I think we are the superior race!After all we have food provided, comfy places to sleep, and Mum has to work for it. I just think that means we are exceptional trainers of humans!
-Kira The BeaWoootiful

Unknown said...

Obviously this "expert" was a cat person. And I say this with no offense to my cat-bro Mica!

Your pal,


Maxmom said...

Hamish my dear fellow,

Im not sure why, but this reminds me of a little story of a girl who told a guy:

"There are microbes in kisses!"
to which the guy replied:
"If you think I don't like microbes, just try me!"

Hamish - that TV wannabee is just practicing his rhetoric! Call us doggies what you like - we have those humans just where we want them! (... and I believe they have us where they want us too!)

TwoSpecialWires said...

We think the theory is beyond insulting. It's rude, offensive, disparaging, belittling, derogatory and just plain wrong. That guy obviously never met and knew any of us.

(We enjoyed your earlier indulgence, Hamish. We always like reading your posts. Even when we are potentially insulted.)

Jake and Fergi

ScrapsofMe said...

Parasite huh? I'd like to see his trained ticks go fetch the morning paper for the Mr., or raise an alarm whem someone comes to the door, not to mention all the exercise my peeps get because of me. Can his ticks walk on a leash? Do they throw themselves in front of him, flashing the jaws of death when danger comes near? Can they rid his house of rats and mice and lizzards and the yard of squirrels, raccoons and o'possums? Bah Humbug I say! A pox on his program! And the tick he rode in on too!


houndstooth said...

He obviously is envious and wishes someone would rub his belly or that he could wash all his parts with his tongue!


Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh Hamish..
I don't like that pawricite bug
Benny & Lily

ScrapsofMe said...

peesess....I do look extra cute in yer new jacket!


Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Helloooo Hamish Dear Fellow! We are going to watch that show and then perhaps mount a protest march! Hootie has been itching for a cause célèbre --- or maybe he was just itching. hmmm.

Cute BRD. I have an opinion on this. I agree with H. The guy obviously has supressed childhood/parenting issues. Parasites, indeed!! Let's march!!
WelshieHugs, Hootie

Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

oh yeah! I watched that! We chose to ignore that part of it and just listen to the rest. Parasite, bah!
~lickies, Ludo
pee ess: Yes, sign me up for your anti snow campaign.

Jen said...

Hi Hamish,

I certainly do not agree with this person's opinion either.

So happy to have found your blog. I have a Westie also, my first one and I am hooked on Westies. My Ziggy is my best pal :)Your pictures on your blog are beautiful and Hamish is SO ADORABLE!

Eric said...

Hamish my man. Well. Me and the leggeds missed that programme. Rightly so it seems. I thought the BBC were on our side after all the hoo asnd haa last year about dog breeding. Petey's right. Must of been a kittie lover.

Now please. Devote yourself back to your indulgent posts and blog about the cream tea..teeheee!!! Wish Gail had taken her camera way back then.

Wiry love Eric xx

Stella said...

Interesting topic, Hamish, my friend.

Parasite? Just for an example: I go tell my Mom when there is someone at the door, or if the phone is ringing, (she is quite deaf), if anyone comes around to bother, I bark them away. I provide companionship and comfort. Buy that for a couple cups of kibble and a treat or two a day!

Lots of dogs in homes with children are babysitters, they keep watch over the little ones and sometimes the old ones.

Parasite? I don't think so!