A Long Story Short

Mart Allen, North Country weather guyA BIG welcome to Mart Allen. We’ve had a few snippets with links before, but as an old family friend I met Mart in Old Forge a few days ago and he approved publishing his whole columns here. Mr. Allen often writes from a more rightward perspective and that means he is especially welcome here. For we are ALL for more perspective here at OEN.- Ken Carman (Co-Editor)

Written by Mart Allen

More random thoughts

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the manner in which its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi is credited with that statement and it certainly has a lot of truth in it. Animals of all kinds have been a part of my life and I am proud to say I have tried to treat them the same as I do people, which is with whatever is right.

They have compromised our life and caused us a lot of angst, but so have our children. They get mentioned a great deal since they preclude many activities which we could join in if we did not have the responsibility of taking care of them. Both dogs and cats have shared our home over the years. We have two dogs at the present time, and like most of the others we have had, they love to accompany us everywhere. This raises a real problem in the summer months when temperatures can quickly rise if you have to park in the sun. It gets to the point where we have to ask ourselves is it worth the problems they cause if they come with us. It has reached the point where I have familiarized myself with the various shopping, health, restaurant and business locations that afford shady parking areas. The thought has even occurred to me that it may even pay a business to provide shady parking areas when you consider the number of people hauling dogs around with them.

Pets can be a real problem when you are looking for homes. Finding a place where we could keep a pony was a situation I do not ever want to have to face again. On second thought, I would not care to live where I could not have pets of any kind.

I enjoy taking the dogs with us if it is not too much of a hassle. They love to go for drives as much as people. My mother loved to tell the tale of my 90 year-old great-grand-father and our old English field cocker spaniel, Joe. They spent much of their day sitting in the family car parked in the shade of our Northern spy apple tree. They did not want to miss out on any shopping trips. Joe was the bane of our father’s life when he was driving. He hung over Dads shoulder panting madly with anticipation of getting out of the car and exploring the grounds at our destination which was usually the woods around our Tug Hill camp. We kids would spirit him into the back seat and hold him down on the floor until we were well on our way for fear Dad would make him stay at home.

Our dogs fit the mold when it comes to traveling. Code words used to plan any trip do not cut it anymore. They are off the furniture and at the door before we can get our hats on. It kills me to have to make them stay home. I always feel guilty and they never miss an opportunity to remind you of it when we get back home. We may be gone 15 or 20 minutes, and you would think by their reaction when we walk in the door that they thought we have left for good.

No matter how badly dogs think they have been treated, they always forgive you. If you don’t believe it lock your wife and dog in the trunk of your car and see which one is the first to forgive you when you let them out.

I know we spoil our dogs, but we can’t help ourselves. Dogs are not referred to as often as they are, as the family dog, for no reason at all. I know from observation and experience they are much more loyal family members than many of today’s humans. It’s sad, when you think of it, to see animals used as throw away pets. Regardless of whether or not animals are household pets or farm animals they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

When you read the statistics of where costs associated with caring for pets stands, there can be no doubt about the seriousness with which the American public takes their animals. A recent phenomenon is the accelerated interest in farm animals. We are regular customers of The Tractor Supply stores, and one can see how the trend has spurred their business. Chickens lead the charge but shoppers are seen with carts loaded with goat, chicken, hog and even emu and llama feed.

Wild birds get a good share of my attention and money. I feel as though I have a debt to pay for all the sport wild game has provided me and my hunting dogs with.

The thought for the week has to do with wild animals in general, and in view of the present local situation with bears, timely. It comes from Archibald Rutledge famous wildlife author whose writings were assigned reading from my old high school English teacher, Ms. Kettredge. He was referring to the dangers of interacting with all wild animals capable of injuring you: “The fact that old woodsmen have never had such an encounter is no proof against its possibilities, even against its likelihood.”