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New Forest Life Tales, Issue #Jan --A New Forest cow tale.
January 09, 2013
New Forest Hero. Nature Vs Nurture. Are humans more cruel than nature?
Welcome to my New Forest Life Tales Issue #January 2013.
The New Forest National Park is a wonderful place to live (as I’m sure you’ve pick up from me by now). Nature, in all its wild forms is glorious here. The New Forest ponies and other animals and wildlife constantly give us reason to smile and enjoy their beauty and antics. As nature lovers we know it can also be cruel and at times accidents and incidents have happened which have made us question what we perceive as cruelty. But is it nature’s way?
This tale is about the contrast between the raw cruelty of nature in the wild and the deliberate cruelty that humans can bestow on animals.
I love to debate as it always encourages you to open your mind, see the other point of view and then decide whether to stick to your original views. In this case my original views, unfortunately, haven’t changed.
Let’s stick with nature within the New Forest. Sometimes accidents happen. I’ll give you 2 examples, which upset me greatly at the time.
Whilst out for a ride during the time of year when the New Forest stallions were out, we saw a gelding who had received a severe beating from the stallion, probably for being within the stallions “herding boundary”. The stallion gathers up the mares and won’t tolerate any other males being anywhere near. This poor, sad, New Forest pony had been bitten and kicked. Chunks of fur and flesh had bite-sized bits missing. One eye was closed and he was finding it hard to stay upright.
This is nature at its cruellest but it is the rule of nature. This pony was treated and amazingly enough survived.
The second example involved a lovely mare. I’d seen her during the summer. There is a photo of her beautiful little New Forest foal peeping out from behind a tree on my website. This mare unfortunately got her leg caught in the cross over of two trees. When she was discovered trapped between these trees, despite a valiant effect by the Agister, and local Commoners, it wasn’t possible to save her.
This too is nature at its cruellest. The New Forest National Park is actually quite a dangerous place for the animals and wildlife and also sometimes for visitors.
So, why have I written this tale? So far we’ve covered nature and cruelty in the wild. As human beings we should be developed enough to recognise the shortcomings of nature. By evolving we have been given the ability to nurture and not inflict unnecessary suffering on any sentient being – human or animal.
As we all know this is a flawed concept. And at times it becomes not only flawed but beyond human understanding. That is of course if you are an animal lover who believes that anything living has feelings.
The second part of my tale involves my hopes and aspirations of bringing love and kindness into the life of a badly ill-treated Rottie called Hero. My hope was that he would come to live with us in the New Forest and spend the rest of his days enjoying unconditional love – yes even if it turned out he had chewed through my best boots, a wonderful environment and a rich and diverse lifestyle amongst fellow dogs, dog walkers and all the New Forest animals.
Sadly, this wasn’t going to happen for Hero. This is his tale and it is in contrast to nature’s cruel ways and shows just how cruel some humans can be.
In early December 2 women were caught on CCTV outside the Crown Hotel in Littlehampton tying up a severely malnourished Rotweiller. The weather at this time was freezing. One of the women was pregnant – which raises another issue. If she is in an environment where this happens to a dog what type of mother will she be? Social Services in Littlehampton be prepared.
Hero was taken by staff from the Crown Hotel to the RSPCA and immediately received care and attention from all the staff and vets at the Brighton centre. We saw the BBC News Room South bulletin and started to follow Hero’s progress. He was full of worms, was well under half his body weight, had leathery ears with chunks out of them, a backbone where you could count every joint on his spine. To me, as a Rottie owner for over 30 years, I think his head was the most shocking sight. In the past, 2 of our Rotties have suffered from cancer. As the disease took it’s toll they would lose some of the typical Rottie bulk, but even in the very last stages of their lives their heads had never, ever looked like Hero. He actually had an area where there seemed to be no head just skin over skull. I wonder now whether he had been kicked at some time. We’ll never know and can only hope not.
Hero, like many cruelly treated animals seemed to put his past behind him. He enjoyed 6 small meals a day and loved the company of the caring, loving RSPCA staff. He had as many health checks as possible and was due to have more exploratory work done on Monday 7th January. Despite loving his food and managing to put on nearly a stone in weight, he just couldn’t shake off the terrible, purging diarrhoea. This was causing him to start to lose weight again. Sadly, on Sunday 6th January Hero collapsed and the vet decided he had suffered enough and put him to sleep.
I’ve tried to look at the positives. Despite who knows how many years (or hopefully months) of human cruelty, ignorance and neglect poor Hero had suffered, he had received love and kindness by humans in the past few weeks of his life from the staff at the RSPCA. They discovered he knew how to sit and give his paw on command. Was he once loved and nurtured? Did those women dump him as an act of despair? It doesn’t balance what his previous life must have been like.
To the people who did this to Hero I’d say try treating yourself like you treated him and within minutes you would fully understand the pain and suffering of your actions. This will never happen. This level of human society is beyond feeling otherwise they would never do such acts of cruelty. We didn’t get the chance to give Hero a life I’m sure he would have loved beyond belief – all our Rotties have been part of our family and treated with love, kindness and compassion, which is what responsible dog ownership is all about.
Sadly, there will always be cruel and heartless people about, relying on the kind and caring to pick up the pieces of their wanton neglect. We can keep trying to educate, prosecute and balance their cruel acts with love and kindness. I believe the kind out weigh the cruel – I have to.
I’m not putting any images on show but here is a reasonably kind picture of Hero as a link for you to view. His little face, to me, still shows his trusting nature.
This is sad tale this month but I hope you'll enjoy future tales about living within the New Forest UK National Park I'll be able to share with you.
Visit New Forest Life to find out more. You'll find lots more pictures and information about my life within the beautiful New Forest National Park.
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