I read with considerable interest Christy Wrather's article, "Aggressive behavior is not OK," in the Payson Roundup dated Jan. 28, 2003.
It was quite thought provoking. Being a gentleman, I will not repeat all the thoughts it provoked.
For the record, I would like to know how you became an authority on dogs and your qualifications. As a columnist for a small newspaper I have to assume that you are prepared to cite the sources of your statistics regarding the propensity of the Golden Retriever breed to injure people.
Having bred and raised many different breeds of dogs in my short 72 years, and now being a master of just one canine, without knowing your authority and source I do take issue with you maligning the Golden Retriever breed.
People who possess knowledge and extensive training in any given field can do a great service by sharing that knowledge. In this case, by naming a much beloved breed, you have set back the trust of many children and their parents.
Have you read any dog books lately? The most harmful thing you as an adult can do is instill fear in a child. Any animal, including man, will try to subordinate another animal if it detects fear, especially for a breed that has historically been known for its gentleness. Had you stressed that people need more training than dogs, I wouldn't have taken up this issue with you.
Not unlike man, there are a few of these wild animals which are bred to be aggressive, but like man, many are forced into defensive postures. My goodness that is what you have advocated in your article.
Please let me know, as soon as you become aware, of each child who grabs a dog and gets nose to nose with it, trying to stare it down. I know a good plastic surgeon who is "licking his chops" too.
Robert Dewey Maupin Jr., Payson