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Editor’s Letter: Every Dog Has Their Day

Written by aslmad.yaz

Dear DogTime Readers and Friends —

There’s a popular proverb we’ve all heard that now goes, “Every dog has its day.” Of course, I prefer “their” over “its,” because I’m of the belief that dogs have souls and, as living creatures, deserve to be treated as more than mere objects. In light of this, I’ll continue to opt for, “Every dog has their day.”

Idiomatically, the expression is one meant to encourage and persuade us to keep going even when we’re down. Eventually, we’ll prevail, thanks to a healthy dose of both good luck and determination. At which point, we’ll have our moment in the sun and the chance to shine.

Good ole sharp-witted Shakespeare helped popularize the expression with his inclusion of the famed words in “Hamlet.” However, the turn of phrase has a storied history reaching deep into the past to its initial documented use in the first century in Ancient Greece. At that time, Plutarch wrote, “Even a dog gets his revenge,” in an attempt to describe the death of famous playwright Euripides, who was killed by canines. The more gruesome version eventually became, “A dogge hath a day,” courtesy of Richard Taverner in 1539. More than a century later, the expression morphed into, “Every dog hath his day,” at the hand of John Ray. Ever since, it’s appeared in both notable texts and common speech alike.

That’s how easy it is for an idea to be embraced and become part of popular culture. In fact, I’m sure many of us did not even realize where the phrasing came from, even if we, ourselves, have been heard espousing the proverb.

Now, hold that thought. I promise I’ll get back to it.

Some dogs, unfortunately, have been having more than their fair share of ‘ruff’ days …

Recently, we posted an article highlighting the similarities and differences between two breeds: the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario. Undeniably, both these breeds, like others we seek to inform our readers about — including but not at all limited to Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, the Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiros, the Japanese Tosa, and American Bully dogs — are often in the headlines. And when they are making the news, it’s typically not because it’s a feel-good, public-interest story that leaves you with warm fuzzies.

Now, why am I giving you all this backstory? Well, on the corresponding social media post about our recent informational piece, we received a comment that pained me. While the words hurt, I think the larger sentiment about how we — collectively — look at and talk about select breeds is what struck me. There’s so much misunderstanding when it comes to certain dogs.

Personally, I hate that because dogs are just the absolute best, purest souls. They make our lives richer and more rewarding. Loving them is a gift, second only to receiving their unconditional love. And, anyone who has rescued a dog knows that — in truth — it’s really always been the dogs who have rescued us.

To the point, the commenter on our Facebook post about the Cane Corso and Presa Canario wrote, “These dogs are, to me, like having an automatic tactical weapon; I don’t need this level of protection. And I don’t want one in my neighborhood.”

Le sigh.

Changing the narrative on ‘aggressive’ and ‘dangerous’ dogs

After taking the deepest breaths, in a sincere attempt to combat any deeply-held beliefs about these particular breeds, I did my best to respond thoughtfully. Who am I to know where this commenter is coming from? Perhaps they personally had a bad experience with a Cane Corso or Perro de Presa Canario. (As an aside, I recently learned the plural of “Cane Corso” is “Cani Corsi.” So, there’s that.) Whatever the case, I just don’t know, and I’d rather not make assumptions to the contrary.

Close up portrait of beautiful Cane Corso taken on sunset during regular walk. This breed is also known as little Mastiff or Italian Mastiff.
(Photo Credit: Foto Zlatko | Getty Images)

However, I see my duty here at DogTime as one to stand up for our canine companions and use the power of publishing for good. As such, I began typing my reply. What flowed from my brain to my keyboard was as follows:

“While I understand why you may harbor reservations and respect that those are your personal feelings, it’s important to remember that no dog is born aggressive or “bad.” Typically, any perceived behavioral issues stem from unmet needs, lack of proper socialization, or poor / no training. Unfortunately, mass media outlets often go out of their way to sensationalize and add to a negative narrative about some breeds. As news becomes more about entertainment and cheap, quick clicks, this has only gotten worse. This, coupled with often biased and unsubstantiated breed bans, can exacerbate negative stereotypes about certain dogs, which then become pervasive in our culture. Over time, it’s harder and harder to dispel myths about certain dogs.”

Continuing, I added, “Despite this, we at DogTime think it’s imperative to provide useful, accurate, factual, and timely information about all dogs in order to help our furry friends and the people who love, interact with, rescue, help, treat, or even want to better understand them.”

Every dog deserves to have their day

I can assure those of you who visit our site that we’re going to continue to do just what I shared with the commenter. You see, information is power. As far as I’m concerned, we’re here to use it wisely. And, even if the other guys choose not to, we’re going to stay in our lane. For that reason, we’re steadfast in our commitment to keep doing what we’ve always done to stand up for our furry friends who can’t speak for themselves. Although, we truly wish they could because that would just be the coolest! Moreover, we’re going to keep doing this until every dog has their day. Unquestionably, every dog deserves to have their day.

Cute, happy American Staffordshire Terrier in the park near sunset. Smiling dog is happy despite being on the list of banned aggressive dog breeds.
(Photo Credit: IzaLysonArts / 500px | Getty Images)

Annually, over three million dogs end up in shelters in America alone. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, their numbers have only grown. Every day, people surrender perfectly kind canines because of their inability — sometimes by no fault of their own — or unwillingness to put in the hard work of caring for these dogs. Once in the shelter, certain breeds deemed as “dangerous” or “aggressive” often face insurmountable challenges in finding forever homes. Put differently, these dogs have a hard enough time getting adopted without those of us self-proclaimed animal lovers doing the absolute most to spread misinformation about their temperament and personalities.

In any case, it’s up to you all if you’re going to stand with us and, in so doing, stand for our four-legged pals.

Don’t roll over

By all means, I know there is a lot of noise out there. I also know you have a myriad of choices as to how to spend your limited time in this busy world. Given that, I appreciate any of it you choose to spend reading the content we work so hard to put out there for you. What’s more, I’m grateful if you’ve made it this far in what is my first letter from the editor because I’m probably just preaching to the choir at this point.

In summary, we all play a role in advocating for our pets. How we talk about dogs matters. You see, people are always listening. So, if you take nothing else away from this message, please consider the value of perpetuating commonly-held stereotypes about certain pups. Reflect on how you discuss these dogs and whether you take stock of negative media stories that play on those beliefs. Scrutinize how you interact with those stories online. Giving traffic, time, and shares to pieces like those only means more articles with the same outdated and often misleading, misinformed reporting will continue to be published. It’s my sincere hope you’ll help us change that.

Jenna on the farm with a Black Lab mix named Lucy, the best family dog because every dog deserves to have their day in the sun.
Jenna on the farm with Lucy, the best family dog

So, thanks for understanding. And thanks for reading. Above all, thanks for loving dogs and adopting them.

Together, let’s ensure every dog has their day, and it’s a good one.

Dreaming of what’s paw-sible,

Jenna Signature

Jenna Wadsworth

Managing Editor, DogTime

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