A video sent via WhatsApp shows a dog licking a baby, and winning amused approval from the mother.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Baby talk ... Who needs a nanny when there's a careful dog about?
The video came from a medic friend, but not sent in a mood of concern about hygiene, and shock-horror whatever next, but because of a wonderful affinity it shows between mankind’s best friend and the newest humans.

If we don’t dwell on the risks, the meat-tearing teeth, the canine tongue, nor where the tongue might recently have visited, the video is cute, sweet, even endearing.

But it also revealed that I must be getting long in the tooth.

What's the dog thinking?

It brought a reminder that lessons from childhood are seldom forgotten.

As we know from life and see constantly as a weapon of religion, give a dog a bad name

We can guess what a mother looking on might fear, but how interesting to know what passes through a dog's mind at such playful moments.

And that's particularly so in Britain because so many share human lives, where they are often treated more like humans than many humans. But also, lest we forget, a few do savage our species.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Puppy love ... Who needs to buy toys in a household with affectionate puppies?
In my childhood, after the family migrated to New Zealand, we learned that man’s best friend carried a disease called hydatids, apparently worse than fatal for humans.

Down Under, campaigns discouraged people from even touching a dog.

Grossly unfair for most

It must have been grossly unfair for the majority of canines which in that part of the world lived a dogs’ life. From what I saw on farms in those days, working dogs really were treated worse than appallingly.

Even so, dogs trained in shepherding and herding responded to work with enviable diligence. And yet their reward – their treatment - was ghastly.

Although only a very few dogs were allowed into a house, only a lucky handful would have known the luxury of a kennel, even during severe winters.

I couldn’t count the number of times I saw dogs beaten, thrashed, whipped, to - as the expression goes - within an inch of their lives. To live a dogs’ life certainly had a negative interpretation in those days.

Happily, the disease has been controlled and the cruelty seems to have vanished.

Thanks very much for visiting the Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory

Hydatids : a disease of human carelessness

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.