Dogs are no more considered pets. They are now considered family members. No longer are they kept outside in a cage and brought inside during bad weather. Many owners bring their furry family members inside, giving them their own areas to eat and rest.
Europe’s countries take dog ownership to the next level. The Netherlands, for example, is pet-friendly. There are many places where dogs can accompany their owners, such as restaurants and retail outlets. You can take small dogs on buses, and larger dogs on trains and trams with the purchase a ticket.
Malcolm Raynor has been working in Bermuda’s telecommunications industry for over 30 years. He was able take advantage of Cable & Wireless’ internal training and education programmes, which were held in Bermuda (The University of the West Indies), Barbados, St Lucia, St Lucia (The University of the West Indies), Britain, and rose to the rank of senior vice president. Independent thinker with moderate views, his opinions are influenced mostly by data, trends and principle.
The Netherlands have created a framework to ensure safety for dogs and their owners. They have many resources that can help with the management and care of their dogs.
Owners have access not only to veterinarians, dog trainers, and walking services but also to behaviour specialists, physical therapy, and alternative medicine specialists for their pets. There is an animal ambulance that can be called in an emergency. Additionally, there are optional pet insurance plans that cover medication, emergency treatment, and any other illnesses.
The Dutch national police force has a special division dedicated to protecting animals. Dog breeds that are not allowed to be bred must undergo mandatory training. Also, there are strict laws against animal abuse. The Netherlands was first European country to ban the use of stray animals.
Bermuda has created a better environment today for dogs than in the past. This was partly due to the introduction and improvement of legislation. Many stakeholders worked together, including representatives from the Government, advisory boards, animal wardens, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, advocacy groups, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 2008, a new Dogs Act (or Dogs Act) was created.
This resulted is a decrease in biting incidents which has improved safety in the area. In 2017, the Act was amended to improve the management and care for dogs after consultation with the public.
Although Bermuda may not have as many resources as the Netherlands, we still love our dogs. Many dog owners are now able to keep their dogs close to their families, provide healthy food, exercise regularly, and give their dogs more attention.
Dogs are dogs, no matter where they were born. Dogs in the Netherlands seem calmer and more disciplined around people than dogs in other countries. My son also said the exact same thing, and he did so unprompted. The environment in which they were raised is what makes the difference.
Bermuda can be petted for improving the environment of mans best friend, but it is not doing this for our young people. How else can one explain the constant shootings, stabbings, and other acts violence in our society. How about the segregation and claim of various parts of an island? In the past, anyone could travel anywhere they wanted without having to look over their shoulder.
Many of our children are not reaching the full potential of their environment. The home is where life’s learning begins. However, raising children in a challenging environment, especially for those with lower incomes, has made it more difficult for some parents.
It is impossible to turn back time and live life the same way as in the past. However, our failure is not acknowledging the changes in the environment and how they affect us.
Consider this one trend: The decline in people going to church. Let’s forget about our religious beliefs and instead focus on the other benefits. Sunday school gives children life skills and values that will help them build a solid foundation. It builds character and social skills as well as a child’s social skills.
I am not suggesting that every child should attend Sunday school. I also don’t think it is necessary. This is, of course, a choice for parents. These foundational values are being taken away from children who don’t attend unless they are taught at home or in another setting.
My house ran out of water over the holidays. This was quite puzzling. It was believed that the tank was leaking. My uncles, cousins, and aunts rushed to help. They cleaned the tank and fixed the cracks on New Years Day. My family saved me a lot, but it was not lost on them that they sacrificed a portion of their vacation to help me. While times may have changed, this is one value we have retained as a family to help each other.
I am aware of the fact that not all people in our community have this level support. It is especially distressing for single parents who feel that they are all alone. Some parents must work multiple jobs, and there is not enough support. Children who are not receiving guidance and love in their home might be more likely to receive it elsewhere.
If we truly want to be our brothers keeper, then it is up the community to support those in need. It is up to each of us to make the environment better. If all the stakeholders and the public could work together to improve the management and care of our dogs, then there should be a convergence of minds to do the same thing for those who are most vulnerable.
As I stated in a previous column titled Stop the violence: Act or be acted upon, I am aware there are people in the field of social work, activists, and volunteers working hard to improve those in need. I also said that the effort seemed disjointed and that a national plan was needed to fully understand the root causes of the violence the island has been experiencing.
Bermuda needs a blueprint that details how it will resolve its social ills. This blueprint should be detailed with tasks and timelines. It must be clearly communicated to the public as many people in the residential and commercial communities would like to know how they can help. It is a major problem that is larger than any one institution and the country must invest the necessary resources and time to solve it.
Frederick Douglass once stated: It is much easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken men.
Malcolm Raynor has been working in Bermuda’s telecommunications industry for over 30 years. He was able to take advantage of Cable & Wireless’ education and training programmes in Bermuda, Barbados, St Lucia (The University of the West Indies), and Britain. He rose to the position of senior vice-president. He is an independent thinker with a moderate ideology. His opinions are influenced primarily by data, trends, and principle.