Speak now … or forever hold your piece of the blame

Eighteen years ago this month I finally quit smoking for good.  The patch was still new enough not to be covered on any medical plan anywhere … but no question about it, it was definitely money well spent.
Did that mean it was easy?  Of course not!  Coming out of the gate, it was a blessing that I didn’t realize that it would be seven years before I stopped having daily cravings.  
To be perfectly honest … that wasn’t even the roughest bit.   Almost overnight, I gained over sixty pounds … and that instantly changed how the rest of the world perceived me.  
Strangers assumed I was somehow not bright enough to manage my life properly.  In other words, I found out first hand just how horrible it was to be judged by how I looked.
Kind of like BSL, eh?   One of the kindest and gentlest dogs that I have ever known was my best friends rotti.  Cato was such a gentle giant that when McG was a puppy he could even put his head in Cato’s mouth when he was crawling all over him.    Yet the power walkers going past my friend’s place always hurried up when they saw his handsome self.
Although he didn’t show up at CAPS with pedigree registration papers between his teeth, Henry could easily pass for a purebred Amstaf.   Yet, when we met the offleash English Mastiff on walkabout on my friend’s property, it was 18 lb Andy who was doing all the growling and snarling!
Handsome is as handsome does … but the thing I love most about Henry is his kind and gentle heart.   He baths my eldercat, referees with the others and is wonderfully tolerant in those moments when Andy’s terrier feist gets the better of him.
Whenever we read of any tragedies that have arisen from drinking and driving, there is never a hue and a cry to ban motor vehicles.  Why?  Because it is understood that it is the driver who is responsible … ergo it is both inappropriate and ineffective to penalize the general populace by banning ownership of vehicles. 
Next Monday, May 9th, there is going to be a public meeting in the Town of Yarmouth to discuss the draconian draft dog bylaw that the Mayor and Council are proposing.   According to their own Town bylaws, the council meets on the second Thursday of every month.  In other words, one week from today on the 12th of May is going to be a big day of decision for the Yarmouth Town Council. 
Will they try to push through a bylaw that will only penalize the responsible dog owners in their jurisdiction?  Will they push for a solution that not even the most vocal of the affected neighbours are asking for?
One of my favourite all time TV shows is the classic Red Green Show .. which has immortalized the ability of duct tape to fix anything.  Does that mean it actually works?
Of course not!   Even in the show the repairs usually fell apart in spectacular style.  
BSL is just like duct tape.   It is a quick and easy solution that doesn’t actually fix anything.  Even worse, it allows the powers that be to pretend everything is peachy keen instead of fixing the real problem.
Worst of all, all this is done at the expense of the pet owners who were never part of the problem in the first place.
What time is it?   If you haven’t already done so, it is time to contact the Mayor and the town Councillors about this issue.   Please be polite.   Be brief enough to be clear.   But please, please …. before you pass the peas … . make the time to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.    Haile Selassie

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