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Old 04-11-2004, 12:15 PM   #1
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Default [News] Yorkie Death Brings Out People's Emotions

Just goes to show how people LOVE their animals...
---
Gizmo the dog has inspired, incited and moved thousands of people since Monday night, when his owner says he was place-kicked like a football and died in the parking lot of the Nashboro Village apartments.

How can a 16-year-old, 2-pound Yorkshire terrier cause hundreds of people who never knew him to write, call and offer support? Almost a quarter-million people have viewed Tennessean.com articles and related information on the pooch and his owner, Jelani Lewis.

Gizmo garnered more attention and sympathy than many murder victims.

Psychologists and other experts say the dog death provided a safe outlet for people to vent frustration in a chaotic world. Showing emotion for an animal can be less painful and less risky than showing it for humans who are abused or killed.

Oakley Ray, a psychology and psychiatry professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in animal issues, said it's often easier to pour out emotions on animals that are associated with unconditional love. With people, it can be tricky.

''Any time you express a positive feeling for a person, you always run a risk of rejection,'' Ray said.

More troubling issues about violence against people can be too upsetting.

''We don't want to think about the world,'' Ray said.

Teresa Jones, executive director of Ashley's Place in Gallatin, said she sees people's squeamishness in confronting the issue her center deals with abused children. It's a challenge to get attention for, say, the annual charity basketball game Saturday.

''I think it's harder for people to accept that things happen to children,'' Jones said. ''It's just too much.''

Jones said she bears no frustration toward high-profile animal cases, such as Gizmo's.

''When sympathy is shown toward animals, it extends toward human beings,'' Jones said. ''It's all good. It shows people have not been desensitized.''

Gizmo's fate touches a nerve with people who might already be emotionally charged, Ray said.

Jo-Ann Saunders of Nashville agrees. She wrote her first letter to the editor after learning about Gizmo.

''There's so much that goes on now, maybe it's just a hot spot,'' Saunders said. ''It's not just with animals. It's the war, the Middle East. It really bothers me that some people think so little of life in general.''

Kelvin O'Brien of Nashville was also shaken up. He phoned his wife, who was traveling in Moscow, to share Gizmo's story. He said she lost a night of sleep after reading the article on the Internet.

''When you are close with a dog, you feel like they are part of the family,'' said O'Brien, who owns a 3-year-old terrier mix, Missy, who resembles Gizmo. ''You just kind of picture it happening to your dog. It was just horrible.''

Ray said three things make Gizmo's story especially moving to people: the small dog's defenselessness, details indicating senseless violence and the delight Lewis said the dog kicker took in his act.

Media coverage also spurs the emotion.

''People are just wanting to get things out of their system,'' Ray said of the public sentiment. ''I think it's healthy for people to be concerned.''

Chad Daniel Crawford, 23, is free on $25,000 bail and faces a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and a charge of felony vandalism in the reported kicking.

He told The Tennessean he was innocent but has had no further comment. Crawford's grandfather defended him, saying the young man was not capable of such violence.

Residents at Nashboro Village, near Priest Lake, say Crawford is a maintenance worker at the complex.

One witness reported Crawford saying he kicked the dog but didn't recognize what it was on the dark apartment complex grounds Monday night.

Some people who have responded are moved by other concerns: leash laws, animal-cruelty penalties or the passion for animals that might eclipse emotions about violent crimes against humans.

''I was horrified at what happened to Gizmo because I love animals,'' said Mark Rose of Mt. Juliet. ''At the same time, I was amazed at all of the publicity generated by the story. And there's not a peep about all the abortions that go on in the U.S. every day. With the dog story, all the politics is taken out of it.''

http://www.tennessean.com/local/arch...nt_ID=49693206
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:51 PM   #2
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Default cruelty to animals is a red flag!

I was sickened to read about the cruel death of Gizmo....we all can relate to the helplessness and vulnerability of little yorkies....I watch Max like a hawk and am very protective of him when I am around other dogs or people.

As a psychiatric nurse...I have learned that cruelty to animals is a precursor to other abusive behaviors toward humans. It is one of the red flags that can be picked up even in early childhood.

I believe the old addage that you can tell the character of a person by observing how they treat children, the elderly and animals. Animal lovers tend to treat all life with respect, dignity and compassion. People who do not like animals tend to not develop close emotional ties with people as well....of course there are exceptions..but this is often true.

Animals offer us unconditional love and companionship. They don't care how we look, who we are or what we have achieved. They just love us anyway!
Oh how much we could learn from our little furry buddies.

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Old 04-11-2004, 02:30 PM   #3
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I agree Max's Mom! While I've met a few snobby dog owners, perhaps they were just being protective of their pet. Most I find are very nice, approachable, and love to talk about their dogs!
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:07 AM   #4
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Talking Yorkies draw a crowd!

Fast Eddie....I may have left the wrong impression.....Max is a magnet for animal lovers where ever we travel....I love to share him and enjoy the comments he receives.....however I just am aware of the people and other dogs when they surround him....Their little legs are fairly fragile....he was dropped once by a sweet young boy...so I am now hesitant for others to hold him......and unfortunately Max is completely unaware of his tiny stature...and will approach any dog regardless of size....I have had him jump out of the beach buggy we pull him in while at the beach....to pursue Rottweilers, great danes, etc.....Since he can't protect himself....I have to be watchful.

I can't understand why Gizmo was away from the owner's observation? Did he escape?.....Something in the story did not make sense to me.

He is also a hit on the campaign trail....My husband is an elected official...I have been knocking doors and having him with me has been a door opener....unfortunately a pit bull became aggresive yesterday...and I had to run back to the car for safety.....may leave him home now....he stands in the front window....looking pitiful...they are well aware of the power that they wield on their owners.

P. S. I enjoy your postings......have a good day.......Donna
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:00 PM   #5
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Yes, Yorkies really don't understand just how little they are. Yoda is completely fearless as well. One time, a big dog even tried to eat Yoda!

We never let ANYONE pick him up, unless it's a family member. It just isn't safe. He's squirmed out of more than one pair of hands, luckily, he wasn't injured each time. For kids or anyone that wants to pet him, we tell them to avoid petting his face, just his back is fine, and we say, "if he lets you." Yoda is smart and avoids most of the more aggressive small children. And with other dog owners, we always ask if they are friendly or not before we let Yoda play. But Yoda wants to play with just about ANY dog.

They let Gizmo out to pee, I assume they let him do that before as well, just this time, a sadistic bastard was out there. I really don't think they should let a 2lb Yorkie out in the street alone like that however. We only let Yoda out on the fenced in back porch area to pee/poop and we always keep a lookout for anything that could potentially harm him. I personally believe that person did kick the dog, though.

Thank you for your kind words, this is a great community here. I've learned plenty from all the Yorkie fans.
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddie
Yes, Yorkies really don't understand just how little they are. Yoda is completely fearless as well. One time, a big dog even tried to eat Yoda!
We only let Yoda out on the fenced in back porch area to pee/poop and we always keep a lookout for anything that could potentially harm him. I personally believe that person did kick the dog, though.
Fasteddie ... another fear that we have for Toto [and our vet always reminds us to be aware of] is flying predators! It never occurred to me until we got Toto that large birds would just swoop down and grab little animals like her! Even when we are in parks with our camper, she has her own gazebo where we set up her x-pens and with the netting all around her space she still feels like she is "outside".
I also agree with you ... I believe that person kicked the little dog! Heaven help anyone that ever hurt Toto! We don't even allow Toto to be spoken to in a harsh voice!
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:18 AM   #7
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Yes, I was going to say that watch out for large birds, but I didn't want to everyone to think I'm crazy.
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Old 04-16-2004, 10:19 AM   #8
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There was a story a while back about a hawk or some other bird swooping down and grabbing a chihuahua as its prey.
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Old 04-16-2004, 11:24 AM   #9
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Tragic! I bet we could write a book about babying our Yorkies and making sure they are safe. It's no wonder that lots of Yorkie owners never let their Yorkies venture out. Most people are surprised to see Yoda out anywhere, but his Mommy and Daddy like to go out and play too much.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:19 AM   #10
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I couldn't get the article but just reading the post made me sick. It brought back the thought of when the lady accidently banged into someone in a car infront of her. the man in the car came over and pulled her little dog out of the car. he threw the dog into oncoming traffic where it died. the idea that people do this sort of stuff to innocent little animals is horriable. they are so helpless and defensless. its terriable! I wish there was a way to just end all of this.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddie
Yes, I was going to say that watch out for large birds, but I didn't want to everyone to think I'm crazy.
You are SO NOT CRAZY - A good friend of mine (from yorkie forums) lost her little yorkie to a hawk while she was standing right there - it just happened so fast there was nothing she could do.... and it took her a long time to get over the devestation....

The worst thing is...Birds of Prey don't necessarily have to pick them up and fly away - the talons alone will cause serioius injury or even death...

I remember Gizmo's story - it made national news....We hear these stories way too much - but it goes to show that we can't let down our guards in the world these days.
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:33 AM   #12
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Birds of prey can be bad news for small domestic animals. I live in an area whre there are lots of hawks and owls, they can't tell the difference between a puppy, kitten or rabbit, squirrel. If they see prey moving on the ground small enough they will go for it - it's their nature. I've seen them take kittens! Even a leash isn't going to help unless you are with the pup. I would never let my Sophie out alone while I had her, not even a minute, they are totally defenseless against one of those birds, some have wingspans up to 4 feet! It is not crazy to worry about them - it's just good sense!
It's awful what happened to that little yorkie, and worse that the person that did it will get a slap on the hand and absolutely no help for whatever is wrong with them. Something has to be wrong for someone to be so cruel to any creature.
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:52 AM   #13
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I think the issue of birds of prey and small dogs is becoming more mainstream.... Bunny's breeder even includes a paragraph in her contracts that addresses leaving the animal unattended in open areas outside due to hawks/owls and such.

I couldnt even read the whole article about Gizmo! It just made me sick that someone would/could do that to a small animal! Its disgusting! And I think that by only giving him a slap on the wrist the system is setting him up to commit more crimes in the future.... there is some very high statistic I heard on American Justice that says that the majority of the people that commit violent crimes against humans started with animals! If he's 23 and is killing dogs, then whats next if he isnt punished for committing his first murder???
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:10 AM   #14
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This crime reminds me too much of the little Yorkie in K.C. named Scruffy. I cannot say how much this effects me . It is too upsetting.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:18 AM   #15
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I get an 'error' when I try the website given in the original post. I would like to read the article. Can someone help me out? Thanks.
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