Canine Collateral Damage

The winter Olympic games are about half over, and so far no incidents of a terrorist nature have occurred. In the run-up to the opening ceremonies, recall the numerous reports of security operations in Russia and elsewhere picking up “chatter” about so-called black widows, female suicide bombers thought to be possibly already in the Sochi area. Thankfully, so far, so good with the massive security presence. About the biggest noise to come out of the games was yesterday’s U.S. hockey team’s victory over their favored Russian opponents.

Actually, other than some unexpected competitive outcomes on the slopes or ice, most of the adversity coming out of Sochi has been related to shoddy acommodations, warm temperatures and lots of dead dogs littering the landscape.

Don’t flush the toilet paper. In fact, don’t drink the water. Bathe in it at your own risk. Also, don’t lean on the walls, they might collapse. $50 billion can only go so far.
Apparently, some rooms are upscale, but those are for the folks with world class credentials. Of course.

The sub-tropical setting of these games has belied the inherently icy cold climate expected for winter Olympics, producing a juxtaposition of skiing and skating and snowboarding events taking place with temperatures hovering around 60. By the time the events are winding down and the closing ceremonies take place, perhaps flip-flops, tank-tops and Tropicana sun screen SPF 35 may be in vogue.

Then there’s all those dead dogs in the Sochi area. Evidently, the area that was developed was somewhat slummy, and stray dogs (or even some scraggly four-legged mongrels considered part of ramshackle domiciles) occupied the area in large numbers. When the construction and displacement of the unwashed tenants took place, the dogs scattered, but they didn’t relocate to St.Petersburg or Moscow. When the Olympic village went up, the workers and officials realized the strays were large enough in number to present a nuisance or worse. Solution. Find them. Kill them.

Some reporters documented piles of canine carcasses along the roadways. Perhaps unsettling, but the clean-up crews hustled to erase the evidence of this messy search-and-destroy mission. Less than humane, but better than a black widow blast of human carnage. At this point, not much comment is heard about dead dogs any more. Or the funky water and the wobbly walls. If the ice melts in the Sochi sunshine causing the competitors to race on Slurpee-like surfaces, that could prove to be a new story.

Dog lovers no doubt were/are appalled about the indiscriminate whacking of many a Man’s Best Friend just trying to get by like every other living being. But it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and then you get poisoned or shot while scrounging for a few scraps. Move along. Flush the story. Nothing to see here. Have some Moldavian meatballs and enjoy the giant slalom and the Jamaican bobsledders, who no doubt appreciate the weather, if not the yellow tap water.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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