Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Must Love Dogs

I found this on another blog, and it made me think. Over the past 1.5 years, I have become a dog lover. I never knew that I could love my little Hank as much as I do. Or that a dog could be so full of love, compassion, and devotion aimed at ME! Hank is obsessed with me and I am obsessed with him.

But this post is about another dog. Laika. Laika was a Soviet space dog who became the first living mammal to orbit the earth and the first orbital casualty. She died a few hours after launch from stress and overheating, probably due to a malfunction in the thermal control system. The true cause of her death was not made public until decades after the flight. It was not until 1998, after the collapse of the Soviet regime, that one of the scientists responsible for sending Laika into space, expressed regret for allowing her to die: "Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... we did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog." On April 11, 2008, russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika.

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