Sometimes rules are made to be broken.
This is the case in the situation of Cody the golden retriever from the Victoria furniture store.
Cody has sat outside that shop for the last 13 years, greeting customers and folks on the street.
But according to CTV Vancouver Island, instead of seeing the lovable pooch as a great downtown ambassador, he’s being treated as a menace by Victoria Animal Control because he’s not tethered by a leash.
It’s a classic case of hardline zero tolerance at its worst.
There have to be laws and rules or else our society would descend into anarchy. Obviously, people can’t just do whatever they want, whenever they want, without consequences.
But we’re not automatons. We’re not robots or computers, who will take in data and give you the same result every time.
Nor is that even a desirable thing to aspire to.
That’s why we have judges in our judicial system, because we need real, actual people who can exercise discretion within a particular framework.
It’s why mandatory minimums in criminal sentencing is such a destructive idea, and hasn’t worked in places where it’s been instituted. It ends up being the antithesis of justice in too many cases.
Because cases don’t fit a mould. They’re not turned out like widgets on an assembly line. Because people aren’t all the same.
And neither are dogs.
In the real world one size doesn’t fit all, and when you try to make it, you just make a mess.
Just like what has happened in the case of Cody.
Cody is a dog too old to learn new tricks, and there’s no logical reason why he should have to. By all reports he has never hurt anyone, and his daily sojourn on the sidewalk brings only smiles from most passersby who have come to love him over the years.
It would, of course, be entirely different if he was menacing, or had harmed someone. But then, we can only imagine the store owners wouldn’t keep him at the door if he scared off the customers.
So yes, rules are rules, and they should be the same for everyone. Except for when they shouldn’t be. Call it grandfathering. Call it common sense. Call it compassion. Call it just being a human being.
But let Cody do what he’s been doing for the past 13 years. He’s only got so many years left in him anyway.
Let him live them out in peace, saying hello to his friends every day as they go by.
We wonder why this has even come up in the first place.
Cody is a non-problem that doesn’t need to be fixed.
The whole thing would be silly if it wasn’t so sad.