Breaking the Herd

We’ve received our first submissions from David Joy. Thanks David for diving in and getting us started! He references a video that was also on our list of ‘greatest viral videos ever’ … and I need say only one word:

Fenton.

This video of a dog chasing deer in Richmond Park went viral at the end of last year, but perhaps the male owner of the dog was the real star of the show.

We’re accustomed to a high level of control and social order, especially in public spaces like Richmond Park, and rules are written for animals too. To see such a blatant shunning of these regulations by a dog, who is of course oblivious to any notion of public order is perhaps alarming at first, but unexpected and thrilling viewing. However, it is the strong reaction from the dog’s owner who recognises and is panicked by this break away from order that most entertains us. He knows what lies ahead; he sees the cars, he visualises the fallout – he surely feels responsibility for the potential disaster that looms ahead. A comment on the video from one viewer suggested that dogs can be shot here if they aren’t under this expected control and whether or not this is correct, just the idea of it is enough to send the owner in to a frenzy. So habitual is our understanding of this sense of order that any move away from it escalates a sense of chaos.

The dog is meanwhile carefree and tearing across the field.

Do we all enjoy a break from social control?

Do we all want to be Fenton?

'Dogs must be kept on a lead' by Natalie Gilbert

‘Dogs must be kept on a lead’ by Natalie Gilbert

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