Life is ruff in Iran these days for people who like tail-wagging furry companions. Islam is strict in its view that dogs are unclean, and obedient followers of Allah are not allowed to be friendly with pooches. There are no exceptions: Muslim taxi drivers in Minnesota and beyond routinely refuse to pick up blind people with seeing-eye dogs.
The extreme punishment of an elderly pet owner for walking his dog recently is another example that Islam does not stand up to its self-description as a "religion of peace".
A 70-year-old Iranian man was arrested and sentenced to four months in jail and 30 lashes for walking his dog, Adnkronos.com reported Tuesday. Police caught the man on the street with his dog in Shahr Rey, a suburb of Tehran.
Owners of domestic animals are forbidden from taking them on the streets of the city because Islam considers dogs to be impure. An Islamic judge later charged the man for "disturbing the public order,” Adnkronos.com reported. [Iranian Man Sentenced to 4 Months in Jail, 30 Lashes for Walking Dog, Fox News, Feb 20, 2008]
By way of contrast in dog attitude, colorful rural India finds canines to be excellent marriage partners for the kiddies: Children marry pups to keep evil at bay (Sify News, Feb 18, 2008).
Three boys and two girls were married to puppies in the superstition that it would ward off evil at this remote tribal-dominated village in Jharkhand's Saraikela-Kharswan district today.
Salu Banra, the mother of one of the girls, 15-year-old Puspa, a student of class seven in a government school, said, "This is a custom. We set the puppy free after the marriage."
The upper tooth appearing in either a girl or a boy is considered inauspicious by the Ho tribe which lives in this village. "Marriage to puppies of the opposite gender gets rid of the evil," said some of the other villagers.
Incidentally, India is home to a wide variety of nuptial diversity, including between toads to appeal to the rain gods in the case of stubborn drought.
So if Fido is misbehaving, you can threaten him with a one-way ticket to Tehran where he could get arrested for tail wagging. That should straighten him out.