Yes, the Dingo Really Did Eat the Baby
Made popular by the film ‘A Cry in the Dark’ starring Meryl Streep and more recently by Eileen on Seinfeld, the saying ‘Dingo ate my baby’ has made its way into American culture, though few know what it means or what exactly a dingo is.
If you rewind back 32 years, a baby was supposedly taken and killed by a wild dingo at an Australian Outback camping site. With many viewing the claim as outrageous, the whole matter became a dog’s breakfast (quite a fitting term for a dog blog -it’s Australian slang meaning a complete mess), splitting the country into two camps: those who believed the Chamberlain family’s dingo claim and those who cried…wolf. Fast forward to exactly yesterday when, eons later, a corner concluded that a dingo was indeed responsible for the baby’s death. So yes, the dingo did in fact eat the baby.
All of which begs the question: what exactly is a dingo?
Indigenous to the Australian continent and mostly contained around the hot, dry and isolated Outback, the dingo is a short-haired mid-sized wild dog that has evolved distinct features to help it survive its harsh environment. Contrary to popular belief dingos are capable of barking, though it does tend to be shorter and less varied than your dogs’ bark.
Interested in owning a dingo as a pet? Well, not so fast. Like closer to home indigenous foxes and wolves, dingos can be somewhat domesticated and obedience trained on a case by case basis. They are, however, wild animals whose unpredictable behavior is better suited to their natural habitat. And, as the Chamberlain example certainly attests, there have been occasional dingo attacks on humans. So, you’re probably better with a domesticated dog. Have you checked out your local shelter, where countless dogs need a permanent family?