Space dog is no laughing matter

THE flippant choice of words that Ruth Walker used to describe Laika’s tragic journey into space (Spectrum, 3 March) is in extremely bad taste. Laika must have been bewildered, confused and terrified. Her ordeal should be condemned, not treated in a lighthearted manner.

Nor does what happened to Laika make her a suitable ­candidate for inclusion under the heading “clever dogs,” implying that those dogs listed are especially clever. She was cruelly treated and exploited and had no choice in the matter. That doesn’t make her especially clever; what it does make her is deserving of our pity, along with feelings of ­disgust towards those who chose to put her through such an ordeal.

Sandra Busell, Edinburgh