Tag Archives: attack

Muzzle This! An Answer to “Needing Common Sense Dog Laws”

I came across an article recently while perusing Yahoo’s newsfeed. Now, usually I scroll right past this type of story because they’re just plain wrong. The stories either don’t report facts correctly, or just don’t report facts at all. And quite frankly I don’t want my newsfeed to start feeding me a whole bunch of nonsense stories, and then I’d have to find a new homepage. (What a drag!) However, the title of this particular story caught my eye. Entitled “Read on: Maybe we need common-sense dog laws,” I was intrigued. I thought maybe this article would introduce something new, something more than erroneous facts, gross stereotypes, and terrible generalizations. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

You see, I don’t like reading stories about Pit Bull attacks. And no, it’s not to try and ignore or disillusion myself, but it’s because a LARGE MAJORITY of the stories are wrong. The dog is not a Pit Bull, not even some sort of mix, the “attack” wasn’t some senseless act of violence, but provoked, and the story always likes to report made up facts about Pit Bull attacks that just get me angry. I also don’t want to be giving any attention to these types of stories, because it only helps them to gain traction, and that is something I refuse to do. But like I said, this story’s title caught my eye, so against my better judgement I clicked to read.

Was I genuinely surprised and tickled? Nope.

In fact, the author describes a beautiful day with his beautiful dog that is viciously attacked by, you guessed it, a Pit Bull. How does he know it was a Pit Bull, because his son who was actually present during the attack says so. The author himself wasn’t present, but sharing his two cents anyway. Those two cents go on to say that because some other places have enacted terrible discriminatory practices known as Breed Specific Legislation that all places should as well in order to stop terrible attacks that have left his dog unable to leave the house now. In fact, his suggestion is that all Pit Bulls should now have to be leashed whenever outside of their homes, on a short leash, and with muzzles on. All because one dog attacked his precious little pooch.

Well, you know what? I’ve got a suggestion for him too. Let’s muzzle Chihuahuas. How about little white Terriers? Pomeranians? Cats? Because every single one of these types of animals have attacked my two big and bad Pit Bulls, making them bleed, leaving scratches on their legs and faces, leaving us running into the middle of traffic to get away from them while careless owners stood on watching. And we haven’t been attacked once, twice, not even just three times in the four years we’ve had dogs. Nope. We’re lucky if our dogs only get attacked once a week. Once a week! This guy gets attacked once and suddenly he’s fighting to muzzle an entire breed! I can’t EVEN!

And before it gets asked, yes, I’ve had to fight off all these animals from my dogs. I’ve gotten scratched, bruised, bloodied, and pushed down. I’ve yelled at poop-shamers, and I’ve fended off Golden Retrievers and Labradors. I’ve had to fight off terrible people trying their best to get my dogs to attack them just so they can have something to boohoo about. I’ve protected my dogs and made sure the general public is protected every time I bring Simon and Rosee outside of the house.

So . . .

You want to muzzle someone or something? How about the people that think to fix one we have to punish all? How about the people who think their dog is somehow more important than another? How about the people that spew ignorance and hate? Because people who do these things are not helping to fix the actual problem that exists in society, but in fact are only creating new ones that impact people who are not even at fault.

My dogs should not have to walk around with muzzles on because of one set of irresponsible dog owners. My dogs should not be attacked by any other dog because of irresponsible dog owners. My dogs should not be subjected to irresponsible dog owners, period.

And neither should any other dog. An owner and a dog should be able to go on a nice, enjoyable walk in their neighborhood, at a park, or wherever they choose to go, without being subject to irresponsible owners and their untrained dogs. How does this happen? By enforcing leash laws and putting an end to illegal practices like backyard breeding and dog fighting. If leash laws were enforced then dogs wouldn’t be let loose in public places. It is usually the rules in cities and counties that when out in public, even in an owner’s front yard if not fenced in, dogs should be leashed, on a leash no longer than about six feet. Instead of being able to run at unsuspecting things, ALL dogs would be kept under control and their owners would be forced to take responsibility for them if leash laws were actually enforced. A novel idea, right?

Or how about stopping dog fighting rings and backyard breeding? Breeding creates an influx of dogs with not enough people willing to care for them, and more dogs ending up in shelters because of it. Breeding is a big problem for Pit Bulls as they are often the ones subjected to it. Everyone wants a Pit Bull until it comes time to actually caring for one. They are a strong breed of dog, one that needs lots of exercise and attention. Simon and Rosee certainly need their daily walks, playtime, and human interaction. But not everyone can give these things to a dog, much less a Pit Bull. So, after the novelty wears off and the dog is no longer a cute little puppy, the dog either gets abandoned to the streets or left at a kill shelter.

That is if the dogs don’t end up the hands of people who want to use them to fight, which is a whole other issue I am not even ready to get into. Dog fighting is disgusting and should not be inflicted on any type of dog period. It is something that needs to be taken more seriously by society in general and stopped immediately, with harsher sentences to those found responsible (looking at you Michael Vick).

But muzzling one breed? That is clearly not the answer. So please, think before your write.

And for the record, this is not “blowback” as you so kindly put it, author of the original article. This is common sense, just like you asked for.

You’re welcome.

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A Horrifying Haunt

“It’s a hard life when you don’t even feel comfortable in your own house.”

Said me.

It was dark and stormy night. No, wait. It was sunny? That’s right. And the middle of the afternoon. A nice lazy, sunny afternoon with temperate weather and the birds, thankfully, being quiet so as not to wake the sleepy pups. (The pups that had finally laid down to sleep after an hour walk that morning and a never-ending wrestling match on the living room floor afterwards. I digress.) Theresa and I were sitting in our front room, doing some work, when all of a sudden we heard it. That slight jingling glint that accompanies my worst nightmares. It was the sound of dog tags that belong on the little black and brown dog that lives just around the corner from us. What causes the nightmare-inducing terror you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is the fact that this dog, when he (or she) gets out of his house he makes a beeline straight for our front door, and I literally mean our Front Door. This dog, whenever he gets loose (which is quite a lot), runs as fast as his little legs can carry him over to our door and proceeds to attack it because he knows Rosee will be on the other side of it. Rosee, who hears him come by now of course, is right at the door barking her head off.

The whole episode is

terribly,

frightfully,

scarily . . . annoying!

It’s annoying.

This dog used to just try to pee on our lawn (which he still does, and the poop is a nice—meaning not—new addition). He then graduated to barking at our front window at which Rosee would perch and bark at him. He quickly promoted himself to actually running into our flowerbed in front of said window in order to try and get to Rosee through it. Finally, he has reached where he is now, which is coming right up to the screen door itself and attempt to break his way through in order to get to Rosee. (And I say Rosee because Simon is not as territorially minded as she is, and honestly he just doesn’t really care much about other dogs in front of the house.)

It’s annoying. (Feeling a theme yet?)

What’s worse is that the offending dog’s owners don’t seem to really care about his neighborhood exploits. We’ve even had some of the dog’s human family members (kids as well as adults) come around the corner looking and calling for their dog, and yet all they do when they see them running amuck in our front yard is to stand there and watch. It isn’t until either our mother or Theresa (in a state of anger), after pushing Rosee back, goes out front to tell them to get their dog away from our yard that the dog is then finally captured and taken home.

What’s worse than worse? This afternoon’s incident is about the tenth time it’s happened. The tenth you say? Preposterous you exclaim? Outlandish you yell? Outrageous you shout?

I say, yes, it’s true. The tenth time.

It’s annoying.

The people are always slightly apologetic to our faces, but I’ve started to doubt their sincerity after the third time it happened. It was after this tenth time though that Theresa had really had enough. She marched out our front door and told the two kids that had run up to get (i.e. watch) the dog that they needed to keep their dog off of our front yard and away from our house because he attacks our front door and pees all over the yard. The kids agreed and quickly left. However, it was about five minutes later that some of the adults apparently piled in their car and came to do a slow drive-by of our house. The nerve! All I wanted to shout at them is that we have nothing to be ashamed of, and that they all need to start taking more responsibility for their animal. Theresa swore that the next time this all happens (because let’s face it there will be a next time) she is going to call animal control. Fact is, in our city any dogs that are found to be running loose and acting vicious and aggressive can be reported, and this particular dog is doing just that. Of course, it’s not an easy decision deciding to make a report to animal control, the department certainly isn’t known for leniency, but it’s necessary.

And I am not going to try and be shamed for having my house and dog attacked again, and my sister telling off the kids that are responsible for said attacker. I’m not going to be shamed for expecting better of my neighbors (and of their children). I’m not going to be shamed for hoping for a little more respect and consideration from others for my dogs.

Breed matters not here.

My dogs don’t pee on their lawns (or poop for that matter). My dogs don’t get loose and run all over the neighborhood. My dogs don’t attack other people’s front doors. (And the world would see their breed banned and destroyed!) I think it’s only fair that I expect my neighbors to offer me and mine the same courtesy that we show them.

So, ‘til next time.

It Finally Happened

It finally happened.

It was the final nail in the coffin. The last straw that broke the camel’s back. The last straw…

I had to call Animal Control.

If you’ve poked around our blog before, you’ve probably seen more than one post about us being attacked, chased, or surprised by some dog we encounter during our daily walks. It’s not a new thing to us. In fact, the days me, Monica, Simon and Rosee don’t come upon a dog that may want to bite one of us are becoming rarer and rarer. I blame summer really, even though the season is practically over. It’s just that with summer more people are outside, which means that more people bring their dogs outside as well. I’m not talking about people walking their dogs more regularly because of the pleasant weather. Actually, I am all for people regularly walking their dogs. I’m talking about the people that think due to the pleasant weather that means they can just let their dogs run loose around their neighborhood, community park, or wherever they are. It’s the people that let their dogs run wild while not really paying attention to them, and when said dogs eventually run up to us and try to bite Simon and Rosee, their owners decide not to do anything, but stand there calling their dog’s name. That’s what gets to me. I don’t like that my dogs are subject to potentially dangerous situations and the ones responsible for the misbehaving dogs think that not taking responsibility for their dogs is alright. As dog owners we are responsible for our dogs. Just because my dogs usually turn out to be bigger than the attacking dogs doesn’t mean that they can’t be hurt. Just see Monica’s post about Rosee being attacked by a cat!

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Today, turned out to be one of those days. It didn’t start out that way. Our daily walk with the dogs was going pretty well actually. We passed by numerous dogs and people while walking past our local courthouse and public library, and both dogs handled everything perfectly fine. They were model citizens in fact. It was an enjoyable walk so far—just the way a walk with your dog should be. Then, we came upon the last few blocks until we reached our final destination. Everything seemed normal. We passed by houses that we regularly go by, and nothing was amiss. Yet, as me and Rosee (who I was walking, while Monica was walking with Simon behind us) got to the second to last house on the corner of one street before we turned right I noticed that something was, indeed, wrong. This particular house’s side fence, which is usually closed, was wide open and the resident’s dog was loose. Now, normally, I wouldn’t be so nervous about seeing a loose dog because not every loose dog we come across wants to bite one of us. However, every time we’ve passed this dog in the past, he’s always acts quite aggressive at his back fence (it’s a cyclone fence so he can see out and we can see in, by the way). Not only does he bark non-stop, but he bites at the fence like he’s trying to attack the fence itself.  So when I saw that he was loose, I admit, I got a little nervous.

In these types of situations, me and Monica sort of have a strategy. It goes like this: whoever is walking Rosee (we regularly switch off) keeps going to try and put as much distance between her and the loose dog. We do this because Rosee is still getting used to seeing and being around other dogs due to her lack of socialization as a puppy, and unless she is in a very controlled situation, we don’t take any chances. We want her to associate positive feelings towards other dogs, and having one charge at her is certainly not positive. So, Rosee and whoever’s walking her keep going, while Simon and whoever’s walking him sort of get in the middle. You see, Simon is pretty much the friendliest dog ever. He’s pretty good at greeting other dogs, and letting them sniff him. He doesn’t freak out, and is even sort of timid. Typically, any loose dog that comes rushing over will immediately calm down around him and just sniff him at first, which gives the other person time to put space between the loose dog and Rosee and things usually (thankfully) don’t escalate. Of course, it is at this point that most dogs try to bite Simon’s back legs, but we can usually push the loose dog away and pull Simon in an opposite direction and continue on our way. Do I like that this happens often enough that me and Monica actually have this strategy? No, I don’t. On the bright side (if I want to try and put a positive spin on things) most of the loose dogs we come across are small. As a result, even though these small dogs try to nip at Simon’s back legs after sniffing him, they eventually get frightened and run away. However, I have to say, their size does not excuse them from their bad behavior! This day though, the loose dog was not small or even medium. He was about the same size as Simon, and certainly not backing down.

Being that I had Rosee, I knew I couldn’t freak out. She can be quite sensitive, and if I started feeling anxious, afraid, or upset, then she would react badly as well. Therefore, I did my best to keep a level head and continued to walk by with Rosee, and for the moment things were okay. Unfortunately, the dog ran for Simon, but instead of stopping to sniff he barreled into his side and tried to bite him. Monica yelled, “NO,” and he sort of backed off. By this time though, Rosee had taken notice and was not too happy with another dog attacking her brother and let out something between a roar and a bark. Don’t get me wrong, she was still walking along with me, but that didn’t mean she was going to do it quietly. Luckily, her roar-bark was enough to scare the dog off and all of us quickly walked away. I’d like to say this is where our ordeal ended. However, the dog was still loose and running around the neighborhood, and pretty much stalked us all the way home.

Once we got home, I knew that we had to do something, and so I finally did it. I called our local Animal Control and made a complaint. To be honest, I never thought I would ever be pushed to this point. Most situations we encounter are not serious enough to prompt a call to Animal Control. I guess, I always wanted to believe in the goodness of people as dog owners, if that makes any sense(?). I want to believe that if someone’s dog tries to attack mine, that that person does feel some sort of remorse for their dog’s actions. In this case though, I had to think about my dog first.

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At the time it was the right thing to do. I mean, the dog was still loose, and his owners (who were home by the way) weren’t even the least bit concerned with him. Otherwise, they might have come out of their house when Monica was yelling or Rosee was barking. Yet, all was quiet on the western front. I do have to say that what really irks me about this whole incident is that the dog’s owners never had to take any sort of responsibility. The owners aren’t the ones that are going to get punished for being bad dog owners. They didn’t have to live through a somewhat terrifying ordeal. No, they just got to go about their daily business like nothing was wrong, and that is what really burns my bacon (if you will). I can’t even think that they’ll be upset at all that their dog was caught by Animal Control because, in my humble opinion, I don’t think they even cared about him. He was always left out in the backyard, he didn’t have a collar, he had no interaction with anyone or anything whatsoever, and he looked like he wasn’t taken care of very well since his coat was dingy and pretty shaggy.

Still, I can’t help but feel somewhat bad that my complaint may have proved to be the end of this dog. It doesn’t seem fair that this dog, who was set up to fail thanks to his neglectful and uncaring owners, should pay for his owners’ irresponsibility. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not forgetting or excusing the dog for attacking Simon. Frankly, I’m extremely thankful for Rosee’s boisterousness, which ultimately scared him off. Usually, I complain about how much she likes to “talk.” Yet, I know that all the blame should not be put on the dog, and I guess I’m frustrated that the other responsible parties won’t be reprimanded as well.

Ultimately, I was finally pushed past the point of no return. Everything about what happened is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that Simon was attacked, that Rosee couldn’t have a positive dog experience, that a dog had such uncaring owners, and that I had to involve the authorities. I want to remain positive though, and honestly hope that this won’t happen again. **Fingers Crossed**

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P.S. Wish us luck.

Another Pit Bull Attack(ed)

It was ugly.

Hair flying everywhere. Snarls and growls emitting from all around. Sharp claws swinging wildly, trying to hit anything they could. And the blood. It was like a red river running down the sidewalks and across the street. It was warm and sticky, and free-flowing. I remember the screaming the most, the way its high-pitched sounds left little else to be heard. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Time stretched on forever, no beginning or ending, just a middle full of blood, sweat, and tears. Then, quiet.

No birds chirping. No dogs howling. No cars whizzing by. Just quiet.

The only color I could see was red. Red scratches running down my arms. Red marks marring my hands from the tight grip I had to maintain on the leash. The deepest red however, was littered all over the street, the sidewalks, and my own legs, leaving an ominous trail from where we had been to where we were.

Suddenly harsh panting broke through my fog and I could see. I could see Rosee sitting on the concrete, staring at me. Her eyes were wide, her breathing irregular, her throat emitting strange little strangled whines. On shaky legs I kneeled down in front of her, using trembling fingers to try to assess the damage done.

Eyes glassy, but unscathed.

Chest pink from exertion, but unscratched.

Front legs unsteady, but untouched.

Then. . .

Her ears had nail marks in them with blood dripping off the tips.

Her muzzle though. Her muzzle got the worst of it. Her nose and upper lip were smeared red, it just falling down her mouth like a torrent. At that moment all I could do for her was press the tissue from my pocket to her mouth to help stem the bleeding and continue my mantra of “It’s okay, Rosee, it’s okay.”

The day had started out deceptively normal. Wake up, eat breakfast, take dogs out for daily walk. See? Normal. The weather was warm, but not too hot. Both Rosee and Simon were behaving themselves nicely. All in all it was a good start to the day.

Working our way down a street lined with slightly older homes, made mysterious with their large front yards surrounded with shrubbery and short picket fences, we were suddenly put on the defensive. Our attacker came out of nowhere. Lithe and speedy it went immediately for Rosee’s face, not even giving her (or me) a chance to realize what was going on before it was too late. Going straight for the face, moving forward with wild abandon, all I could do was pull Rosee between my legs and plant my knees on the ground in an attempt to hold all of her 75 lbs. back from further attack. Once I gained a better grip on Rosee’s collar I successfully worked at pulling her across the street to safety with her attacker following. It wasn’t until we hit the middle of road that the attacker finally trailed off going back to hide like the little coward that it was.

What happened? Why was my dog’s muzzle spouting blood? How did I get covered in scrapes, bruises, and blood?

The answer: a cat.

Yeah, that’s right. We got attacked by an extremely forward cat. We were ambushed as we walked down the street by a cat stealthily hidden in nearby shrubs who thought we got a little too close to it. Jumping through the plants it had used as camouflage this huge cat (seriously, it must have been a Maine Coon or something) launched itself at Rosee. This cat screeched and screamed, digging its sharp claws into Rosee’s muzzle, at one point I was worried they were actually stuck! Rosee freaked out, unsure whether to go forward or backward, so she settled for just jumping up. Never once did she bark, whine, snarl, bare teeth, or snap at this cat. She just was. I pulled and pulled, and eventually got her away from the assault, but the damage was done. The cat had left her torn up and bloody.

A thirty minutes’ walk from home, I could barely contain myself to move let alone pull a stunned dog along with me. Theresa, who had been holding Simon back from the attack, quickly called our mother who was able to immediately come and pick us up. In an effort to right herself while we waited for our ride Rosee would shake her head and red droplets would just go flying. My hand, arms, and legs were covered in her blood and mine. Dabbing Rosee’s dripping face I could only tremble and stumble until we walked through our front door.

Once home Rosee’s face finally stopped bleeding, but she still had terrible scratches running across the length of her upper lip and nose. She was still breathing harshly and didn’t know whether to sit or stand. It’s like she was no longer comfortable in her own skin, and frankly, I knew the feeling. What should have been a comfortable morning routine was inexplicably boiled down to a terror-filled few minutes that would stay with all four of us for a long time. For weeks afterwards every time Rosee or Simon saw a stray cat wandering the street they would go crazy, pulling and whining after it. Every time we passed “The Spot” Rosee would dive for the fence where the cat had emerged. Suffice to say, the next few weeks of walks were spent trying to undo the damage this attack had taken on poor Rosee’s otherwise burgeoning relaxation she was finally starting to associate with walking.

As for me, I carried a paranoid air around me for a while. If this was what one wayward cat could do to Rosee, what would a dog do? Besides that, big or small or anything in between it is truly a terrible thing to see your beloved animal bleeding due to no fault of its own.

And so much for all those “Vicious Pit Bull Attack” storylines. This experience has certainly made me wonder how many of those “vicious pit bulls” were simply moved to defend themselves, because that is what normal dogs, animals, and even people do when they feel threatened—they get defensive. I feel as if I have been given a glimpse of clarity and understanding. How does that saying go again? Oh yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. More aptly stated perhaps, don’t judge a dog by its breed.

Because seriously, a cat!