Tag Archives: irresponsible owners

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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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.