I’m angry – more than angry! No, I’m not angry at dogs, just owners. Where do they get the idea to teach such behavior to their dogs to frighten people walking down the lane or the sidewalk into such action as was done to that bull mastiff the other day?
No, I don’t think it is right to do what these young people did to that big beautiful beast that was in the news the other day. I would rather have seen them attack the owner for his ignorant attitude towards the general public. The community at large would have been much better served had they attacked him instead. Mind you weaponry like knives are not acceptable either. But still he deserved no less than a good punch in the nose himself.
At first I thought the dog was that one on Richardson Avenue near McPhillips Street, right behind the tire shop. I have to park my car there in order to get to the dentist around the corner right on McPhillips. The man there has a nice home with statues of several mastiffs on the front steps. He also has a live adult dog and a young pup in the yard. It is certainly obvious how proud he is of his animals.
His front iron fence butts right up against the public sidewalk, and is of reasonable height. When we go to walk past and the dog begins to bark, jumping up against the fence. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be much of a problem, but the size of this brute jumping up against the fence would make it easy for him/her to jump right over and attack whoever walks by, what with all the noisy barking.
The Missus, she’s afraid of dogs to start with, so as soon as the barking starts, she’s across the boulevard and on the street behind some bushes. Well that would be fine except she’s old too and her balance is none too good. Had I known she was going to do that, I might have followed just to make sure she didn’t fall; a mistake on my part. The thing is, I have no fear of dogs, no matter how big, I kept walking (with one eye on the dog’s big jumps at the fence) with my hand ready to smack him in the snout with the back of my hand in the event he jumped over it. No dog has ever got the best of me (well, maybe one, but that’s it).
Walking back to the car after my dental appointment, the dogs and the owner were nowhere to be seen so we got there quietly enough. But all the while I was thinking that the owner decided that he also owns the sidewalk and the boulevard because nobody can walk there with that blasted barking dog. As far as I know this is property owned by the city, not the home owner.
Well the point of this whole story is that we are taking the wrong perspective on banning certain types of dogs. They are not the problem. The owners are the problem. The SPCA and/or the city should force people buying or breeding big dogs of this nature to become competent in behavioral training of the animal and to give certified evidence of it before being able to have such a dog. Mind you, there are lots of good dog owners. We meet them all the time in the parks.
One day we came across a Great Pyrenees sitting on the trail we walk. His owner was pulling on the leash to get him to move. Nothing doing, he wouldn’t budge. As we walked by he began wagging his tail and we asked if we could pet him. “Yes, please”, answered the owner. He just wants to greet everybody and say hello.” We left after patting him and he waited for the next people to arrive.
Another time a man was walking his enormous Pit Bull. As we approached the dog laid down, facing us. His tail (or really his bum) was wagging furiously as he lay on the ground. “May we pet him?” I asked. “Oh yes” said the man, “He just wants to be friends.” Then there was the time that a big pit bull decided he wanted to sit on my lap and lick my face.
So there are a lot of good dog owners out there who understand the nature of animals. And I also understand the need for guard dogs in various places to protect property from being damaged and stolen. Usually these are not residences in the cities. They are businesses or farms needing to protect property. No, these people I mentioned here have no regard for their animals at all. The animals are nothing more than a status symbol to show off and to satisfy their own ego; a total disrespect to the animal. These are the very people who need an attitude shift.
My proposal is this: If there is a complaint about such a dog as described here, that dog should be removed from the home into a training facility at the owner’s expense. The owner can then attend the retraining of the dog’s attitude and gain knowledge of what he must do. In other words, it’s training of the dog and the owner. Once this is done the training facility can issue a certificate of competency and the dog returned to its owner. Otherwise it remains at the facility to be sold to an agreeable new owner.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s time to put some teeth into dog laws and I intend to pursue this to its end.