Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Once bitten, twice shy

I haven't left the house much lately besides running errands and work. I haven't even been to yoga class in more than two weeks (I plan on breaking that dry spell today). I've been trying to plant our kitchen garden and work our poor soil (black clay) and make the yard a bit more practical for the summer. But that's not the real reason I haven't left the house...

I usually walk our dogs around our neighborhood twice to three times weekly. Dave used to do this before his back went out on him, but I've enjoyed hanging out with the pups when I can. However, I just can't shake the fear I swore I wouldn't have after I was attacked. It scares the shit out of me to think about walking Hornsby out in our neighborhood and a dangerous dog coming after us again. What scares me even more is the thought that this could happen even without the dogs, that a mean dog could jump the neighbor's fence and come after me unprovoked.

I hate what I'm about to say, but it is what it is: There should be no "one free bite" in Texas or in any other state. Dogs that attack unprovoked should be put down, just like Tigers in zoos that attack are euthanized. People should be able to walk through their neighborhoods without fear of attack from mean dogs kept by ignorant owners.

(Note: I'm not talking out of my ass. I have worked in 4 veterinary hospitals, one of which was a veterinary emergency clinic. I have seen the kind of damage that vicious dogs can inflict and I've been a dog bite victim before. I knew that some dogs I was treating as a technician could bite me out of fear. I was prepared for that. This is completely different.)

I am also becoming callous to arguments from people who own pit bulls that are the "sweetest, most loving" dogs they've ever owned. That they allow these dogs to sleep with their children because they are so docile. Good on them. They very well may be responsible owners. But pit bulls are like guns -- in responsible hands, people have no reason to fear the owner, but in the company of ignorance they are most likely lethal.

We don't trust everyone with guns, therefore we should not trust everyone with pit bulls either. In some states we ask gun owners to register themselves. I don't think this is too much to ask of pit bull owners.

Just last night I was watching a neighbor being pulled down our sidewalk by two pit bulls. The leashes were vere long for these dogs, which is dangerous. The hair on my arms stood tall and a shiver went down my spine. If these two very strong dogs are able to pull their owner like this on a normal walk, could this man control them if they wanted to chase after another animal, or even another human?


The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I'm sorry that this had to happen. More sorry for the trauma, because that seems to have more lingering effects than the bite. I hope you find a way to get back out in the neighborhood.

MattJ said...

I think an awful lot more dog attacks could be reduced by putting down low life owners, thye are the ones ultimately responsible for the carnage. Hope you are better soon!

Olivia said...

I'm not surprised it was a pit bull. I wouldn't trust anyone who owns those beasts, because that is what they are and anyone who likes them must have an undesirable aspect to their personalities.