Friday, August 01, 2008

fido friday 5

AGB reminded me: Boynton's dog got "smiled at" by a rotty*.

I saw the rotty the other day actually, 3 years on, in situ, same old park, same old man walking her, his kindly-gentleman appearance belying the fact of his being in possession of a dangerous canine weapon, the dog itself impersonating a more benevolent labrador from a distance. The only give away is the lack of an otter tail, the lack of a tail at all.
When Bronte got biten by rooti on hunches, I'd almost led her into the jaws of faux-labarador myself, not dissuading her as both dogs advanced across the oval. Next thing there was the sound of dog fight, which for certain reasons I was determined to hear as a mere skirmish and not a serious biting which could have been fatal, according to the vet. The certain reasons involved Flo, of course, whose inclination to nip white dogs (not bite, if there are degrees of these things) was sometimes greeted with great alarm. This was a rather lax attitude on my part, I concede, harking back to some imaginary golden age when dogs had minor spats and skirmishes in public and people moved on. I concede belatedly that there are no degrees in these things*, a nip is as good as a bite, and Flo is never off the lead now - has never been off the lead for years.
So when Bronte got biten on hunches,and the kindly looking old gentleman shouted an enquiry of sorts across the oval, I shrugged and waved in an exaggeration of casual acceptance, in an effort to signal minor skirmishes between dogs are fine; they sort it out...
It was only after he drove away with his rooti (did I wave?) that I noticed the extent of her injuries, which were not at all minor. We limped back home in shock.

* well, who wants to think of a severity spectrum in such moments, or the objective assessment of the severity of biting problems based on the evaluation of the wound pathology

cattle dog in sulky

I'm a great fan of the unsolicited comment from strangers as you walk your dog, daydreaming about horticulture.
Last week as I walked Flo, the unsolicited comment yelled across the street was simply: Ritalin...


Francis Xavier Holden said...

Theres an essay somehwere on "the nip is not the bite"

Aside from being amazed that killer dogs are allowed at all I'm always amazed that the owner of the dog most likely to kill will always profer the "s/he is friendly - never bit anyone"

Never adding the " but its exactly the kind of powerful huge bred for killer instincts breed that is known for attacking people and killing a few every year"

Glad to hear your dog is on a lead - most dog owners either can't read signs saying Dogs Must Be on Leash or see an exemption for their dog in the fine print or just like intimidating other people.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

ha priceless. The wisdom. Get a look at the type of owner. Not only do these people vote they walk their dogs in your park.

"I just got a 12 week old, red nose pitbull. The potty training has been going well and she is doing very good. My major problem is I cannot get her to stop biting."

"I just got a pit bull several days ago. She's about 8 weeks old and she's FULL BLOODED. I have the papers to prove it. She's been biting my cheeks, face, and lip for a while now. I need help training her not do to do it anymore!"

She is people friendly, but just today when i said "NO AUDREY" and I grabbed her mouth closely and said that, she turned away, and then came back trying to bite me and growled at me. I also have her in a big cage too. I cant let her in the house because she will tear everything up and my mom doesn't want her in the house. Any suggestions? I NEED HELP PLEASE!

He is now 5 months old. I went through the nipping stage (teething) and was so relieved when it was over. Last week Cain was sleeping on the couch and my two year daughter went over to pet him and he nipped her in the face. Although it wasn't a hard bite it was enough to serious scare me.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

"In recent years the breed has received some negative publicity, possibly related to the fact that in the US, the Rottweiler is the number two breed of dog named in fatal human attacks from 1979 to 1998 in a report by the CDC"

Possibly related to the fact. Possibly.

Caroline said...

I hope Flo is OK. Is your vet a south effrican?

Francis, I like to think that a vicious dog results from having a stupid owner. He/she doesn't necessarily have to act stupidly, simply being stupid seems to do it.

Caroline said...

I've known a couple of Rotties that were gentle as lambs. Not sure about Pit Bulls. A case of give a dog a bad name and it sticks. Fear breeds fear, its hard not be frightened of a dog that is supposed to have a reputation for being aggressive and for that dog not to respond to your fear. Don't make eye contact is my advice.

boynton said...

One has to wonder about the motivation to own a Pit Bull.
I'd support a ban.
And (speaking from prejudice) Rotties too, even though the vast majority are probably ok. It's the size of the jaws,and in the case of Rotty v. Jack Russell Terrier, the size differential)

It's bad enough walking a bluey who's excitable (at the sight of small white dogs, that is, she's gentle with people.) Life is much simpler with a calm dog.

Caroline, it was Bronte (the jack) who was bitten. She was lucky, apparently, but made a full recovery. Flo's misdemeanours were very minor in comparison to the sins of this Rotty, obviously, but enough for me to keep her firmly on leash ever since - unless one is in the isolated wilds of ... Rye back beach, or somewhere.

I hadn't thought about the Sth Effrican possibility. I had thought she was a typo type of medical professional.

fifi said...

Till recently we had a pit bull in our street. It was the most gentle thing I have ever met, but strangely it provoked, by its mere presence, unbelievable reactions of hostility in even the smallest of dogs.

Having said that, it was a very unusual Pit Bull.
They are bred to be mean.

That was a super piece of wordage, btw.

boynton said...

Thanks Fifi.

I'm sure fear clouds my judgement.

OTOH - when there are hundreds of breeds to choose from, including dozens that generally have a good temperament, why choose the dangerous brand?

Juke said...

I've lived with two different pit bulls, in two very different situations, though both were rural. One dog was a complete sweetheart, raised by gentle people who had her for only the usual dog purposes. The other was more of the weaponized variety, but still a charming gentle and obedient creature to family, which I became after a few weeks.
I loved them both as boon companions.
You may be seeing the breed through a protective lens, as they are, culturally and physically, most intimidating. You'd be protecting your charges in that way.
Another aspect is their uncuteness, not soft, not furry, not particularly pettable, and those slavering jaws...
I don't know as how they're "bred to be mean" as someone said. They've been bred to be fearless, and to lock and hold their bite, to the point where they can be made objects of cruel humor by getting them to bite say a tire swing and dangle for a surprisingly long time. But gently reared they are gentle dogs.

Meanwhile, the human-pit bull species interaction has produced this.

boynton said...

I feel chastened, Juke.

I myself grew up with a couple of cross labradors that bit humans, including me. I loved them both, especially the one who bit me.

"I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to."

We have a different history than youse/US with that breed maybe.