I own two cats, Hrothgar and Louie. Louie is the larger of the two and a great mouser. Hunting in the mountains where I live, he’s always leaving offerings at the door, mostly field mice but occasionally bats and birds.
I’ve observed that before he pounces on his prey, he hikes his hind corners and wiggles his butt. One day, I watched as Louie eyed a buck grazing in the brush. “Go for it, Louie,” I thought to myself. It was then that I understood Louie believes he is a full-size predator, a tiger of the mountains.
Occasionally, he snaps at me (he spooks easily–loud noises, sudden movements, etc.). I bat him on the head, and he goes back to being a cat. If Louie were a full size tiger I’d be in trouble. Fortunately, he’s a 12 pound fur ball.
The same can’t be said about a 100 pound hound. Recently, a twelve-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pit bull. The boy’s mother feared the animal might be dangerous and put the boy in the basement. Her son got out was mauled to death by the dog. Mom called the animal a murderer.
I call the “murderer” an animal.
Animals bite, scratch, pounce, chew and kill. It’s natural and it’s something we should accept.
On talk radio the other day, Uncle Matty (http://unclematty.com), an animal trainer, gave dog owners advice on how to care for their mutts. Several people called in saying their that dog barks at the kids, that Fido nips at strangers legs, that man’s best friend bites people on the face. These owners are crazy if they don’t understand that their animals are dangerous.
Please read life’s little warning: animals are dangerous, so treat them as such.
Maureen Faibish, the woman whose son was mauled to death, suffered a great loss, but she was responsible for her son’s welfare, not the animal. The same goes for any owner on a dog or cat, or ferret or rabbit or bird or snake. No matter what you think of your pet–“a member of the family” or “one of the children”–it’s an animal. Treat it like one.
If your dog bites, get rid of it or else take the necessary precautions to keep the animal from harming people. You’re responsible for the pet’s actions, not the pet, and it can be trained (certain animals will take more training than others; other types of animals potentially can’t be trained, like tigers–and, yes, people keep those as pets!).
My second cousin, an elderly woman was recently bitten and knocked down by a beagle. I don’t know all the facts surrounding the case, but it’s quite a serious affair. Pit bulls are not the only animals that can hurt people. What surprises me is how many people are ignorant of their animal’s capabilities. That ignorance is plain unacceptable.
How many owners take time to train their animals? It’s remarkable how a well-trained animal responds to people and to situations. Police horses are trained to withstand the stress of rioting crowds. Seeing eye dogs are trained to help guide their owners through life’s obstacles. But many people spend too little time with their animals.
They haven’t read up on the subject. They haven’t considered the long-term responsibilities. They don’t provide enough space for their animals to roam. They don’t observe their animal’s characteristics.
I had a neighbor whose dog barked endlessly for hours each time the owner was away. The owner didn’t know what to do. I suggested the animal not be left alone or that someone come by periodically to keep the dog company, relating that once when I came by at three in the morning the dog quieted down after I spoke with it for a few minutes (really, it is amazing what a little company does for an animal). Since that conversation, the dog really doesn’t bark much, and I’m guessing it’s not left alone as often.
I noticed that another dog owner in the neighborhood put a wire fence around the property. His two dogs frequently came out on the road, barking at passersby. The dogs still bark, but now from behind a protective fence. No problem.
Animals are dangerous, but more so when their owners don’t take time to understand their pets. We shouldn’t ban breeds of dog, but we should ask that owners make a greater commitment to training of their pets, perhaps through licensing. We owe it to society… and the pets.Powered by Sidelines