I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been in a slump since Caje died. I underestimated how much having a big, active dog around had kept me motivated.
I was at a barbecue yesterday and went inside the house to use the bathroom. The family’s eight year old Rottweiler allowed me to pass by on my way in. I spoke to him pleasantly. When I came out of the bathroom, he decided to corner me in the hallway.
I was alone in the house with this eighty lb dog that was barking and growling in my face. I just stood there not moving, and talked to him, but he continued to advance and bark.
I have lived with and worked with big dogs all my life. I am not generally timid with dogs and it takes a lot to shake me up. I know when a dog is bluffing, and this one wasn’t. I stood perfectly still and just basically waited to be rescued, hoping in the meantime Max the Rottie wouldn’t decide to have me for lunch.
Finally the owners came in from outside and grabbed him by the collar.
“I don’t get it,” I said. “He let me come in with no problem.”
“Yeah, it’s when people try to leave that’s the issue,” the owner said. He chuckled fondly. “He has bitten a couple of times. But usually he’s just kidding around.”
There was no apology, no explanation and no chastising of Max. Apparently this is just a risk that house guests are forced to take. Needless to say, that’s the last they will see of me.
Last year, here in Michigan, two people were killed by a pack of roaming American Bulldogs. It happened not far from where I live.
And then there’s Cujo, the neighbor’s German shepherd still on a rampage. I went horseback riding down the road the other day with Becky, my neighbor, and Cujo came bouncing out at us like usual. This time, there was no Cajun to warn him off with a perfunctory glare. So Cujo came all the way out into the road while his owners called in vain from the front porch.
Becky told me a horror story of how she was jogging one day and Cujo ran out after her. He grabbed her foot, pulled her down and mauled through her tennis shoe.
Ironically, it was Gracie, Becky’s own American Bulldog who came to her rescue that day. It took Cujo’s two owners to pull her off him. As Becky stood there with her torn up shoe and bleeding foot, she was chastised for running with a vicious bulldog!
I’ve filed one complaint about Cujo already to animal control and yet he continues to harrass passersby.
The owners of dogs like this never fail to boggle my mind. There is a machismo about this that is so sad and misguided. It is a huge disservice to what could have been a wonderful pet. I could see by Max’s expression that he is an intelligent dog. And I know that Cujo is. Through no fault of their own, they have ended up in the hands of idiots. I wonder how far this behavior has to go before the dogs end up impounded or euthanized. And then, people like this just go out and acquire another dog to raise in the same dysfunctional way.
Breeding bans won’t help — the forbidden becomes only more attractive to people with this mentality.
So, in the interest of preventing another one of THESE, I adopted a German shepherd pup today. Actually he’s a little over a year old, but still a pup in his mind. Unlike all my other GSDs, this one is a sable. He belonged to my 90 year old neighbor who couldn’t handle him. The dog has never been properly leash trained, and pulled the owner’s arm out of its socket. My neighbor, Eddie, can no longer raise his arm above shoulder level.
I don’t have a name for him, yet. Still thinking…. Any ideas? He had his first lesson in leash walking today though. He’s a smart guy and I know he’s going to come around really fast. He likes to play and has a good nature about him.
So, here’s to one German Shepherd who won’t be terrorizing any neighbors.