It’s snowing dogs and dogs outside

It is funny to see this headline on our local news (CBS) web site:

“Some Prep for Snow, Other Think Flakes Won’t Fly Yet”

Then I look outside the window and see accumulations nearing a half foot of snow, then I look at the weather maps and realize that the local CBS affiliate is probably buried, so no one could update the story about how it might not snow and stuff.

Speaking of WCCO, the local CBS affiliate, yesterday Tim Pawlenty, our lame Governor (insert the word “duck” in there if you want, though I’m not sure why you would), did his last weekly radio address. I never did listen to one of those, but the news faithfully reported the stupid-ass things he said every week.

Last night an 11 year old girl was shot in the neck about four blocks from my old house in South and two blocks from the where Taiesha Edwards was killed by a stray bullet a few years back while sitting at a table in her home doing her homework. This time, the girl was on her front porch, and she will be OK. No arrests, no suspects, but we do know a gun was involved. And yes, there are people in this world who think, every time an innocent grade schooler is shot or killed, how nice it would be to produce and distribute MORE guns (those are the gun nuts) there are those of us who think the opposite.

But no one was on the local television news this morning being indignant about this. It was reported,causally, as though it was normal, and the news casters moved on.

Regarding another story, however, the news casters and the police being interviewed were apoplectic. Police were indignant, some were crying, vengeance was clearly on their minds, because someone stabbed their doggie during a police operation.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the dog (which was injured but not killed), but not only should the 11 year old girl who was shot while standing on her porch get more press than the dog that was stabbed in the line of duty, but her story should be in the list of headlines, above the story about the police dog that was stabbed. Instead, the police dog that was stabbed was in the CBS/WCCO featured headline section, and the story about the girl (and these events occurred about the same time) not in the headlines, placed well down the web page below the story about the hockey team losing (which is not news) and the basketball team winning (which I admit, is astonishing and unlikely news, probably a reporting error).

Possible human remains were found in a park Amanda and Julia sometimes bike in over across the river (oh, that’s where Julia snowboards). Probably a dog.

Speaking of dogs, how about a reality check: An Akita in Burnsville took out two kids (3 and 5 years old) yesterday (both will be OK) and according to the news:

The dogs’ owner, Chuck Svare, only knows Koda and Pepper as good companions and has had them for years.

“He should have never bitten a little girl. That’s my opinion, but she had to, something was done to provoke it,” said Svare.

Never listen to the shit that comes out of people’s mouths, One of the two dogs involved in the attack attacked a neighbor’s dog a while back, and neither dog is up to date on vaccines.

Am I down on dogs today? No, not really. In fact, I’m going to be nice to dogs all day because we are expecting a foot of snow here, and I may need to be rescued by one.

Comments

  1. #1 Benton Jackson
    November 13, 2010

    I’ve been waiting for snow. I bought a new snowblower last spring on closeout. Saved a couple hundred bucks, but the cost to my nerdy need for immediate gratification was immense. I finally just tried it out, and it’s as good as I hoped it would be.

  2. #2 Brian
    November 13, 2010

    “Never listen to the shit that comes out of people’s mouths, One of the two dogs involved in the attack attacked a neighbor’s dog a while back, and neither dog is up to date on vaccines.”

    From my limited experience, dogs’ aggression levels towards humans and other dogs aren’t especially linked. I think the latter point about vaccines, which reveals neglect from the owners, is much more indicative of the chance the dog is violent against humans. I’d appreciate it if a professional who deals with dogs a lot can confirm or deny my intuition.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2010

    Brian, you are essentially correct about dog vs. human aggression, but this was a case where people were up in arms about the attack, suggesting (but not proving) that it was not run of the mill. It is only an indicator, though.

    The problem with the vaccines is, of course, rabies. I’d want to know when the aggressive attack on the other dog happened, and if it was very recent, I’d be giving the kids who were attacked rabies treatment now, and testing the dog’s brain tissue at the same time.

    I quickly note that rabies treatment is not the awful horrid thing it was once believed to be. It’s just a bunch of shots in the arm or butt, the first couple over a day or so with a follow up later (the exact procedure has probably changed since last time I had to do that).

  4. #4 gwen
    November 13, 2010

    One of my brothers had the rabies series 50 years ago after coming in contact with a rabid dog. We were all there, but he was the only one who actually interacted with the dog. It was a gruesome series, even during a time when families overseas had to go through the entire vaccine sequence twice yearly. I’ve never had a patient with rabies, so I don’t know what the procedure is these days, but I know it has improved.
    What kind of society would not be outraged when a child can’t sit out on their porch with out getting shot. Oh, that’s right, a society that does not agree with background checks before gun purchases, and people who believe that even the mentally retarded, mentally unstable and convicted felons have a right to own and use firearms.

  5. #5 megan
    November 13, 2010

    Having been an Akita owner and gave all of my breed information books and advice to a couple raising a young male Akita. They are like wolves and twice the intelligence of German Shepherds. Their behavior in general is reflective of how they are raised and DISCIPLINED by their owners. But they ARE NOT PITBULLS nor ROTWEILLER mindlessly stupid biting lunging violently aggressive dogs.

    They were bred to dog fight but were Shogun and royalty dogs in Japan to be around and PROTECTIVE of their human masters and family. If the dog was normally fine around people and kids in the company of owners and the situation happened somewhere out of the confines of a safe environment, I’d blame the 3 & 5yos first knowing and having babysat them enough. They do rush up and grab, pull and attack animals in mistaken ‘lurve- adoration’ without thought to danger or the animal. The mother bold saying they don’t do that after first hand seeing the kids lunging at the cameras not asked makes it sound like a self denial lie.

    To say the a dogs never known to show dog-human aggression, unless it’s trespassers or attackers, are evol automatically, then giving the kids a pass without a full context explanation is just stereotyping and misrepresenting facts/info.

    News article conveniently NEVER really states WHOSE backyard the kids were playing in. Akitas are bred to dogfight and dogs biting other dogs IS NORMAL. They’re also bred to protect territory & are friggin animals and little terriers bite all the time but aren’t ‘put down’. To use one past dog-dog fight as a reason her little brats (seen lunging and being all cutesy and ‘innoncent’ to the cameras) probably did something when no one was looking is unconscionable as the mother with her mindless ‘my kids are perfect’ wants probably her friend’s/neighbor’s dogs put to sleep.

    She probably wanted to have her kids babysat for free went off and had never had them around those dogs much or ever in those people’s yards. She probably let the little shits run ragged are the neighborhood and other people yards and places blames and fault on everyone else but herself or the kids.

    For BOTH people, the dogwners & kids parent to have left the animals and children ALONE in the yard together without supervision if that’s what happened was stupid. Akita’s in many situations have been left as ‘babysitters’ of kids and other smaller animals, if you have coached them/trained them what their duties are. They have a temperament to put up with alot of abuse.

    [Never listen to the shit that comes out of people's mouths,]
    And to think your normal common sense posts draw me hear to listen to you. I might not anymore after this.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2010

    Megan, I did not bite anyone, so lay off.

  7. #7 megan
    November 13, 2010

    No, I won’t lay off a seemingly ‘on the rag’ type accusation of the dog owner was lying, stating possible kids provoking, with the “Never listen to the shit that comes out of people’s mouths” comment but then leave out the full story(selective edit), assume the mother was right and seeing the bratty kids’ obvious rambunctious behavior on camera with no sign of pain or trauma, nor do you have any clue about the Akita breed vs other known without provocation attack dogs like Pitbulls or Rottweilers.

    The two dogs probably were doing parental ‘Dog’ things which ends up being hurtful for little kids not pups, if they’ve never been tasked to babysit a human child much. They look like a breeding pair and have had puppies before. Like wolves, errant bad cubs get disciplined.

    [Greg - Megan, I did not bite anyone, so lay off. ]
    You bit my ‘expecting objectivity bone’, besides me being a strong ex-owner, defender and lover of the Akita breed. They were going to be the military’s dog of choice but German Shephards won out. Helen Keller had them as companion/guide dogs and established the breed in the US. It’s Saturday have a beer and chill. I still like your blog and have emailed many a post to friends.

    http://www.akitarescue.com/
    http://www.akitas.org/

  8. #8 Alice
    November 13, 2010

    Megan, you have no idea what happened there. If you read the article it does not accord with what you are saying: http://tinyurl.com/2uya9yo

    I think you might be drunk.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2010

    Megan, I stand by what I say: Never believe the shit that comes out of people’s mouths. That holds for the owner of the dog who claims the dog can do no wrong, it holds for the parents of kids in the eventuality that they are covering up for bad behavior, and guess what, it holds true for you as well.

    You are a lover of a certain breed of dog. Like the parents of their kids, you claim that your babies are perfect, and like the dog owner in this case who claims that the kids must have provoked the dog, you claim that the real problem is not with your precious breed but with the other breed de decade, the dogs that are currently often trained to be attack dogs and thus do, in fact, inflict a fair amount of damage.

    You are blissfully unaware of the utter lack of data that can be used to pin innate aggressive behavior on almost any breed. The only statistical relationship that seems to hold true is that smaller dogs are more likely to bite than larger breeds, probably because when the larger breeds do bite, we simply kill them, but when the smaller dogs breed were merely kick them across the room.

    My wife was viciously attacked and permanently disfigured by a dog that had a prior history of poor behavior that was never dealt with by the lying scum owners, people like you, who think their dogs can do no wrong. Yeah, I’m a little sensitive about dog owners who make the kinds of claims made in the report, and that you are making.

    Finally, don’t you dare lay this biased, ignorant, ill informed, angry shit on me and demand that I provide you with dispassionate objective reasoning.

    Who the fuck do you think you are, the self appointed editorial manager of this blog? Kiss my ass, Megan.

    I agree with Alice. You’re drunk. Don’t say another word until you sober up and the hangover is passed.

  10. #10 24fps
    November 13, 2010

    megan, you’re speculating a lot about what the mother of the kids was “probably” expecting or doing or not doing, and you’re speculating a lot about what the dogs “probably” were intending or doing – we don’t know any of that. The fact is, kids got bitten. For me, it ends there.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore dogs. I’ve owned dogs most of my life. I currently have the pleasure of owning a Labrador/English setter cross and an English setter. I especially adore these two dogs, they are part of my family and one of the joys in my life.

    The day (I hope it never comes – and in 30 years of dog ownership, has never happened) where one of my dogs bites a child, any child, for any reason whatsoever, will be the day that I have her put down. It would rip my heart in half to do it, but I would.

    Dogs are funny creatures. We’ve messed with them by intensively breeding them so much. Dogs bred to hunt birds, like my setter, Lu, will point, stalk and flush without being taught. Just try to keep a Lab out of the water. And dogs bred to fight have more aggression and are more likely to bite other dogs (and no, that is NOT normal behaviour!) and people. They have a stronger prey drive. It’s not the dog’s fault – but the owner who doesn’t take extra precautions is a moron, plain and simple, and absolutely to blame when the dog bites a child.

    [I also think it's horrible that the news a child has been shot has become so normalized. That is so messed up. One of the things I like about Canada is that guns are harder to get. But it's still not as difficult as it should be here, either.]

  11. #11 megan
    November 13, 2010

    [Megan, you have no idea what happened there. If you read the article it does not accord with what you are saying: http://tinyurl.com/2uya9yo

    I think you might be drunk.]

    Whomever you are, Alice, accusing me of being drunk, making a comment like that is totally unwarranted, asinine and rude. The Sat. beer comment to Greg was a funny aside. I wasn’t conversing with you about this topic from his post, as this isn’t your blog. Your silly posted tiny URL IS THE SAME as Greg’s, which I was commenting about.

    I DID read the article and saw the video. A dog on a child could mean MANY things and the way those dogs went about biting wasn’t to maim, hurt or kill, because seeing the still laughing running ‘victims’ they should’ve been mangled in hospital IC or dead. When dogs like Akitas do something unknown ‘unprovoked’, there is an underlying unseen reason. Akitas will protect and treat like pups kids under their care. That can look like a bite or attack if caught in the process. They aren’t humans and it would take a human to stop them while in action, like giving the dog a kick. What sort of Disneyland pet owner are you? You probably don’t own dogs.

    My points are still valid about Akitas, unless you know different. And you have no idea either unless you’re a neighbor about the full context. As an Akita owner, and babysitter of bad kids, from the given information and observing all interviewed in the video, I’m siding with the owner and feel it was wrong for both to have left the kids and the dogs alone. As an owner, I don’t want my animals ever left alone around children for the animal’s safety sake and the kids. People are to blind and in denial about the bad behavior of their children and no discipline.

    I’m glad the dog owner will find the money to get his dogs vaccinated and properly under the law.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2010

    I’d like to not that there is not a strong correlation between the intended role of a dog with respect to aggression and the aggression you get when you DON’T raise the dog for that purpose. (But as I said above in my counter-rant, the statistics are very crappy.)

    For instance, one of the most intense dogs ever is the Doberman. This dog was bread to be not only an attack dog, but also a “one-man” dog, and when they were used in European police forces, when the police officer retired, he either took the dog home with him or the dog was put down. And if the cop died and the dog didn’t, the dog was killed. This is because a “properly” raised Doberman is in fact a one-person dog.

    But if you raise them as a pet, they are as docile as any dog can be, and there is no evidence of any aggression beyond what any other dog might exhibit.

    No matter what you do to a Pyrenees (outside of abuse, of course) it will brow up with the same exact attitude that Pyrenees have. I won’t go into what that involves except to say that it will die protecting a member of it’s flock (for most owners, the family, kids, the cat, the goldfish, etc.) and it is one of the few breeds of “bear dog” that can actually manage bears and usually live through it, with zero training.

    Rots seem as docile as any other dog if raised that way. There are so many things alled “pits” (Pitbull purists with their own origin myth will descend on blog in three … two … one ….) and their rise as a phenomenon so recent and their use as a shit dog so widespread that it is hard to say what they do, on average, or what their limits are, if raised to be well behaved pets.

    The great War Dog, the Great Dane was at one time probably much more dangerous than today, though it is hard to say if they were just always raised to be combat and protector animals. Today, Great Danes will die of a stroke if you look at them mean.

    Strangely enough, one of the dogs with the highest biting record is the Irish Setter, probably because everyone assumes they are great with kids. And they are, in so far as dogs are great with kids. But then they’re always romping around with and now and then they take one down.

  13. #13 Dale Husband
    November 13, 2010

    There was a couple in Australia whose child was killed by dogs, but the authorities insisted that the child was murdered by his own parents.The couple was then convicted and imprisoned for the murder and it took years for them to prove their innocence. That is what happens when blind dog fanatics like Megan are allowed too much power in a society. PEOPLE SHOULD COME FIRST!

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2010

    Megan, I’d like to point out something that prompted me in reading the story that you, being from Iowa (IIRC from an earlier comment you made about GLBT politics … I think you are the same Megan) In the Twin Cities, license compliance with dogs is not only strictly enforced but widely complied with. It’s a cultural thing. The good citizens of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and suburbs are like sheep when it comes to following the rules regarding dogs, as it were.

    This is not about somebody not having the money. There are excellent free and cheap dog clinics for people short on cash. It is a matter of responsibility. I’m guessing (and it is only a guess, but probably a good one) that this dog owner is a bit of a loser.

    And yes, this is subjective. I never claimed otherwise.

  15. #15 megan
    November 13, 2010

    [Megan, you have no idea what happened there. If you read the article it does not accord with what you are saying: http://tinyurl.com/2uya9yo

    I think you might be drunk.]

    Whomever you are, Alice, accusing me of being drunk, making a comment like that is totally unwarranted, asinine and rude. The Sat. beer comment to Greg was a funny aside. I wasn’t conversing with you about this topic from his post, as this isn’t your blog. Your silly posted tiny URL IS THE SAME as Greg’s, which I was commenting about. Post something supporting your stance of some bigger unknown facts. Going off what was offered and available I came to MY conclusions based from MY long experience and known facts about Akitas and kids.

    I DID read the article and saw the video. A dog on a child could mean MANY things and the way those dogs went about biting obviously wasn’t to maim, hurt or kill, because seeing the still laughing running ‘victims’ they should’ve been mangled laying in a hospital IC or dead. When dogs like Akitas do something unknown ‘unprovoked’, there is an underlying unseen reason. Akitas will protect and treat like pups, kids under their care. That can look like a bite or attack if caught in the process. They aren’t humans and it would take a human to stop them while in action, like giving the dog a kick. You probably don’t own dogs.

    My points are still valid about Akitas. And you have no idea about the full history and circumstances, unless you’re a neighbor about the full context. As an Akita owner, and babysitter of bad kids, from the given information and observing all interviewed in the video, I’m siding with the owner and feel it was wrong for both to have left the kids and the dogs alone. As an owner, I don’t want my animals ever left alone around children for the animal’s safety sake and the kids. People are to blind and in denial about the bad behavior of their children and no discipline.

    I’m glad the dog owner will find the money to get his dogs vaccinated properly under the law and pass quarantine.

  16. #16 Donna
    November 13, 2010

    Excuse me, Megan, dear, but it does not matter at all how much the children provoked the dog, the dog or dogs should not have attacked them. There is no “they were asking for it” when it comes to potentially dangerous animals and children.

  17. #17 megan
    November 13, 2010

    [Excuse me, Megan, dear, but it does not matter at all how much the children provoked the dog, the dog or dogs should not have attacked them. There is no "they were asking for it" when it comes to potentially dangerous animals and children. ]

    Excuse me Donna, Don’t patronize me.

    Animals should NOT have to endure abuse and harm by humans or unsupervised misbehaving children and no one should expect an animal NOT to defend itself. As we DON’T know the circumstances and the reports say the children were all right after being looked over by doctors, nothing about bandaids or stitches. It is more logical the dogs were trying to stop the children. That is not mindless vicious, but a highly intelligent dog trying to use it’s resources to stop a child from harming it, the dog, or itself, the child. It doesn’t have hands or fingers but only it’s mouth. Pups are usually unharmed.

    And to poor Dan traumatized by a storied couple whose child was killed by dogs. To equate this with that tragedy is illogical. In Australia, wild dogs and dingos are known to run in packs and attack babies. If the story was that the couple’s OWN dogs killed their kids yet the parents were accused then I understand the twisted attempt to equate.
    The fact is in Australia parent HAVE killed their babies blaming dingos as convenient as in real life people have said they were robbed by a black guy to cops when they spent it on booze and hookers.

  18. #18 meg
    November 13, 2010

    Excuse me Donna, you shouldn’t patronize.

    Animals should NOT have to endure abuse and harm by humans or unsupervised misbehaving children and no one should expect an animal NOT to defend itself. As we DON’T know the circumstances and the reports say the children were all right after being looked over by doctors, nothing about bandaids or stitches. It is more logical the dogs were trying to stop the children. That is not mindless vicious, but a highly intelligent dog trying to use it’s resources to stop a child from harming it, the dog, or itself, the child. It doesn’t have hands or fingers but only it’s mouth. Pups doing the same would’ve been unharmed.

  19. #19 MadScientist
    November 14, 2010

    I’m with Greg on this one. Hell, I’ve known parents to protest about how good their dog was after their dog had killed their baby. Animals do as they do. The dog might have been provoked and it might not have been. You can sit in the woods watching black bears all you want and most of the time they’ll all leave you alone. If one attacks you I wouldn’t be betting that it was somehow provoked. Dogs aren’t any different. I’ve even noticed dogs which seem well behaved most of the time but they just don’t like kids.

    20 years ago the rabies vaccine was down to 5 shots (3 + 2 boosters). Nowhere near as bad as the ol’ Duck Embryo vaccine or the even older Goat’s Brain vaccine. (Burning goats were used in the production of the vaccine – well, the goats were burnt after preparing the vaccine.)

    Yet another person sitting around doing nothing wrong is injured because of some moron who shouldn’t be allowed to have guns. Whether or not gun control would work in this case is mere speculation though; we can’t rule out the (far less likely possibility) that the weapon was fired by a criminal who acquired the weapon illegally. At least we’re not quite how the news portrays the Arabs – if you believe what you see on the news, every time they’re happy they start firing automatic weapons into the air.

    I prefer “ass” rather than “duck” to go along with “lame governor”.

  20. #20 Crystal D.
    November 14, 2010

    I like watching this show:
    http://animal.discovery.com/videos/fatal-attractions-videos/

    My favorite episode was the lady whose chimp ripped her friend’s FACE off, because, when asked if she would do it all over again knowing what happened, guess what her answer was? Psycho…

    I’m also now fond of saying to my little Papillon “Thank you for not ripping my face off…”

  21. #21 DuWayne
    November 14, 2010

    Megan @7 -

    No, I won’t lay off a seemingly ‘on the rag’ type accusation of the dog owner was lying, stating possible kids provoking, with the “Never listen to the shit that comes out of people’s mouths” comment but then leave out the full story(selective edit), assume the mother was right and seeing the bratty kids’ obvious rambunctious behavior on camera with no sign of pain or trauma, nor do you have any clue about the Akita breed vs other known without provocation attack dogs like Pitbulls or Rottweilers.

    And I won’t lay off an obviously vile piece of shit who assumes that the 3 and 6 year old children and their mother are the obvious fuck-ups here. Maybe they are brats and their mother is shit, but it could also be that they’re just normal kids. It isn’t unknown for dogs to have really shitty owners and end up hurting perfectly normal children, who do what normal children do.

    Here’s a tip – good dogs who are well trained and well behaved don’t bite kids who pull, poke and push at them. They will either put up with it, or try to get away. Any dog owner with dogs who will not react in one of those two ways, should keep their fucking dogs away from kids. They certainly shouldn’t allow visiting children to play in the yard with them.

    And just so we’re clear, this wasn’t a case of children running loose in the neighborhood – they were visiting the home of the dogs owner (presumably with their father, since he was the one who got the dog off the girl). Having watched the video, I don’t see children who are anything but kids being kids. While I don’t think the dogs should be put down, I do think the owner and possibly the father of the children should spend a little time in jail for being complete and utter, irresponsible fucking morons.

    This wasn’t the fault of the children or their mother, nor was it the fault of the dogs. The responsibility lies first with the dog’s owner and then with the father of the kids. I don’t particularly like dogs (more accurately, the ninety some percent of them who behave for shit), but don’t see this incident as warranting those dog’s deaths. I would however, love to see them placed with a family that can actually care for them and who aren’t fucking idiots.

    What I find absolutely repulsive about you Megan, is not your desire to defend the dogs. Not even particularly liking dogs, I don’t think they should die. What is absolutely disgusting about you, is your attitude about the kids and their mother. I sincerely hope you never have children, because I suspect you would be an absolute shit parent. You’re certainly absolute shit as a human being.

    Animals should NOT have to endure abuse and harm by humans or unsupervised misbehaving children and no one should expect an animal NOT to defend itself.

    Bullshit. I know several dogs (and cats, for that matter) who are well behaved enough not to hurt children who act like children. Any dog who spends time around children should be expected to either endure such treatment until an adult stops it, bark at the child in question, or get away from said child. If a dog is not that well behaved, it is the owner’s fault fault for letting children play around their dogs (especially unsupervised) and the parent’s fault for not making their children understand how to treat animals. It is not the children’s for being kids.

    While kids who spend time around animals should be taught early on to be nice to animals (my kids aren’t around animals much and know as much, at 3 and 8 respectively), kids who aren’t often just don’t know any better.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    I agree with DuWayne and Donna: It is not acceptable for a dog to bite a child under any circumstances.

    There are probably dogs that, due to their breed (maybe) their training (often) or their pathology (rarely) that one can not assume this for, and that’s fine. Those dogs need to be fenced and/or leashed, posted, and kept away from children. Nothing like happened in this case.

    In the case of my wife, she was mauled by a dog that came out of nowhere and jumped her, and it took a couple of people to get the dog off her and several surgeries to make it possible for her to do things like eat and talk and stuff. No provocation and the fact that the dog had done something like this before was being ignored because it was a “good dog.”

    In the case in question, the dog is presumed to have been a good dog, and the owner says it was a good dog, and Megan somehow knows it was a good dog, but hey were pure bred working dog that has not undergone family-friendly breeding (which is where the dogs are bred to be family friendly at the expense of their working abilities, as has been done to the Dane and some other breeds).

    Bottom line: According tot he American Kennel Club, “Akita temperament can range from calm to bouncy and aggressive, so the breed should always be supervised around small children and other animals.”

    Always. Not sometimes but when you think your dog can’t do any harm. The owner of this dog should not have allowed unsupervised children near it. And Megan, you need to re-examine your opinion of these dogs and dogs in general; You need to be better educated in that which you expound with such vigor.

  23. #23 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    I also agree that the dogs should not necessarily be put down (with only what we know, certainly not, but there may be more that we don’t know about). But the way the law works it may be necessary. In any event, the owner should be leashed.

  24. #24 Brian
    November 14, 2010

    Once again in my limited experience, some things are being wrongly conflated here. Not only have I known dogs tolerant of only one species (dog or human), I’ve known dogs who were fiercely *territorial* but a doll on neutral ground, prone to occasional wild moods, who hated one specific other dog only, or who were particularly incited when on a leash and confronted by a dog off of one. The bottom line is that they are animals but also individuals and their behavior can be generally regulated and controlled but not ever perfectly.

    For those reasons I think putting the dogs down is unreasonable. Every dog is a danger and the mother should not have left them unsupervised in the dogs’ territory (implied by the video). It’s not like these dogs are good and others are bad…all are animals and sufficient caution should be taken around them all.

    I think it was probably a misunderstanding and not necessarily even poor training by the owner. Children can not be expected to understand the signals from another species, even adults often have a hard time with that. Dogs cannot be expected to endure every possible provocation, that is unreasonable.

    I don’t think blame is a pie of which there is a limited amount. Every single adult probably knew the children were unsupervised with the dogs. I don’t understand what could make the owner or mother more at fault. Apparently I am alone in this since everyone else is fighting over who is to blame?

    Also I think Megan’s assertions about the kids have to be true on some level. Their actions, whatever they were, were inappropriate for the pack. That doesn’t mean they are at all to blame, it would be impossible for them to know Akita social mores. It is possible that their actions were ones that they should have known were inappropriate (pulling a tail hard, trying to ride it etc.), but there is no evidence either way. I’m not sure how people have such strong opinions about it…

    The mother thought it would be OK to leave the children with the dogs because she is confident that the children wouldn’t do the standard things to provoke it. Guess what lady, dogs have their own interpretation of each action of your kids: from lying belly up on the floor, smiling widely and showing their teeth, etc.

    The owner thought it would be OK to leave the dogs with the children because they were “good dogs”. Guess what mister, you’re the alpha dog and you’ve never been around them when you haven’t been around them. You don’t know shit about them.

    The owner failed to give the dogs shots in addition to being one of the “adults” who left the children with the dogs…in that sense he is more to blame as he did an extra thing wrong.

  25. #25 jaf
    November 14, 2010

    Gonna quote House here:
    Everybody lies.

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    Is that the episode where they had the wrong patient becuase the two girls looked similar and were crushed by a building?

  27. #27 Sadie Morrison
    November 14, 2010

    In my opinion, anthropocentricism is morally wrong. It is tragic that an eleven-year-old child was murdered, but it’s also tragic when a dog is murdered. Arguing over which injustice gets more press seems pointless to me.

  28. #28 rmw
    November 14, 2010

    Sadie, the article stated the 11-year old girl was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Still, the fact that she was shot by a stray(?) bullet is disturbing to say the least.

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    The 11 year old was not murdered. We just heard, though, that she will probably be paralyzed for life.

    The dog was not murdered. The dog may be partly paralyzed for life.

    I would personally do this dog in if it would give that child back her legs. I’m sure the police officer who is in charge of that dog would do the same. Knowing dogs, so would the dog. Well, this one is not a lab, so maybe not.

    And the comparison isn’t pointless. The unspoken horrid reality is this: Had this been a blond blue eyed white girl from Plymouth (an upper middle class wealthy suburb) the story would be bigger than the dog story. But the girl is hispanic, poor, living in the inner city. Her mom doesn’t even speak English. So who the fuck cares about them?

    The dog is just the yardstick in this comparison.

  30. #30 DuWayne
    November 14, 2010

    Brian –

    I took the fact that the children’s (presumably) father – called ex-husband by their mother – was the one who got the dog off the daughter to imply that she was likely not even present. My guess, based on what was actually said, is that the kids were with their dad for the weekend (or whatever) and visiting one of his friends.

    Sadie –

    I find the notion that a fucking dog being stabbed leading the story about a little girl playing on her porch taking a bullet, absolutely obscene. Not that I don’t appreciate that a police dog was stabbed, but the little girl getting shot story getting buried beneath that and a hell of a lot of other shit is absolutely disgusting.

    I really don’t care if that is anthropocentric of me. I have always and will continue to place a much higher value on human life, than I do non-human life – even when the non-human life is a rather heroic figure.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    I don’t think blame is a pie of which there is a limited amount. Every single adult probably knew the children were unsupervised with the dogs. I don’t understand what could make the owner or mother more at fault. Apparently I am alone in this since everyone else is fighting over who is to blame?

    Also I think Megan’s assertions about the kids have to be true on some level. Their actions, whatever they were, were inappropriate for the pack.

    Regarding blame, you are essentially right about that. Related, I find it interesting that no one has mentioned (unless I missed it) that a three and six year old supervised by no one is the same as a three and six year old supervised by the neighbor’s dog: Not done.

    I’m assuming that adults were in the vicinity but just not on the spot. And, under conditions of having two big dogs around, that should not have happened ideally, but things are not always ideal.

    Regarding the dogs being part of the pack and all that: Sorry, I call bullshit on that one. Dogs that are either bred or trained in such a way that they are not kid safe should never, ever be around kids, especially alone with them, period. Other dogs that happen to bite kids are doing something that no amount of romanticizing about the woolfy nature of these animals excuses. The dog bites the kid, you kill the dog. It has always been that way, and THAT is the reason the dogs don’t routinely eat our children any more.

    (They used to, of course, when they were still pure wolves instead of the broken wolves they are).

    But today we live in a slightly different society where you can actually avoid killing the dog, and that would be nice to do, because we can separate out or living spaces. Also, we don’t know in this case, as has been mentioned, how severe this situation really was, but it does sound like it was going pretty badly when dad had to kick the dog to get its teeth off the toddler. (Frankly, had it been me, the dog my not have survived that stage of the story. I have a bionic knee. yes, I can imagine coming across a dog gnawing on huxley. Right through the goal posts, pooch!) So it’s a bit of a tossup without knowing more. (And, I hasten to add, this is exactly what the authorities are doing, getting more info, making a careful decision.)

    Bottom line: In our society, these animals are pets. Pets are not to gnaw on the children, period, end of story. The vast, vast, vast majority of dogs will not gnaw on the children. Those that do are exceptions and must be treated as such. That is how domestication works.

  32. #32 DuWayne
    November 15, 2010

    Something just occurred to me, or more accurately, it just occurred to me to ask…Sadie, what are your views on animal testing in science? I ask because I am rather curious just how far wrong you actually believe anthropocentrism actually is and because I have spent far too many hours listening to and reading the works of animal rights extremists, to take any of them the least bit seriously – except the terrorists, I take the terrorists very seriously, because I fucking despise terrorists and their nasty little plots.

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    March 26, 2012

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