Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Dog Moment

Yesterday as I was walking down the street with my two kids, ages 6 and 5, two men were walking towards us with a pit bull. The pit was not on a leash and was freely roaming about, running ahead of it's owner and sniffing here and there as dogs tend to do.
I don't know where my kids got the idea to be afraid of it, but the sight of this dog approaching us unattended, made them panic. Both kids grabbed on to me on either side and tried to climb me as if I was a tree. The owner of the dog was watching our proceedings with an impassive expression.
"You should have your dog on a leash", I said to him.
Without batting an eye he growled - "Mind your own f***** business!"
Well, I'm pretty sure that my kids hysterics and safety is MY business, but I did not take this further, not having any confidence that the creep wouldn't seek his dog on us.

I've lived in NY most of my life, and by now I should be immune to some New Yorkers particular brand of rudeness, but I'm not. The incident had a very deep impression on me.

Firstly, there is a law in most states, NY included, stating that a dog's owner is obligated to have the dog restrained at all time in public places. Second, pit bulls are famous for being aggressive. I was not even aware to what extent, until I googled them and found numerous articles of cases where people were mauled, scarred for life and even killed by unrestrained pit bulls. All of you dog advocates out there, don't get your feathers ruffled yet. I'm not saying that all pits are inherently evil or dangerous, but there must be a good reason why this particular breed is outlawed in some States/Countries and those people who chose to own one, have a responcibility to take proper precoutions in the interest of public safety.
Third, speaking as a mother of two precious, dearer than life, children, how dare anyone out there take chances with my, or any kids safety in the inerests of their dog?!
Finally, the fact that this man, in his early thirties, had absolutely no scruples about cursing out a mother in front of her small innocent children, for showing justified concern for their safety is just beyond low. Why do some people insist on being such scum?
In our family, we positively abhor cursing. Not for any religious reasons but because we feel it's lowly and undignified. We strive to raise our kids to be intelligent, pure and compassionate individuals who will never lower themselves or their fellow humans by resigning to such language, and it saddens me to think how many rotten people my kids will have to encounter on their journey through life.
Thankfully, this incident only left us with a bad feeling, but there's a lesson to be learned from all of this. I know what I learned, I hope you people learned something too.
Though this has absolutely nothing to do with the general gist of my blog, I had to get it off my chest as I feel very strongly about this point.


Drewablank said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry you and your little ones had to experience that. Regardless of the dog breed, it IS the law (in most, if not all, states) to always have a leash on your dog, and this particular owner who you encountered was definitely, not only extremely rude (AND completely INCONSIDERATE!), but not following the law.

It is dog owners like this that make me sad, because like you said, not ALL dog owners are like him, not ALL pit bulls are dangerous, not ALL pit bull owners are like him....but unfortunately, it's experiences like this that make people think otherwise. :(

I'm thankful that you and your little ones were not harmed in any way. And as a proud owner of a Jack Russell Terrier and Dachshund, I do leash them whenever we're outside! :)

Sophie said...


Thanks for your kind words and for being a responsible dog owner :-).
Oh, I love Dachshund! If I could have a dog that would be my first choice. In another life, before my kids were born, I used to have a sweet cocker spaniel.

SubWife said...

How dare you suggest that human rights take precedence over dogs'? Dogs have feelings too, you know, and they must be taken into account. I am sure no dog wants to be on a leash. It's time you realized that animals are people too...

Ok, ok, I am being sarcastic here... But in your case you just witnessed that some people are worse than animals. Sorry you had to go through this.

a brown-eyed grrl said...

If you had a cell, you should have called the cops, even if you had to wait until you were at a safe distance.

Wonder how the big man would have liked that.

Sophie said...

No offense to officers everywhere, but they're usually not in a hurry to show up unless someone is actually hurt.

Maggie May said...

I really feel for you and yours! And what a dreadful response, enough to truly make your heart race at the unreasonableness and to fear what such an unreasonable person might be capable of! Not really the type of dog owner to inspire confidence in off-leash dogs or in his ability to have so precisely trained his dog as to believe a leash was not necessary...

Anonymous said...

i have a dog that's part pitbull. and while she's very friendly with people, she doesn't get along with any animal at all, period. so if i were walking on that same street, and if that pitbull came up to my part pitbull you bet there would have been one nasty fight. normally what i do is if i see a dog that isn't on a leash, i have to walk my dog across the street, to avoid any kind of interaction. all dogs should be on a leash even if they're friendly dogs. otherwise if anything happens, they're the ones who are going to be responsible.

and another thing, i cannot stand owners who give their dog 30 feet of lead (retractable leashes) that's just as bad as not being on a leash at all!!

C said...

I love dogs and I have met several pits- they were all very well mannered and friendly- but they are really strong dogs and there are reports all the time about hideous attacks. The guy was a complete idiot to not have his dog on a leash; he was a bigger idiot to not be decent to your children AND he was so out of line for cursing at you that he was probably breaking some other laws as well... I hope he does not live in your neighborhood and that you do not have see him again.


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