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Not the "walk in the park" I expected

Cactus Flower
August 17th, 2004, 06:41 PM
I took Raj to the park today. This was not an off-leash park. It's not even a "dog park". Just a plain old ordinary park. Pets are allowed on a leash only. Just wanted to walk and let Raj get a drink out of the stream that runs through it. On one end of the park is the playground, with parents sitting off in the grass and relaxing. The other end on the far side had no people- except a couple that was reclined on a blanket, while their two pitbulls roamed free. Hmph. Raj spotted them, but they did not see her.
I thought perhaps it would be best if Raj and I walked out of the pitbulls' view. I didn't know if they were aggressive, or if the owners had seperated themselves to the opposite end of the park because of that. I walked to the area in front of the playground, where everyone was lounging around in the grass.
A few minutes later, the male pit bull came around the corner. I guess he'd noticed Raj sometime during our walk back to the playground. I started walking towards the parking lot where I was parked, hoping I could make it to the Jeep before the pit bull made it to us. (Before anyone shakes a finger at me for "pre-judging" this pitbull- I didn't assume it was aggressive, but I was not going to stand there to find out. If it was on a leash I would not have had any worries).
I didn't make it to the Jeep.
The pitbull came bolting across the stream and right up to Raja, nose-to-nose. I was very nervous, but tried to maintain my calm because I didn't want either dog to pick up on it. The pit bull sniffed Raj's nose, then went to sniff her behind. I knelt and took the pit by his collar, and pulled him slowly away from Raj with one hand- with the other hand I pulled Raj away from him. So here I've got a dane in one hand and a pit on the other, and I'm kneeling between them.
The pit bull then focused on me, gave me a puzzled look like "What? What'd I do?", and sat down. I let go of his collar and patted his head, then held the collar again. Patted his head. Held the collar. Patted his head....wondering...."Ok now what do I do?". His owner was nowhere in sight- way around the corner. He seemed ok but I still didn't want to let him go.
That's when I noticed the crowd around us. People had us surrounded. One lady said "I can't believe you're standing between them", a man said "Is that one of the two dogs from over there?" gesturing to around the corner, and a little boy said "Oh gosh, I don't want to see your big black dog eat him (the pit)".
I explained that this pit does belong to the people over there, and could someone please-
but at the word "PIT", everyone LITERALLY scrambled. Oh brother. One lady was left standing there with her husband and child. The lady kneeled and tried to call the pitbull over to her and away from me and Raj, but he wasn't responding to her. The husband went stomping over to the owners, and as he and the owners came back I could hear him saying "This is NOT an off-leash park....you need to contain your dogs....", and I could hear the owner reply "Why? Did he bite someone?".
The owner came over and casually got his dog, who was still at the time sitting on the grass getting the pet-hold-pet-hold routine from me. As soon as that man neared me I felt the overwhelming urge to knee him in the groin.
Not only was he allowing his intact male pitbull and other (female?) pitbull to run loose, but this male that I was holding had patches of fur missing from crusty areas all over his body (mange? they weren't bites), his eyes were crusty (yellow) and his nose was crusty - he looked (and smelled) so terribly sickly and uncared for. And with all of his obvious maladies, he still was very friendly to me, loving just a simple pat on the head.
I left the park with a mixture of feelings, none of which were the relaxed contentedness that I usually leave with. By the time I got home I was also wondering "what will the folks on the board think of this?"

Do tell.

moontamara
August 17th, 2004, 06:50 PM
Cactus Flower, you obviously handled that EXTREMELY well! I'm so proud of you! However, no matter how much you love Raj, it might have been overly brave of you to sit between them! I guess you were counting on the fact that you know Raj wouldn't hurt you, and if you kept loving up the pit, he wouldn't hurt you either... Still, overly gutsy!!! Can't say I wouldn't have done the same, although in my case it would mean picking my pooch up. I guess we all learned something from your story, however -- if you need help with a pitbull from strangers, best not to mention its a pitbull!

Poor pitbull, too. Sounds like his owner sucks.

Cactus Flower
August 17th, 2004, 07:02 PM
Thanks MoonDarlin! I wasn't sure if I did ANYTHING right in that situation. When I was driving home I was thinking all sorts of things I could (should?) have done differently (hindsight, you know...)......."I should have asked him what kind of medical attention his dog was getting"......"I should have asked someone to please take Raj for a few minutes".......
And yes: ......"I shouldn't have said 'pit'...."

But that's why I put it up here. Lemme have it, friends! Critical or otherwise, your comments mean a lot to me. :D

Cactus Flower
August 17th, 2004, 07:25 PM
LOL
Believe me, something veeeeeery similar to "HOLY CRAP!" went through my head when he bolted through that stream straight for Raj.....something very similar indeed ;)

badger
August 17th, 2004, 07:34 PM
I admit to being recklessly fearless around dogs but move just a bit more slowly towards a pit bull since they are often TRAINED to be aggressive (although I've met some sweethearts). I think you acted intuitively and skilfully. A bit risky, perhaps, but being a dog owner you were probably alert for any signs of impending doom.
If anyone has any ideas on an effective way of raising the issue of a sick animal with its owner, please post it here.

Lucky Rescue
August 17th, 2004, 07:35 PM
I'd like to tell you what I think of it, but this is a family board and I would be banned for language.

"Knee in the groin"? A few strokes over the head with a baseball bat is more like it.

It makes me SICK that my right to own my dog is being endangered by empty headed morons like this. Makes me wonder why I bother being so super careful and responsible.

That dog sounded perfectly nice, but we know if a pit bull even LOOKS at someone funny, the next thing are headlines screaming "PIT BULL Threatens Group at Park!!"

If this happens again, please call the police and report this violation of the leash law. Maybe a fine will knock some sense into these mouthbreathers.

Cactus Flower
August 17th, 2004, 07:47 PM
I certainly will, LuckyRescue. And I too am sorry that people like that make it so difficult for people like you.

The dog did seem ok for as long as I was petting/distracting him, but I still couldn't be sure. My pitX "Kiva" was so strange- she would attack without any warning- she wouldn't growl or snap or make a single sound- she'd just approach the other animal, sniff, and then bite, latch on and shake. So I always have it in my head that a dog might not have obvious aggressive intentions, and better safe than sorry.

Do you think the other pit, if it was female (as I believe it was), would have been more likely to attack, since Raj is female? Is an intact male less likely to attack a female dog because of ......romantic (for lack of a better term) distractions?

I thank God that both of them didn't see her. I'd have had to grow another arm in a hurry!

Cactus Flower
August 17th, 2004, 07:53 PM
Thank you, badger :)

Lucky Rescue
August 17th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Do you think the other pit, if it was female (as I believe it was), would have been more likely to attack, since Raj is female?

Difficult to say - depends on how dog aggressive she is (or isn't) Not every pit bull will attack other dogs. Females are often "hotter" than males and quicker to engage, although males do more damage.

The male who approached Raja may not be aggressive at all - if he was, all the petting in the world wouldn't have stopped him.

My own dog is not aggressive, but she is intolerant of rude dogs - aren't we all??;)

Your Kiva, although a mix, sounds exactly what a true "gamedog" is like. No aggressive displays - just an attack. This kind of deadly aggression is NOT typical and is the trait that dogfighters strive for.

"Better safe than sorry" - that's MY credo with my dog.:)

Luba
August 17th, 2004, 10:23 PM
That must have been a very nervous experience and I do think you did handle it well. Well enough considering that dog wasn't behaving in an aggressive manner but sheesh what if it had? You, Raja or others could have been hurt.

What a shame, these stupid ignorant people do this type of stuff all the time without thought or care to what may happen.

Just this evening I counted (5) dogs at a local school yard with a bunch of teenagers. Each one was talking about how 'vicious' there dog was. The dogs all looked liked mixed breeds of pits, rotties and shepherds.

None of the dogs were on leads and ALL of them were provoking these dogs to destroy a childs playground set. Yup the tire swings, ropes, you name it...they were gettin the dogs to tear them apart.

This is a school yard that I normally walk through with Sadie but I just got right back in the car and went elsewhere...let them drink their beer and behave like idiots on their own... until something happens. :cool:

This same group makes their rounds, gets kicked out of places and they just move to the next location like a circle.

glasslass
August 17th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Wow! You're pretty cool-headed! How was Raja during all this? Was she nervous? I also wonder about all the people that came running. I hate to think it, but maybe they were hoping for a show! My pop was called to shoe a horse once. It was his first time with that particular horse and when he arrived there was a large crowd hanging around. While he was getting out his tools, he asked a small boy what had happened the last time he was shod. The boy answered, "He kicked the H**L out of em!" No warning to my pop at all; just hanging around to watch the show! Pop tied the horse so that he was forced to stand off-balance slightly and then proceeded to shoe him without any problems. When they realized there would be no show, they drifted away. I would hate to think those people were willing to watch, not help, you in your predicament! I'm impressed with how you handled it!

Cinnabear
August 18th, 2004, 12:10 AM
Omg :mad: Does that male have a brain or what? Allowing 2 dogs unleashed in a park area. Also I'm amazed that those people didn't have words with that owner, especially with kids running around. Poor dog to be in that condition.

I think you handled yourself very well in a situation like that. :)

Cactus Flower
August 18th, 2004, 12:23 AM
Thank you all.

How was Raja during all this? Was she nervous?

I really don't know, to be honest. I was holding her with one hand but I was really focused on the pitbull on the other hand. Raj didn't struggle or anything, just stood there with me holding her. When he first ran up to her, she seemed interested in sniffing back but I seperated them so quickly. I'll bet she was just very irritated that I was giving another dog some "attention". She's bad about that lol.

I also wonder about all the people that came running. I hate to think it, but maybe they were hoping for a show!
You are probably right about this, GlassLass. I've seen that type of behavior in so many different contexts, it really doesn't phase me anymore. I was just scared and nervous at the time, and then very angry with the owner.

I am extremely disappointed in their reaction when I let the word "pit" slip out of my mouth. But I guess I know what to say now when I want people to really disappear in a hurry.......like when I'm standing in a long line at the bank...."HOW DID MY PIT BULL GET IN HERE????" LOL LOL LOL

chico2
August 18th, 2004, 07:37 AM
CactusFlower,you are one brave lady!!!!! But then again I might have done the same :D Poor pit though,I agree with the bat suggestion,there are so many idiots out there,getting a thrill out of peoples fear :mad:

Princesss04
August 18th, 2004, 10:05 AM
You are one barve lady, although the pit bull did not sound as if it wanted to hurt anyone. The sad thing is that it prolly just wanted someone to love on it. I mean if it was in that condition (health problems) than I am sure that it was not well taken care of or loved. You have a good dog for sitting there like that. :D

Lady_Eleven
August 18th, 2004, 11:28 AM
I'm glad that you and your dog came out of this un-harmed, and that luckily for your sake the dog did not appear to be aggressive. You can always be sitting thinking of hindsight and what you could have changed, but that's more a lesson for the future; I think you handled the situation as well as you could, and much better than most would have.

As for the ignorance of the owners of the dog(s), this is something that truely bothers me. Weither or not the dog bit someone isn't the matter, but the fact that they're willing to take that risk (which could be serious injury to a person, or having to get the put the dog to sleep, or the dog having a permanant muzzle order; which for the dog wouldn't be a wonderful life), not only means they're an irresponsible pair of pet owners and don't care about the public, but don't think 100 percent about the lives of thier dogs. The fact that the dog managed to wander off without them knowing is something else, the dog could have run out into the road or found something dangerous to eat (you never know these days with all those park poisonings), or who knows what. If they really thought about these things, they might have taken thier dogs to a fenced in dog park, or even as I have in the past, to a unused tennis court for ofleash play (I don't have a backyard).

I had a bad experience with an irresponsible dog owner a month or two back. I was out was out walking my dog on the lakefront trails and upon turning down another path could see a lady walking 4 very large dogs; 1 golden retriever and 3 (what looked like a type of) greyhounds ofleash. The golden was the first to come running up to us, and it didn't exactly have that sterotypical golden attitude (mushy marshmallow best friends with everything). He sniffed my dog, growled, and walked away. I was going to change my direction as to what path I was walking, figuring I wouldn't try my chances with the other 3), and one of the greyhounds came running at us and tried to attack my Maggie. Ofcourse my dog ran (she's on a 30 ft retractable), and the lady grabbed her dogs collar, and says "bad Owen, no!". then says to me "Oh, it's so hard to take care of 4 of them, it's alot to handle" and lets go of his collar and just walks away. No appology, no putting her dogs on a leash (and it's a law that all dogs are on leash down there). I was so ticked off. If it's so hard to handle them, then why have them? Or why not walk 2 at a time ON LEASH? I've seen joggers with dogs off leash down there, but they are too busy following thier owner to care about anything else. Not to say they shouldn't have some kind of retractable leash. But when I go down there and there are signs about it being a law to have dogs on leash and I expect to be protected by that, then I expect people to do what it says. Friendly dog or mean dog; poodle or pitbull, I really don't care. I was ready to call the cops on this lady, to fine her for every dog she had off leash (I don't think she was even carrying leashes as a back-up incase she needed them), but by the time anyone would have gotten there, it would have been impossible to find her, with all the trails and all. Seems a little harsh, but I don't care what anyone thinks as these dogs obviously have aggresive tendancies (excuse my rant, I'm done now lol).

As for the crowds reaction to the pitbulls, I find this kind of sad, but also understand the reality that alot of the wrong type of people own pitbulls, and have given the dogs bad reputations. They've trained them wrong (or haven't trained them at all), or used them for fighting dogs, bred them so that aggresive temperments are dominant and I think this scares people. I've been attacked by a pitbull, all because the kids in the family that used to own the dog, used to taunt it and tease it and hit it with ski polls. The dog for the rest of it's life has a reaction to attack children outside of it's family; ripped a hole in my arm, left a 5 year old girl with stitched in her face, and bit my friend all when it wasn't being watched. Anyways, if golden retrievers were trained to fight, I'm sure they'd get a similar reaction from people.

Cactus Flower
August 18th, 2004, 11:41 AM
Lady Eleven, you've brought up some very good points. Why DIDN'T he know where his dog was? And yes- he could have been hit by a car! There is a busy road right next to the park.

I can't believe the audacity of that woman on the lakefront trails.
Wait a minute, yes I can :mad:. I guess there are irresponsible people everywhere. I'm glad nobody got hurt in your situation, either. But it's the principle involved, the potential for disaster.

mastifflover
August 18th, 2004, 12:11 PM
I think you handled the situation really well. I probably would have done the same thing. The owner sounds like one of the reasons that BSL is happening to this poor breed. I have found since I have owned large and giant breeds that dogs seem to be more aggressive because of there size and no other reason (napoleon complex), that would have been my biggest concern for my dog that he has dogs get aggressive when he just stands there. But you handled the situation better by staying calm and calm enough that none of the dogs sensed your apprehension. Good Job Cactus Flower. Forget BSL ban the owners that treat there dogs like this and put others and there dogs at risk.

Lucky Rescue
August 18th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Friendly dog or mean dog; poodle or pitbull, I really don't care. I was ready to call the cops on this lady, to fine her for every dog she had off leash (............ Seems a little harsh, but I don't care what anyone thinks as these dogs obviously have aggresive tendancies (excuse my rant, I'm done now lol).

You are absolutely right, and not being harsh at all! I'm outraged when other people's untrained and offleash dogs come running up to me and my pit bull (who is doing NOTHING at all) and I don't care what breed they are.

One little mutt ran up to us and started trying to hump my dog like a maniac and this was in the middle of the street! The owner finally came out, chuckling about how his dog is "always getting loose." I told him he should find a way to prevent this, as other dogs wouldn't be as tolerant as mine and the next time his dog may get ripped to pieces. :mad:

Luba
August 18th, 2004, 01:17 PM
There is no shortage of moron dog owners!

The other day this jerkoff walking his dog offleash down my street. The dog was all over the place running and darting from house to house across the street. THEN Sadie barks out the window and this dog comes running up to my house (friendly dog) to see and play with Sadie.

I shout to the owner who is oblivious as his dogs scratching at my door SCREEN at Sadie. "Do you want a leash"

He ignores me so I say it again....he's a few houses away...and I say it yet AGAIN!

He shouts 'I never walk him on lead"

So I say 'Thats pretty stupid then come get him from destroying my screen'

He shouts back 'No you're stupid'

Can you believe the nerve of these people.
This was a guy in his mid 50's, owns his own house, should be more responsible right?

Nerd!

Cactus Flower
August 18th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Thank you, Mastifflover.

Hey Luba, next time just let the dog in, and while he and Sadie are playing the man will have to come and ask you for his dog back......and you can tell him you'll be happy to trade him for a new screen! :p

Luba
August 18th, 2004, 01:22 PM
Hey don't think I wasn't tempted and my mom knows me waaay too well!

I could hear her shout 'don't u dare let that dog in ' LMFHO!!

:p