Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tough choices

I work with a guy who has a dog who really does not like children. He doesn't have any kids, and doesn't ever intend to, so it shouldn't be a problem. But trouble keeps finding his dog.

About 2 years ago his dog bit a child that came into his yard. Now my friend definitely knew he had to keep his dog away from kids. His dog is perfectly fine around adults. Many dogs see children as a different species than humans. They do act very differently - they move faster and more erratically, they are louder and more emotional. They also are shorter, which makes them seem less dominant to dogs, but also puts them right at eye level. Kids like to stare dogs right in the eye, which is quite challenging and rude to dogs.

A few months ago a friend was staying at his house, and unannounced brought her son with her. While she was in the shower, she left her kid and the dog together unsupervised, and another bite occurred.

Two weeks ago, his girlfriend had the dog in the front yard while my friend was gone, and she went inside, leaving him in the company of another adult and child. This time a really serious bite occurred. My friend came home to EMS, cop cars, and a child with a horrible bite on the face.

I could see he was torn up inside about what to do about his dog. He truly loved him, and you would think you could keep a dog in this situation away from kids. Instead, the bites escalated with small exposures.

After the rabies quarantine was through, my friend made the excruciating decision to euthanize his dog. I agree with his choice, but I can't imagine how hard it must have been to say goodbye under these circumstances. Sometimes the right decision can be so difficult to face.

9 comments:

Laura said...

That just absolutely breaks my heart. Poor dog. Since we have no kids, I always worry about how our dogs will react around small children, too. Three bites, though...

get2eric said...

Oh my, what a terrible series of events.
My dog Patch is a pain with adults as well as kids but more so with kids.

However, if I stop brushing her teeth, maybe Dr Jenn will pull more and then, all she can do is gum 'em, heh?

Seriously, it was a terrible decision to make.........what a shame, poor doggie.

baseballmom said...

That's really sad...we just adopted a dog from some people that we met while camping. I observed this dog extensively interacting with the kids, and she was fabulous. She is also BIG--Mastiff/Lab--but we went for it anyway. Luckily, it was a great choice, but I always think, "What if..."

Emily said...

Wow. That's awful. It's too bad you can't train them to be less aggressive around children. Definitely a tough choice, and my heart goes out to your friend.

EdamameMommy said...

Would love to know if you think some dogs are capable of quitting child-related aggression through therapies like "The Dog Whisperer" professes or if you think such aggression is inherent and untreatable. Sad situation.

paula said...

Oh that is so very very sad, what a terrible decision to have to make.

angie said...

Such a sad story, for both the victims and the owner and dog. I do believe he did the right thing though. There are just too many homeless "good dogs" out there being euthanized daily that it just does not make sense to keep one that is such a potential risk.

Leah said...

I will never forget the day that Town Lake brought the police to pick up our friends dog. I went back to get him and he was happy to see someone. I kissed him and told him where he was going. I told him to be good and that I was sorry. I started to tear up. As I opened back door of the clinic, this poor dogs tail went between his legs and he started backing up the moment he noticed the animal control truck. I felt my heart drop and I just couldn't put this poor dog into the truck. I had another co-worker do it. We all said good byes and I knew in my heart that was going to be the last time we saw our friends best friend. He loves his dog and is really going to miss him. Good bye.....

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

Oh goodness.. that is so tough to deal with. We are SUCH dog people... I can only imagine how difficult this is to deal with. Keep us updated!
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues Girls
p.s. - Congrats to your sister!