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Three dog attack stories. Only one of them has a happy ending.

I like dogs, I really do. But the stories keep getting worse. And all I can say is, ‘Hooray’ for the boy who bit the dog.

I do not consider myself a perfect mom. Far from it. I’ve done stupid things and the only difference between tragedy and me was good luck. And I know that my views here are judgmental. You don’t have to tell me that. But some of these stories just make you fear for the human race.

Consider two stories from recent weeks.

Story 1: A mom has a 5-year old and a 1-month old. She went to sleep with the baby about 6 am. Next thing she knows, it’s 1:00 in the afternoon and her 5-year old says, ‘Hey, mom. Where’s the remote for the TV?’ She wakes up, sees that the baby isn’t quite where she left him (you think?), his diaper is off, and he’s a little bloody. Add up all of he information, and she discovers that the terrier/poodle puppy has bitten off the boy’s genitals.

The baby was IN BED WITH HER when the puppy bit him! Does she not notice the 6-month-old dog on the bed? Does she not hear the baby screaming? Does she typically get seven hours of sleep in the late morning with two little kids? Does her 5 year old get lunch? And not that watching the baby is his job, but wouldn’t you think the 5-year old might wake up his mom to say something like, ‘Hey, mom. I think the puppy bit my brother.’ I have no evidence to support this, but I wonder if the mom was under the influence of something?

The result of all this? They put the dog down.

Clearly, there wasn’t any other option, but was the dog really the responsible party here? I was kinda’ hoping the five year old would be removed from her custody. But, no charges are expected, as the spokesman for the Ft. Wayne, IN, police says that there’s no concern about neglect in this case. ??!!?!

I just don’t know how to politely express what I feel about this.

Story 2: Around 8:30 in the morning, grandpa put a 2-month old baby in the swing before he left for work. Dad (18 years old) had gone to work even earlier. Mom (who is 17-years old) and Grandma were home. At 10:19 in the morning, someone in the house called 911 to say the baby was dead. He’d been bit numerous times by a two-month old black lab. This puppy was also euthanized.

Again, who’s responsible? The police blame the dog, not the two people in the house at the time. But I’m trying to figure out how this happened. I understand you can’t always hear a baby on the other side of the house. That’s why they sell BABY MONITORS! I know you can’t watch your baby sleep every minute. So put him in his crib where he’s safe. Even without a dog, babies shouldn’t be left unattended in a swing. They can fall out. Finally, you don’t leave a baby anywhere for an hour and a half! We don’t even know how long it had been since mom saw her, as grandpa is the one who put the baby in the swing in the first place. What was she doing for so long that she completely forgot to check on the baby? I know you can’t respond to every whimper your baby makes. In fact, my four-month old is crying right now. But I know she’s OK because I keep checking on her. To her credit, pictures of the very young mom show her bawling. I do hope she feels guilty. She is.

But a third story makes me happy: an 11-year old boy who was attacked by a dog in the yard bit back.

Story 3: This is a story that is truly none of the adults? fault. And the boy is his own hero. An 11-year old was at his uncle’s house in the yard. A neighborhood dog’a pit bull’bit him. So the boy got hold of the dog’s neck and bit down as hard as he could; so hard that he lost one of his teeth. The boy didn’t kill the dog, but he attracted enough attention that some construction workers nearby could come help. I like this one. I’m sorry the boy got bit. I have no information about the dog or his owners. But I am so glad that it all turned out OK.

There are so many things I want to say that I just don’t know where to start. So let me get a few things off my chest:

  1. A child who is undisciplined is bratty, annoying and self-destructive. An animal that is undisciplined is dangerous.
  2. Babies should never be left unattended.
  3. This is mom’s fault, not the dog’s.
  4. Dogs and babies don’t mix. Puppies bite for play. Adult dogs bite when they are startled. Either one is bad for a baby who cannot defend himself.
  5. It’s my personal opinion that no one should own a Pit bull, Rottweiler or Presa Canario. I’ve heard how wonderful and smart they are. I’ve heard how 99.99999% of them would never hurt a flea. But the .000001% of them that will hurt fleas also hurt children, and they account for 74% of dog attacks in the US. That being said, the two awful attacks here were from dogs considered acceptable family dogs: a lab and a poodle mix.

For some reason, dog attacks are on the rise. There were 32 dog bite deaths in the US in 2007. (same source as above) That’s more than double the yearly average from the 80s and 90s. Why? I don’t know. All I can say is that these tragedies are preventable. I don’t own a dog, but that’s not the realistic solution for every family. How do we fix this problem?

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