Detailing the Issues
by Lorrie Tevabaugh
Unfortunately, in the last few days some in Boise City have experienced close encounters of the dangerous kind, the canine kind that is. Two people have been bitten and at least one family pet, a Cocker Spaniel, was mangled and killed by uncontrolled vicious dogs.
For years, as a dog groomer, I worked with dogs on a daily basis. I can assure you that most of our four legged friends are gentle and kind, crave human interaction, and only want the love and care of their owners. Some breeds, however, are bred to be more aggressive by nature, and in the wrong hands can become dangerous.
I worked at one grooming shop down state that refused to allow certain breeds in the door. The three banned breeds, included chows, rottweiler's, and pit bulls. Of course every dog has its own individual personality and I have seen some dogs of these breeds be exceptionally gentle and kind. I have also seen these same breeds (as well as others) be very nasty and even turn on their owners.
One day, before establishing the banned breed list, I was attempting to groom a Chow. The owner stood by helping. The dog, on the table, muzzled and tied, broke free and lunged at the owner, grabbing him by the throat. It took myself, the dogs owner, and my employer, to get the dog back under control. The owner, shaken, bruised, and sporting a nasty bite, insisted that the dog was just scared and a little cranky. The man actually wanted me to continue working on the animal! I refused. Like this man, some people deny the obvious and refuse to believe that their pet could be dangerous.
Sadly, others attempt to make vicious dogs. At school four or five years ago, I over heard three of my then students discussing how to make a mean dog. The boys detailed how one must make them (the dogs) drag heavy chains, feed them raw meat laced with gunpowder, and reward the animals for aggressive behavior. I gathered from their conversation that it was cool, in their eyes, to have an animal that others feared. When I tried to explain that dangerous practices like theirs were inhumane and wrong, the young men scoffed at me.
Aggressive dogs do have a place in our world. Trained canines assist law enforcement and the military, thus helping to catch criminals, protect Americans and save lives. Some animals defend guards in our prisons, and others patrol our borders and airports. The important thing to remember, though, is that these creatures are in the hands of professionals and are controlled at all times.
Certain dogs, by nature, are protective and territorial. I wonder in a small,quiet town like Boise City why some feel the need for this kind of protection. Don't most of us leave door unlocked and belongings in our cars? Even more, I have to wonder why the owner's of these dogs would let their aggressive dogs run loose. Children ride bikes all over town, and many people walk the streets. Animals do not understand yard boundaries, property lines, or the law. In a dog's mind a person walking down the street is threatening their territory or owner; because of that people are now afraid to walk the streets or let their children out to play.
An article in last week's paper said that it was illegal to ban certain breeds from Boise City. Personally, I think that law needs to be changed, but since it stands, we, as a community, must take action to make sure that no dogs are running loose. Please help law enforcement and report any loose animals. I say to others, don't be an irresponsible pet owner. There is no glory in having a dog that others fear. If you have a protective dog, please keep it contained so that no one else, including your pet, gets hurt or killed.
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278