When a dog attacks it is devastating for all involved.
Another day goes by, and we hear the terribly sad story of dogs mauling children and unsuspecting grownups.
A 5-day old baby boy was mauled to death by the family dog. An American Staffordshire. In a separate incident and both in Australia, another American Staffordshire had slipped its harness and escaped from its owner attacking a couple who were walking by.
I am a huge dog fan and have kept several dogs over the years. My first one was a Border Collie who sadly died in the RTA I had, and when the time came to get a dog after I had mourned the loss of Spot, I had to make the decision that the dog I got would be a small one as I had young children.
I was lucky as I got two and both were JRTs. Sandy was mixed with a dachshund and tiny and Spud was a full JRT but even then I would not leave them alone with the children because even as tiny as they were, I knew they could give a nasty nip.
We had boundaries and I brought the dogs into the family after I had the children and let them be made a fuss of, and they settled in really well, and they were actually very spoilt. Spud lived till he was 12 and Sandy 17 and we always kept strict boundaries on the fact that the children were not to take their toys, and yes they can play football with them as they both loved football and we fussed over them anytime some new came in the house.
Even when the grandchildren arrived we made a huge fuss of Sandy as sadly Spud had passed, and when Sandy passed I had to get another one as all my life I had had dogs and when Zeus the JRT arrived, the same rules were put in place and there were boundaries. With 2 of my grandchildren being autistic things could be unpredictable, and I had to get a dog that would make them feel at ease, as my daughter had made the mistake of getting a big dog and had to hand it over to the RSPCA due to the stress for both the dog and the children.
We have a very happy home with the dog, and he is always on a lead as I explain to people that he can be yappy on a walk, and children always ask first which is good as children should not be scared of a dog.
However, I myself have been attacked by an Alsatian with Zeus and the fear it put into me at my age was upsetting. We were not the first to be attacked by this man’s dog and he did nothing but now it is muzzled as he has been informed if the dog attacks again it will be seized. In this case it is a bad owner who has a large dog and cannot control it and sadly the dog will pay the price and lose its life.
I cannot imagine the pain and the heartache of losing your child to your dog but if you are going ahead and having children, then please get a smaller dog as they are like children and can get jealous. Zeus spends his whole time with me, and I tell people that I am his mother, and he knows where he stands. Can you imagine suddenly not being the whole world for people and the dog became jealous and attacked. Sadly, this led to the loss of the baby and the dog.
Large dogs are a handful, and they should only be in homes where there are no children or at least grown-up ones and not having to go through the stress of being relegated to 2nd best as we all know that having a new baby can be all consuming, and we tend to forget other things around us whilst making a fuss of the baby.
Police and paramedics tried to revive the little boy after they rushed to the property, but he was declared dead at the scene. On Sunday afternoon, district commander Detective Superintendent Darryl Jobson described the situation as ‘a matter of tragic proportions’. He said the fatal mauling was not the first vicious attack by the family dog – even in the past month.
It is a very sad incident but how many more times do we have to read of a child being maimed or killed by what could be some vicious animals if not handled correctly, and if this dog had attacked before then it was just an incident waiting to happen.
Big dogs need lots of space, lots of exercise and lots of stress-free times and they are perfect for a farm, out in the bush etc but not in a home.
There are now calls to ban the dog in Australia and this is not the staffie that we know and love here, and I have not met a nasty staffie yet out on my walks but again just because they have a great reputation, you cannot just leave them with small children. I have met an American Bulldog and it was huge and very muscular and whilst well behaved I kept Zeus away from him as I knew that it could turn in an instance, as could Zeus and my boy would end up worse off….
We have run into all sorts of dogs and some of them are the smallest and most vicious, and he has been attacked by a whippet….so they are unpredictable and maybe it is about time that not only should the pet be registered to you but there should be a database of animals that are considered vicious and removed such as the Alsatian, as well as compulsory insurance as vet bills can be high if your dog is attacked.
I am more than aware of dogs being out on the park and following the attack I now have a stick with me and will use it if a dog attacks me or my boy as if it cannot be controlled by its owner then it cannot be controlled, and sadly the dog will end up injured but it is a case of their dog or mine and it won’t be Zeus I lose.
Dogs are our best friend and very loyal but always remember that they have feelings and can feel rejected and will retaliate. If you are getting a dog, get one that can cope with your household and not one that is the latest craze.