Let this be a lesson…

Fiona had a sleep over with her brother Frankie on Monday night while we were on vacation. She had a good time, she has been really tired since. The weather has just been beautiful so we have had some nice walks. Fiona is really a good dog.. sometimes she can be really sassy, but overall she is great! Lately, since she has been so tired and her energy drained, it’s been easy for her to just relax and not worry about different nosies she hears or people she spots in the neighborhood. Sometimes she just goes crazy and I can’t distract her away from her fixation for the life of me. This just shows the importance of exercise for a dog. They need that time to drain their energy and feel like there is a job to do. I believe this is the number one way to have a happy pet.

On our way home from vacation, we received a disturbing call from Adam’s sister. She told us that our almost 3 year old niece had just gotten mauled by the dog at Daycare. They were at the hospital and our niece had just gotten out of surgery. The dog bit Simone about 4 times on her face. She has bite wounds on her forehead, cheeks, eye and lip. She seriously looks like she got into a bar fight! Simone will be just fine, she was in a little pain, but was singing and really being a little trooper and we are so proud of her. A plastic surgeon stitched up some of her puncture wounds internally and then glued them on the surface to reduce scaring. We were all just sick that this had happened. When we arrived at the hospital, the Animal Control Officer was there taking a statement. I won’t go into all the details, but she was just sickened by the situation. She said that this case was the 2nd worse she had seen. She believed the dog was dangerous and called for a police officer to come up to do a full report. They took pictures and kept Simone’s bloody t-shirt as evidence. They decided that they would remove the dog that evening from the daycare property because it was dangerous (I heard they removed the dog and plan to destroy it and test it for rabies).

I have so many mixed feelings about this situation. I honestly don’t blame the dog at all.. I blame the owners. I have so many questions.. what kind of dog is it? Does it really matter what kind of dog? Any dog can attack.. some are less likely but still can in the right situation. Did Simone prompt the attack? Simone bumped the dog by accident while reaching for a pillow. Another little girl at the Daycare told Simone to tell the dog she was sorry.. Simone turned to the dog to pet it and say “sorry” and the dog attacked her. Why was this dog around a bunch of kids everyday? I wouldn’t trust Fiona around a bunch of kids unsupervised! She loves the kids in the neighborhood and she loves Simone, but I am not going to assume she wouldn’t bite a child.. sometimes she gets snippy with her toys and I ALWAYS keep an eye on her and correct her. What are the warning signs of a dog that is about to snap? Was the dog walked or exercised? If I was around a bunch of babies and toddlers all day and I couldn’t get out for a walk or get away I would snap too!! It’s just too bad that some people don’t understand and aren’t responsible with their animals and as a result the animal has to be destroyed. I don’t want to cast judgement here, but the whole thing just doesn’t sound right and it sickens me. I believe this whole situation could have been avoided with proper care.

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6 thoughts on “Let this be a lesson…

  1. I agree with your comments. They (experts) say that even if a dog is the sweetest, friendliest dog, to never leave it unattended and alone with children. They are still a dog and can reach a breaking point also. It’s too bad that the dog may have to suffer for any negligence on the owners part. It’s even worse that a CHILD has to suffer for that negligence if there is any.
    I feel bad that that happened to your neice. That is always a horrible thing. I hope there won’t be much scarring. I hope also, that she won’t be afraid of dogs after this.
    Tricia

  2. The Animal Control Officer encouraged my sister-in-law to NOT keep Simone away from dogs and that she should find a really nice mellow dog for Simone to be around so she doesn’t develop a phobia. Simone was always really good with dogs.. she was gentile and kind and never posed a threat.

  3. It’s amazing how natural it seems that dogs are around people. We’ve domesticated them & we now have a bond, a connection to them in ways that we feel comfortable to leave them with children, like babysitters. It’s the unfortunate few that can handle the attention & even more few that can handle the responsibility of being good at all times, no matter what happens.
    If a child pulls the dog’s ear or the cat’s tail, the animal is not to react with aggression.
    My dog Pierce has been fabulous around children (people) & other animals, but I have seen him play with other dogs & if the other dog gets too playful, he will put them in their place.
    I expect that & respect that. But it goes to show you that if a person, young or old should push that last proverbial straw, I expect he could growl & possibly nip at that person.
    Especially when the dog is tired, hot, sore, eating or resting comfortably, they should be given respectible space & understanding. Kids of all ages need to be reminded of that. But the owners are the ones that have to make sure that the dog has that space.
    It’s too bad that the situation was so traumatic. (I have been biten many times, but never in the face & it was always my fault.)
    I sure hope your niece can grow up knowing she is a precious angel & that the kindness in her heart for animals is always a treasure to the animal she is near.
    If you want to come visit with Pierce, you are welcome.
    ~SMD

  4. My first emotion to reading this was sadness, for you niece who had to go through it and for the dog. Simone sounds like a very brave girl-I bet I could go a mile with Belle with an ounce of her courage.
    I am having alot of mixed emotions about this why did the dog do it, well I suppose something snapped for him. Does the dog really deserve to die, in NO way do I think it’s okay for a dog to have attacked your niece but should he be the one punished? What about the owner? it’s just that humans get so many second chances and animals get so few and are almost always automatically blamed and terminated.
    I know my dog Jazz would bite if someone was not respecting her space so I always keep three eyes on her when she’s around kids. She has never bit but she will warn kids with a growl if their getting too grabby like she’s saying “hey you’re bigger than me and I don’t want to get hurt so back off a little.” She does get along with kids and will give them kisses but she knows how big she is and how big they are. I wouldn’t want to be squished by someone 5 times my size either.

    I can’t imagine going through what Simone did, I cried just getting bit by a malmute, three times in the hand and I know it was what the owners had NOT done with the dog that made him so afraid and aggressive. And I can only imagine he barley got a fraction of the exercise he required, their meant to run all day I can’t imagine people having the time for that. Everyplace that dog went to he was turned away. It’s amazing what exercise can do for dogs.

    My aunt has a dachshund that LOVES and I mean LOVES kids-he is a face licker so I don’t know if that would be a bit intimidating for Simone but if you would like to have them meet that wouldn’t be a problem at all! -I dont want to push anything on you but just want to let you know we’re here if you need us.

  5. I agree with the other comments completely. People have to be respectful of animals with parents teaching the kids, and the owners have to be responsible for their animals.

    It reminded me of something that happened a long time ago. I knew of some people who didn’t watch their 2 year old. They would let her go outside by herself. One day when the ‘adult’ went back in the house, the little girl went to pet the big dog next door who was chained up. She ended up with 3 layers of hundreds of stitches. I saw the shirt she was wearing. It was scary! That was totally the parent’s fault!!

    I moved away right after that and never found out how she (or the dog) ended up. She must be around 33 years old now.

    Not a pleasant story, but your situation just reminded me of it. Fortunately, Simone has loving parents and relatives to watch out for her and make sure this experience is shaped in a possitive way.

    Best wishes to all involved.

    Lisa

  6. Thanks for all of your kind words! I am happy to know there are some people that have good sense when it comes to understanding animal behavior. Thank you Suzanne and Amelia for offering a dog that would create a positive experience for Simone. I will keep you in mind if that time comes. Simone is doing well, she is an amazing kid!

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