I used to think all dogs were created equal. Now that I am older and wiser, I know this is not the case.
All of my family members are dog lovers. We got a Labrador-chow mix, a large dog, in 1990. Pizza, so-named by our four-year -old was great with kids, and very protective.
However, later in life, she developed chronic ear infections, in addition to being very protective of her family and her property. Anytime anyone but the family touched her ears or came on our property, they were snapped at.
Pizza snapped at a child who was touching her ears and left two little tooth marks. She did this a second time, and we had her put down.
I was injured in the line of duty at work at the Great Bend Tribune. I was over at one of my communities, and I was bit on the knee through my pants by a shitz tzu. There were two tiny tooth marks. And I was on the dog’s property.
Whacking it with my reporter’s notebook was enough to scare it off. I knew that notebook was good for something.
However, a completely different scenario occurred when our second family dog was attacked by the neighbor’s pit bull/boxer mix. That dog attacked to kill, leaving hundreds of tooth marks.
I live in an older section of town and our driveway is accessed through the city alley. An adult member of my family was walking down the alley with 80 pound Lucky following. She was worn out after a weekend at the lake and we were on public property, no where near anyone’s else’s land.
Suddenly, for no reason we know of, the neighbor’s pit bull/ boxer mix, stalked Lucky down the alley and then attacked her. There had never been any interactions between the two, and we were not on the pit bull’s property.
My husband started banging on the pit bull with a branch. The pit bull wouldn’t let go. The owner came over and started banging on the pit bull with a branch as well. The male dog wouldn’t let go.
I brought out a bucket of water. Lucky stopped her counter attack and cringed when showered with the water. The pit bull wouldn’t let go.
Not knowing what to do, I opened the door to our truck and started throwing items at the pit bull, including Comet. The pit bull wouldn’t let go.
Finally, Lucky’s ear finally shredded as she continued to pull away and she jumped into our truck, leaving the vehicle drenched in blood. The pit bull still had his jaws clenched, but the owner got him in his yard. Lucky lived despite the 60 or so stitches.
I’ll never forget the comment of the police officer as he drove up. “It’s always pit bulls.”
I no longer think all dogs are created equal, and that there is a difference between a dog bite and a vicious, unprovoked attack.
Pit bulls bite to kill.
Karen LaPierre is a reporter for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.