I’m beside myself with dog parent disappointment. I have never felt this much shame or upset over any of our girls, none of our girls had ever behaved as badly as Kohl did that day back in August when he fought with a dog, and caused him to get stitches. If you follow me on twitter/Instagram you saw the post of my sweet, gentle, bighearted, kind, loyal boy Kohl with his muzzle on. For the record he hates it. For the record it makes him depressed, and confused. I don’t get why anybody, who is supposed to be assisting with the well being of all critters would mandate that a muzzle be worn by any dog. They don’t like it. It causes a normal, well adjusted, carefree dog to become inward, insecure and downright depressed. Further more it puts them completely at risk for a vicious attack against which they would not be able to defend themselves from. They will be on leash (disadvantage to all the off leash dogs–of which there are more of then dogs on leash, this is FACT at any beach or ravine hiking zone)and they will also be muzzled. How is this any good? It seems backward to me.
Like why would you take a normal, healthy, well mannered dog and insist it wear a muzzle. Listen, I don’t want to come across as one of those assholes who doesn’t take responsibility for it’s own pet or child. If you know anything about me from reading my blog and following me, I am all about ensuring a punishment fits the crime.
In this case the city is WAY out of line, and in fact the owner of the other dog is also a little bit of a delicate flower in my humble opinion. I’ve had dogs most of my life, and I have to tell you, I’ve had dogs of mine get their ears torn open by dogs who were off leash while their owner was jogging by, leaving our young daughters to manage a bleeding dog, all on their own while the dog owner didn’t even look back. Dogs do dog things. They are after all folks, wild animals. Sure we’ve domesticated them, we put clothes on them, let them sleep in our beds, give them voices, put our human emotions of how we would feel about something on them, we treat them like they’re human, as if they are members of our families. But at the end of the day, the truth is, they are unpredictable, wild animals that we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking we can control.
You may all be reading this saying; “Ummm Shantelle you’re totally contradicting yourself. Above you’re saying that it’s cruel that the city is mandating that he wear a muzzle, saying he has ‘feelings’ and he’s ‘distressed’ with the muzzle on. But now you’re saying they’re wild and unpredictable. Which side of the fence are you on???”
I’ll tell you what side of the fence I am on. I am on the side of the fence that they are sensitive, loyal creatures, who take their role in their pack extremely seriously. Their instinct is all they have to go on. Therefore when they feel like their pack is in jeopardy their instinct to defend, protect and save kicks in. Kohl for some reason is very dog about this. He is super committed to his role as protector of his Alpha. Mack. And now Mack is aging. Mack is deaf. When Kohl is out in the world with Mack he is his absolute, complete protector. So, when the two dogs lunged at Mack to start “beef” with him, Kohl went into; “NOT TODAY BITCHES” and showed those two dogs the way it was going to go down.
I’m on the side of the fence that dogs can’t be trusted, because they are wild animals with strong instincts coursing through their veins. This is why I do not walk my dogs off leash. I can count on one hand the number of times my boys have been in an off leash park. Why? Because they fight. No matter the time of day, month, or year that we’ve tried to take our guys to an off leash park a fight always broke out. Either some dog would come up and cause shit with one of our guys, or vice versa. So they don’t get that privilege. Because I don’t want the hassle.
Dogs should be leashed at all times when they are out in the world. This is my deep and strong conviction. The only time I allow my boys off leash is if I can literally see for miles in front and behind us. If I can see without a doubt that there is not another four legged citizen within our vicinity, my guys get let off leash. That is the only time. So why, my husband hired a dog walker who didn’t know or abide by this is a giant mystery to me. Why this woman, who didn’t go to puppy classes with them, who doesn’t live with them, who doesn’t have the alpha authority over them thought it was, even for a second a good idea to have all three of them off leash, bringing this sad, cruel outcome on my sweet boy is the biggest thing that makes me go “hmmm.” Why she didn’t also think for five seconds that the best case scenario was a fight might happen, why she didn’t worry that one, or all of them might run away from her is beyond me. Kohl is a fast mother fucker. He can spot a squirrel or another dog way off in the distance, and when he drops his head and takes off there is no human being on this planet who is catching him. Not going to happen.
This dog walker had poor judgement. She was foolish and now Kohl will suffer the consequence for her foolish choice.
As far as the other dog owner running to the hospital to get her scratch checked out for rabies. Really? Really? REALLY? You didn’t think to call us, and to ask for his vet records to ensure he was vaccinated? You had to immediately jump the shark and go right to the conclusion that a purebred dog hiking in an upscale part of Toronto was not vaccinated, and the outcome both you and your dog were going to meet was your certain death. Really? For Christ’s sake lady, are you NEW HERE?? He had tags on. One of which was a rabies tag, the other being the one with our number on it. I am a dog owner, I would never, ever assume the worst of a dog owner. I also would have handled it with said dog owner, and not involved the city, or the hospital. In fact when my two little girls were walking their dalmatian who’s ear was half torn off by a rogue Husky. I did what any dog owner would do. I loaded him into the car, took him to the vet got his ear stitched up and trusted all was going to be right in the world.
And you know what hysterical dog owner woman, it was. Just as it would have been alright with your dog too, if you had just taken five minutes to catch your breath, have a little faith and understand dogs will always be dogs. Oh yeah, and one more piece of advice, if by chance someway somehow you happen to read my blog, from my animal behaviorist and vet here is some sound advice. When dogs are fighting for the love of God do not reach in with your hands and try to break them up. Just kick their bums. Give their bums a tap with your foot, distract the dog from the fight and then grab a hold of the dog as it looks around to see where that came from.
Or better yet, dog walkers, keep the dogs that don’t belong to you on fucking leashes please, and thank you.
This has been a Shantelle Bisson PSA