Monday, March 27, 2006

Kid Attacks Dog, Dog Bites Kid

An 11-year-old Stevenson Ranch boy suffered lacerations to his face, nose and head Sunday afternoon after he was attacked by the family dog, officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

Paramedics responded to a call that was received at about 3:30 p.m. after the dog, a Great Dane, attacked the boy after he “was making growling noises at the dog and roughhousing,” said dispatch supervisor Brendon Peart.


Assuming this story is accurate and complete…

First thing… If you play attack games with a dog, even if it is your own dog, expect to be bitten or mauled by the dog. I tell this to families all the time. The dog doesn’t see it as a game, but a challenge. What was this dog supposed to think? Another “animal” was growling and roughhousing with it… challenging it to a fight. What do you think the dog is supposed to do? It is an ANIMAL, not a person. They don’t understand humor, or jokes, or irony, or your good intentions. They just read body language and translate it into “dog” language. This was a challenge to a fight, period. A fight was provoked, and a fight was what happened. The kid was lucky he wasn’t killed by a full blown attack. This bite was just a warning bite. This wasn't even a full blown attack, but a defensive bite. A mauling is a completely different type of biting incident. Imagine if it had escalated even further before the dog finally was provoked to the point of biting this kid?

Second thing. WHERE WERE THE PARENTS? It isn’t clear what was happening from this article, but you can theorize that it fits the pattern of other similar attacks. These types of incidents aren’t usually the first time the kid has done this to the dog. I have received numerous inquiries from parents after their kids had been bitten after doing this very same thing. They tell me how the kid had tormented the dog from the very first day it got home, and how they had told the child to stop over and over again, but the child wouldn’t listen. Hey, Parents! You don’t just tell them to stop, you MAKE them stop! If I lived on a hog farm and had a small child that wanted to climb into the hog pens and harass the pigs… I’d do whatever I had to do to stop that kid from bothering the animals and being attacked. If I lived in a dangerous neighborhood, and there was a gunfight among gangs outside, yet my kid wanted to go outside to get involved, I’d stop them any way I could to prevent them from being shot and killed. I’d tan their hides real good if that’s what it took. I’d do WHATEVER it took to make sure my child was safe! This was an 11 YEAR OLD BOY, old enough to know better and to listen to his parents. This kid was also old enough to know that what he was doing was harassment to the dog, so he got what he deserved, unfortunately. And if the parents were negligent over the years with this kid and dog, then I’d blame them, too, for this incident.

I wouldn’t put this dog to death for being vicious, either. This is normal dog behavior, considering the circumstances.

Look, I don’t want to see any kid ever get hurt by a dog. But, you have to exercise some common sense when dealing with dogs! You can’t just do whatever you want in life and expect it all to turn out OK. You can’t drive a car at 110 mph in a residential neighborhood and not expect to get in a car wreck; can’t drink 2 gallons of Vodka in 5 minutes and expect to live; can’t jump off a 20 story building head first and expect to not die; can’t have sex with 1,000 strangers and not expect to get HIV; can’t stare at a laser beam and not expect to go blind; can’t jump into a boiling volcano and expect not to be vaporized; and you can’t expect that you can threaten a dog and not be bitten. Sorry, life doesn’t work that way.

Some lessons just have to be dished out by life. Unfortunate, but that’s just the way things are, and now this kid, this family, and yes, this dog, are now all going to suffer for it.

2 comments:

Goo Review said...

I'm the boy's father. We were in the house. I was in the downstairs and my wife was up. The dog had never acted aggressively toward a person before. Never. So, this was without warning.

It wasn't a warning bite. It was a full-blown attack. The only thing that saved our son's life was that he bit his head several times - and not his neck. Behind the skin in the head there is bone - so the bite - whereas severe - could only go so deep.

Behind the skin in the neck there is no bone so our son would have died if he was bit in the neck.

The reporter got the story wrong. He was not roughhousing. He was simply trying to get a toy out of the dog's mouth...a bottle of invisible ink from a magic trick...so the dog wouldn't swallow it and get sick.

The lesson - tell kids to keep faces away from animal's mouth - even if they have never bitten before. And if the dog growls...that's a warning. Stay away.

Goo Review said...

I'm the boy's father. We were in the house. I was in the downstairs and my wife was up. The dog had never acted aggressively toward a person before. Never. So, this was without warning.

It wasn't a warning bite. It was a full-blown attack. The only thing that saved our son's life was that he bit his head several times - and not his neck. Behind the skin in the head there is bone - so the bite - whereas severe - could only go so deep.

Behind the skin in the neck there is no bone so our son would have died if he was bit in the neck.

The reporter got the story wrong. He was not roughhousing. He was simply trying to get a toy out of the dog's mouth...a bottle of invisible ink from a magic trick...so the dog wouldn't swallow it and get sick.

The lesson - tell kids to keep faces away from animal's mouth - even if they have never bitten before. And if the dog growls...that's a warning. Stay away.