After this past weekend, an update for the dangerous dogs situation is in order.
I bumped into a friend at a football game and we briefly discussed the recent Grassholes Update post. He asked if I’d toned down my stance on the Akita situation for liability reasons.
On the chance that someone else might wonder the same thing, I want to clearly address this: No. I have not changed my position. After carefully considering all facts, I maintain that my neighbors harbor dangerous and viscous dogs and continue to show a wanton disregard for safety.
When they aren’t trespassing or acting like Harvey Updyke, and when their dogs aren’t mauling other dogs, I have no problem with my neighbors. The fact that I have had a civil discussion with Jay, and the fact I actively listened to them, should in no way indicate that I’ve changed my stance.
As for liability, I have no concerns. I am entitled to my opinion. And every material assertion I’ve presented as fact can be corroborated by hard evidence or independent witnesses.
He still has the heart, but his body can’t keep up like it did before the attack. Something about the scarring still hurts him. On a good day we will play fetch in the power-line field behind my house. But the next day he’s always gimpy. Think about it: if your traps and lats were damaged and scarred up, you could see how that would affect the range of motion of your arms. I think that is what is going on.
Apparently, his back gets inflamed and irritated at times and becomes sensitive. This weekend my daughter couldn’t rub him with her bare feet, as is tradition, because he was so sore.
Duck season approaches, which is also making his new limitations hit home hard. This summer we discovered that Jake can’t be pulled back into the boat like he used to–like the way you are supposed to do with Labrador Retrievers–because it hurts his back to grab him now. He yelps like crazy when we try.
I’ve tried to keep this in perspective and not let it get to me. He was going to develop arthritis in a couple of years anyway. I know he’s just a dog, and I don’t want to lose touch with reality like some of those Sarah Mclachlan people who’ve gone over the top. [Nor do I want to be one of those people who blogs about anything and whines on the Internet–Ha!] But, for my family at least, nothing is more fun than watching a good dog work. Jake’s limitations are a major buzz kill.
My mother visited last week. Like only mothers can do, she henpecked me about the weeds in the flowerbed. I can live with that. She also henpecked me about the sidearm I wear any time I’m in my front yard with Jake. This cut too close to home. She said precisely what everyone else whose seen me wear the holster said: “That’s ridiculous.”
The reason it hurts my feelings is that she’s preaching to the choir. It is absolutely ridiculous. Nobody could agree more than me. It is embarrassing. But what else can I do?
I’ve asked this question of friends, family, defense experts, dog experts, even the Hoover authorities: What else am I supposed to do? Officer Wade advised me to pray.
I took his advice.
It’s been almost been six months since Jake’s attack, and almost two years since I first asked my neighbors to take responsibility for their dogs. I’m reminded of the situation every day, each time I cut up Jake’s pills, each time I see the Akitas, and each time I carry that stupid-ass gun to the mailbox.
As much as I hate to be one of ‘those blogger people’, I’m tired of this stuff accumulating inside of me without a way to vent. Bloggers claim it is cathartic to write about a topic. I hope they’re right, because I’m going to test it.
Here are some of the follow-up topics I plan to write about:
- Current Incidents
- A Question of Risks
- Indulging in Drama
- Akitas vs Pit Bulls
- Why was Jake in their back yard?
- Training Aggressive Breeds
- Contributory Liability and Negligence
- Open Carry vs Concealed Carry
- Who’s Responsible?
- Levels of Dishonesty
- When is a dog considered ‘vicious’?
- When does your neighbor’s business become your business?
- Blood Money
- Bad Dog or Bad Owner?
- Breed Discrimination
- Zero Margin of Error
- Why would people own a dog like that?
- Failed IQ Tests
- Actions Speak Louder than Words
- What do the other neighbors think?
- What’s the law?
- Why hasn’t Hoover Animal Control done anything?
- Why hasn’t the Ross Bridge HOA done anything?
These are just some ideas off the top of my head. And no, I am not joking: I really might write a post on every one of these and then some.
My neighbor, Jay, said that he doesn’t like the fact that I write about this stuff publicly. I do respect his point of view. Even when I disagree with it.