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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Of dogs and little boys

I like dogs. Quite a lot. We have cats, but I don't consider myself a "cat person", more of an animal person.

I personally don't believe that certain breeds of dogs that are inherently evil. There are certainly some breeds that have been bred so poorly that they now have issues, but that is a breeder problem, not the breed itself. There are also owners that, through training, mistreatment or attitude have taken an otherwise reasonable dog and turned it into something unpleasant.

That said there are certain breeds that you have to understand their purpose and be aware of it. I'm thinking of breeds like Doberman, Rotweillers and Pit Bulls. I'm not saying you cross the street, but you should probably be aware of what they are up to. It's like being in a bar and keeping an eye on the huge ass scary guy that is wandering around. It isn't that you automatically assume that he is going to cause trouble, but knowing where the biggest source of potential damage is, scores high on the "smart idea" scale.

All of this to say that I never ever run away from a dog simply because of it's breed, but I treat all dogs with the respect that they deserve, IE: they are beings that may not like my touching them, or the smell of me or what have you and may well want to express themselves by biting me.

So the other day Lucas and I were out for a walk on St-Laurent (ALL FUCKING HAIL SPRING!!!) and he was in his usual place on the sidewalk, close to the buildings so that if he manages to get out of my grip he has to cross me to get to the street.

So we're walking along and a woman and her Pit Bull come out of one of the apartments that open onto St-Laurent and I immediately jerk Lucas away from the dog.

This leaves me with a huge level of conflicted feelings: have I just implanted the idea that you should be scared of dogs into his head? am I being reasonable? overprotective? (the dog probably had 50 pounds on Lucas and THOSE TEETH) I felt oddly guilty, like I had just called someone of a different race or ethnicity a name. I gave the (what do you call the human on the other end of the leech) a sort of half assed "oh sorry I've just branded your dog a killing machine" smile.

I've thought about this since and I guess, if I had to explain it to her (and I guess the dog as well) that I would say "I know all Pit Bulls are not violent sociopaths of the canine world, I've petted several and found them to be quite nice, but I really can't take the chance of my son getting disfigured or killed to find out if yours is, indeed, a nice doggie."

Just another weird thing that never occurred to me before we had a kid.


At 9:45 p.m., Blogger J. Kelly said...

Pit Bulls are scary!
Also, I'm working in Montreal for the week... Huzzah for Montreal and Spring!

At 10:22 p.m., Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

The first time I met a pit bull I sat down and started petting it. My friend who were with me were all like "OMG OMG.. " and I was like "hello puppy", not because I am especially brave, but because I had no idea that this was a dread pit bull. I find most pit bull owners scarier than the dogs themselves. Honestly though, given that they are (to my knowledge) the only dog actually bred to attack humans, Dobermans scare the willies out of me. They are basically a tooth delivery system.

Also, you know where I am – Lucas naps in the mornings but we're around most afternoons, drop by Kelly (I'm changing the litter box tomorrow morning).

At 11:48 p.m., Blogger 4Sanity said...

Being a dog owner myself and not a parent i think it was a smart move, but not just for the pitbull breed. You never know what frame of mind any dog is in. Kids need to learn that although some dogs are friendly others are mean but all dogs can be deadly especially with children.

At 8:00 a.m., Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

4sanity, I agree totally. I've been teaching him the whole "let the dog smell your hand at arms length first" thing. I'm afraid that our cats patience with him might get him to thinking that all animals are going to put up with him head butting them.

At 6:56 p.m., Blogger 4Sanity said...

There's just been too many kids hurt by dogs. Like i said we have 2 dogs (no kids) but i have friends with kids and don't like to really let them mingle with the dogs, becuase our dogs aren't used to children you never know how they will react to a pull on the tail or as you say a head butt so the best option for my state of mind and the kids safety is to keep them apart. And whenever walking our dogs i don't normally let kids pat them - well i did once and the dog jumped on the kid to lick him and knocked him down! opps


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