There Goes the Neighborhood

Pit Bullies or Trainable Dogs?

I’ve been feeling a bit tired and overwhelmed the last couple of weeks.  It’s a combination of things – recovering from the late nights of Howl-O-Scream, acquiring a new job and illness brought on by powerful antibiotics.  The antibiotics came into play after I was bitten on the leg by my neighbor’s dog.

The attack happened on Halloween; ironically I got to enjoy real blood and gore that day.

I went to the neighbor’s house to ask if I could borrow something.  When I went up to ring the bell and was speaking to the neighbor the dog rammed into the screen door, jumped outside and bit me.  It was traumatic, but I’m okay.  I didn’t have to get stitches.  I reacted to protect myself as best I could (thanks Tae Kwon Do) and the owner came out and grabbed the dog quickly.

Stereotypically, the dog that attacked me is a pit bull.  I understand the negative persona that the breed has, but even after my attack I’m hesitant to label all dogs in this breed as aggressive killers.  From what I’ve seen the owner of the dog does not take it for walks.  He also revealed to me after the attack that he has problems getting the dog out of the car and back into the house.  The dog originally belonged to his son, who is now in prison.  The owner is a 70 year-old man who is not prepared to own – as Cesar Milan would say – such a powerful breed.  The dog lacks the exercise, obedience and training that he needs.

I want the owner to get rid of the dog, but I doubt that he will voluntarily.  Now, I find myself in the awkward position of deciding how far I want to take this.  I spoke to animal services to confirm the dog had all of its shot; their reaction was unconcerned at best.  Now, when walking my dog (a very small dog) I feel I should be carrying a big stick!

Should I alert the neighbors?  Do I really want to turn this into a war?  Are pit bulls bullies or can they be trained?  Should the owner have to give up the dog?  Do I have reason to fear being attacked again?

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