Monday, January 17, 2011

The Anecdotal Pit Bull #5, 6, and 7: My old neighborhood

The neighborhood I lived in for several years while I worked at OSU had a lot of dogs. First and foremost, was Tango, who I always think of when I picture the ideal family dog. He is around 5 years old, neutered, and about 70 lbs. He is one of those mellow, well-behaved dogs that sort of becomes a background fixture; part of the soul of a neighborhood. He is often found lounging off-leash in his family's front yard, yet he never runs loose or causes any trouble. He just likes to survey his kingdom. He's good with all people, children, and other animals. He adored Zelda. He was one of the many reasons I was sad to move away from that neighborhood.


He is unequivocally a "mixed breed", yet in may cities with BSL, he would be labeled a "pit bull type". Other dogs with similar looks have been targeted before.


Number 6 is Baby. She and Tango are a study in contrasts. When I knew her, she was about a year old, maybe 40 lbs, unspayed, and completely untrained. Her owners lived several houses down, and for some reason thought that she'd stay in the yard, even though she was a untrained puppy and there was no fence. She used to run all over town, and learned quickly to run from people because they'd catch her and spoil her fun. I was one of those people, but I used Zelda as bait and lured her into the house and caught her multiple times. Once caught, Baby was very friendly and loved attention from people. She wasn't great with other dogs, and she and Zelda had words more than once, but nothing serious. I don't know what happened to her.

Number 7 I have no photo, nor did I ever learn her name. She was a muscular "pit bull type" dog that a family got as a young puppy. Maybe once a week the kids would play with her, which she absolutely loved. But she spent most of her time chained to a tree in the backyard barking at everything. She once got out of the yard and ran at me and Zelda as we were walking by. She didn't seem to know what to do; she barked, growled, cowered, play bowed, rolled on her back, sniffed noses and butts with Zelda, and otherwise acted unsocialized and under stimulated. She mostly ignored me except for a sniff of the hand and a brief wag of the tail. Then the owners came out of the house and hauled her back to her tree. That was my only interaction with that particular dog.


Jan said...

I grew up in a small town without leash laws, but I don't remember one single incident of a dog causing problems. Some would wander into neighboring yards out of curiosity, but would soon go back home.

Could it be that people were more responsible back then?

Susan said...

The last pit bull I met was at the vet. He was so friendly that he put his head under my hand to be petted before I finished asking his owner if I could pet him.

CyborgSuzy said...

Jan, if there were more dogs like Tango, (and more people like his owner) leash laws would be less popular.