Self Defense?

The stabbing death of a pit bull on Kits Beach a few weeks ago has been all over the news the past few days.

I had heard the story, second hand, that an elderly man had been walking his Pug off-leash along the beach when they encountered an on-leash Pit Bull. The two dogs said hello, which led to an altercation (as all dog owners know, it sometimes does) and the Pit Bull ended up clamping down on the Pug’s neck and would not let go. The 72 year old man then pulled out a knife and stabbed the Pit Bull to death, doing what he had to do, he said, to save his dog.

My first thought was, how sad. As a dog owner I could empathize with both parties. I have had someone kick my dog in the past and I became fearless, rushing towards the man, who looked like he also wanted to hit me, yelling at him and threatening to call the police. So I get the instantaneous reaction of defending your dog against harm no matter what. But, that said, something about this story raised a red flag for me. Why was the pug (who sounded aggressive) off-leash in an on-leash walking area? Why was a man, out for an afternoon walk with his dog, carrying a knife in his pocket??

I have a small dog who hates Huskies and German Shepherds with a passion and there is no way I would let him off-leash in an area where these breeds may be present. Things can get ugly pretty quickly as my dog, Nicky, loves to get in Husky and Shepherd faces and bark and growl at them and in a fight with either of these breeds, no doubt Nicky would lose… badly. So, my question is, What was this man thinking?

Then I saw the Pit Bull owners on television last night, clearly traumatized. Through their perspective the off-leash Pug charged their Pit Bull, Pandora, and would not stop barking at her. Pandora grabbed the Pug’s ear in her mouth, correcting the Pug’s behaviour as all dogs do. The Pug owner then pulled out a knife and stabbed Pandora twice. She fell to the ground. The Pug owner then stood over her, stabbing her eight more times yelling “You deserve to die”! That description chills my blood.

As we all know, there are many Pit Bull haters in the world. There is, in fact, an entire facebook page dedicated to the best ways to kill Pit Bulls. It is horrific but speaks to the amount of people in the world who hate Pitties and desperately want to hurt, maim and kill them. The more I read about this incident, the more I think that man was walking his dog off-leash with the full knowledge his pug may start a fight with a Pittie and he was ready, knife in pocket, to do harm. If the Pug’s medical report comes back with minor injuries this man needs to be arrested and charged with causing the death of this companion animal.

If I were the woman, watching a man stab my best friend 10 times while she laid bleeding on the ground, I would be completely traumatized and demand justice.

If I were the man, whose dog instigated a fight and I retaliated by stabbing someone else’s dog 10 times as she lay bleeding and whimpering on the ground, I would expect consequences. Harsh consequences.

R.I.P. Pandora

Pandora the Pit Bull with a friend

Pandora the Pit Bull with a friend


Off-Leash Etiquette

Today is a breathtakingly gorgeous Sunday. The sun is shining, the weather is brisk but windless and it’s a perfect day in Vancouver to hit the beach with your pooch.

Luckily, I know an unofficial, off-leash stretch of beach that is a well kept secret. It’s a zen destination to enjoy a quite walk in nature (seal and heron sighting are common) when you’re just not feeling up to the barking, racing and hijinks of the official dog beach. So I bundled up in my toque and puffy jacket and hit the beach with the Nickster.

nene beach

It was just the walk I was craving. A seal stuck his nose out of the water to investigate us as we walked by the ocean, the dogs and owners we met were relaxed and friendly and all was good…until the very end.

As we were nearing the end of the walking area I noticed an off-leash Boxer with an aggressive stance walking towards us. Since my little, trouble-making Terrier is not a big fan of boxers I immediately leashed him up and called to the Boxer’s owner that my dog is not Boxer friendly. She completely ignored me and they kept on walking towards us. The Boxer was still off-leash and starting to approach us like we were prey. I called out again, louder. She stared blankly at me and then reached to take her earphones out. Seriously? Earphones?? So I stated the problem again, she finally leashed her dog and we walking civilly around each other, both dogs on short leashes.

A few weeks ago a Pitbull named Pandora was stabbed to death on Kits Beach. Her death was senseless (and will be the topic of my next post) and involved an altercation between her (leashed) and a barking, aggressive, off-leash Pug.

So, the moral of my story is that it’s a lovely, bonding experience, taking our pups for an off-leash walk or hike but we have to, as responsible dog owners, have our eyes and ears open at all times. We can’t be tuning out the world when walking our dogs, especially if you have a dog with issues (like I do). A warning growl, aggressive body stance; we need to be present to pick up those cues to keep our pups and other pups safe.

Wishing everyone a lovely day in the sun, frolicking safely and happily with your canine companions!