Recently there was a story in the news that caused a lot of debate on radio call-in shows about a person whose dog (a Rottweiler, I believe) killed a smaller dog. The case went to court and the judge fined the owner $200 and was told that he didn’t have to have his dog put down because a so-called expert testified in court that this dog could be rehabilitated.
I grew up in a small town in Lushes Bight; my mother was left widowed at an early age with two small children, me being the eldest. My mother supported us by working in the post office, earning $10 a month. Also in the post office was the only telephone in the community, and when a message came over the wire my mother would write it down and it would be my job to deliver it to the person it was intended for (a far cry from the Internet).
I can’t remember many messages, as I was quite young, but there was one that I will never forget. I had a message for Mr. Phillip Locke. Now Mr. Locke and his wife, Rachael, had a large house dog — very gentle — but this day when I knocked on the door, Mrs. Locke came to the door and when the door opened, out comes this large dog. It grabbed me by the knee and I still have the scars. Mr. Locke had to come out with the broom and drive the dog off of me. Needless to say, I have never trusted a dog since. That dog was put down, which was the practice back then.
About 10 years ago, my son had a small house dog which, when put outdoors, would be put on leash. When I would go up to visit sometimes he would be all over me with love and licks, and some more times when I would go towards him, his teeth would be showing and he would be growling and I would make the comment that if the dog got loose, it would eat me. The dog eventually did bite two small children and had to be put down.
The moral of the story? I have seen gentle dogs turn vicious for no reason, except that they didn’t like me and I have had many nightmares from the first experience and needless to say I will never, ever trust a dog. I would trust a wild animal in the woods, first, and I don’t think that any dog that gets a taste of blood can be rehabilitated.
(Ret.) Capt Wilfred Bartlett
Green Bay South