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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Gray Matters: Are these really pets?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some time ago in our weekly chat I told you of trying to discover just what it is about us humans that seems to program some to cherish their pets almost as if they were children, while others are just as avidly inclined in the other direction.

I'm sure I made it clear where my proclivities lie. Now I want to tell you of a happening on Easter Sunday afternoon, which seriously reinforced my attitude.

My Montana family had gathered for the week-end with the daughter and son-in-law who live in Billings. After services and the festive noon meal, all were packing to return to their respective homes.

To keep his two-year-old grandson, Cohen, and the host family's small dog, Quigley, out from underfoot, my son volunteered to take them for a walk around the block. As they reached the end of the block, two pit bulls, which were in a supposedly fenced-in yard, came charging at them.

They hit the fence simultaneously and one muscled himself under it. In the seconds he had in which to act, Grandpa pulled the tiny dog to him while still protecting Cohen. Quigley, totally "freaked out" by that time, bit his protector on the thumb and it started to bleed.

My son said he kept his back to the pit bull, which was trying to get around him to have Quigley for lunch. It seems it was the tiny dog the monster was most interested in.

When the ferocious creature realized he couldn't get around my stubborn son he sank his teeth into his upper left calf. (I'm told certain breeds of dogs have a built-in mechanism that causes them to lock their jaws and shake whatever they bite into). At that time the "ditsy" female owner arrived and got the dog away.

A tetanus shot, deep-wound cleansing and treatment, all had to be undergone. Cohen seems to have no lingering effects from the fright and they tell me Quigley is now taking his strolls around a different area of town. I am also able to report that the city of Billings is taking some extreme actions toward those owners.

This near-tragedy did have its lighter side. When the victim said he planned to carry "Bear Spray" the next time he went strolling in unfamiliar territory, several of his brothers suggested some rather droll alternatives, including a sawed-off shot gun.

But back to my initial question--can these vicious creatures actually be called pets? My wonderment continues as I plan to further my search for the cause of these totally different attitudes people have toward their four-legged friends.