Dog Park Warning–written by a friend

A Dog Park Experience     by Julie Solferino   4-4-10Saturday afternoon, it’s a beautiful day. My friend and I decided to go to the local dog park for our first time. I brought my new rescued dog, Petey, and she brought 2 of her rescued dogs as well. I was apprehensive about the whole experience, especially letting the dogs off the leashes and losing control. What if he didn’t come back when I called? What if he got scared when another dog came up to him? What if he ate dog poop on the ground? LOLWhen we got there, no on else was in the park, so the first half hour was pretty peaceful. We unleashed the dogs and let them lose to go sniff around. Some new people showed up, and more dogs started coming in to play. Then, the unthinkable happened. Shortly after an owner of a large, grey, unneutered pitbull came in to the park, a very unnerving situation occurred. He had his two teenage kids with him, since the dog was a family dog. It was their first time in a dog part too. The owner kept the dog on a leash and brought him there to help socialize him with other dogs. Without warning, the pitbull attacked another dog. I heard horrifying screams coming from the small dog’s owner. The Pit had this little poodle in his mouth. He had his clinched jaws over the dog’s throat. Everybody was screaming, and the little dog was bleeding and gasping for breath. I ran across the field and tried to pull and kick the pitbull off of the little dog. I put my hand in his mouth and pulled to get him to let go of his grip. Nothing worked. He would not let go. The owner could not pull his dog away. The little dog seemed lifeless, leaning his head back. He was no longer struggling. I told the owner to stay calm. I told his daughter to sit next to her dog and calm him down. Shortly after, the Pit let go of the little dog.Friends of the little dog carried the seemingly lifeless body of the out to the parking lot. Everyone was in shock. I asked him if he checked if the dog was dead. He didn’t know what to do and never answered me. He laid him on the ground, so I leaned down to listen for breath. He blinked at me so I knew he was alive. He looked at me as if he was asking me to help him. I yelled at the owners to rush the dog to the Emergency Vets, and he might have a chance to survive. I was shouting out directions, taking down phone numbers, even writing one on my arm. I took down the number of  the owner of the pitbull. He agreed to go to the vets and see if he could help. He was scared, obviously shaken up, and didn’t know what to do. The small dog was taken into emergency surgery. As of today, he has pulled through, and is going home to be cared for. Only time will tell if he will fully recover. The pitbull owner did the right thing and stayed at the vets to help and to put money towards the surgery.The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. The need to stay calm and to have “good energy” is a necessity. The power to do this is a gift and can save a life.Pitbulls are a special breed of dog. They should not be condemned because of what they can do in a dog fight, but they should be understood and respected. They are a powerful breed, smart, loyal, loving, but can be dangerous.I wrote about my experience to remind people to be responsible. To know and understand the breed of dog you choose to keep and love. If you are a dog park person, be smart about the experience. Learn from others who have messed up and were not cautious enough, or more alert. Spay and neuter your pets. There is no excuse for allowing them to breed and stay aggressive.Be apprehensive when a dog that you are unsure of approaches your dog. If you are unsure, take your dog out of the situation. You are, after all, you are supposed to be the “pack leader.” 

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