I went to church today for the first time in a long time. It is the same church that Connie, my quick thinking neighbor from the dog attack incident goes. Her phone rang during the service and she quickly left.
After church, I looked her up. I wanted to tell her that I'd seen Diane out walking the dog that had been attacked. She was happy to hear that. "Guess who that was on the phone?" she asked. "It was the police. They want to talk to me about the incident."
Thinking of the man with dementia and his distraught wife, I said, "Oh. That's too bad that it went to the police."
Connie said, "Well..." and she went on with the rest of the story.
After the apologetic phone call and the offer to pay all the vet bills incurred, the woman suddenly began to back pedal. Moreover, other people in the neighborhood began to step forward. The dog had attacked before. Once was a small dog on the next street over. Those people had no legal recourse because the dog was sitting on their porch with them, unleashed. When it saw the other dog walking by (leashed) it ran off the porch barking. It was viciously attacked, required multiple surgeries and barely survived. Because the 'victim dog' had been unleashed, the owner of the 'attacking dog' was not found to be liable.
There is a man down the street who has a small white dog. They are frequent sights around the area. He knows of at least two other dogs that were attacked by the same animal, not as seriously injured as the first dog, but that seems to be due to the quick response of both dog owners, both of them.
The aggressive dog is a rescue. A pitbull mix. It had obviously been treated roughly in its formative years. The situation is sad.
I can only think of one thing. I had a dog, a big stray named Buck, and I really loved that dog. As he aged, he began to develop some strangeness. He would spend long periods staring fixedly at the wall. It made me uneasy. During these periods, he didn't respond when I spoke to him, and if I touched him, he would start as if he was unaware that I was there.
Long story short, my very sociable dog, without warning, lunged very aggressively at a puppy. When I jerked him back, he snapped at me. This was not my dog.
It broke my heart, but I had him put down immediately. He was too big to be unpredictable.
I still feel bad about that, but I know that it was the right thing. He was used to roaming because we lived in the woods. He would have had to be chained to be outside, always leashed to be walked. He would have been a very unhappy boy.
Sometimes when you own a dog, you have to make hard decisions.