I watched as the Rottweiler crossed the road in front of our house.
And I can still remember the cold fear that shot through my body.
The neighbours across the road had let their dog out again.
Or perhaps it escaped.
I can’t say I had ever seen them walk it.
So perhaps it took it upon itself to go for a walk, to do its business.
Luckily I was in my car.
And when I pulled in the driveway, I couldn’t get inside the house fast enough.
I was scared.
There’s no evidence that the dog was vicious, or would have attacked or bitten me.
But I had this perception, this pre-conceived stereotype notion, that it would cause some harm.
The same chill courses through me when I see people walking certain types of dogs.
Pit Bulls, or American Staffordshire Terriers.
I find myself asking, why?
Why have a dog, that is essentially a weapon?
To show that one can be the boss over such an agressive creature?
To strike fear in others?
What is the point?
A friend of ours just had their beautiful, lovely dog severely attacked by a German Shepherd that was off leash.
It had to undergo expensive surgery, but will hopefully be alright.
There have been countless stories of children and adults who have been mauled and attacked and even killed by these types of dogs.
There was a recent story out of Virginia where an owner was killed and then eaten by her two pit bulls.
In some communities, the pit bull type dog is, thankfully, outright banned.
People always say, oh, it’s the owner’s fault.
It’s the people, not the dog.
These certain types of breeds are bred to be vicious.
To attack and defend.
To protect and maim.
And yes, they are not the only types of dogs that can attack, of course.
I understand poodles are considered one of the most biting-est breeds out there.
I know that the small-ish Jack Russell Terrier has a big-dog attitude and can attack and bite as well.
I have seen two Jack Russells attempt to take down a horse.
And I have seen a tiny Chihuahua hold its owners hostage, and even the mighty Cesar Millan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer, had a tough time making him mind his manners.
But the large dogs, those that are bred to kill and to fight, are another story.
I think it says alot about the people who choose to own them.
Don Cherry and Rachel Ray notwithstanding.
I think of Michael Vick, the former footballer who was charged with a fighting pit bull ring, in which many dogs fought to their death.
I was in a pet food store the other day, when a man walked in with a Cane Corso type dog, on a choke collar.
There were many other small dogs in the store, and I feared for their safety, should that dog decide to go beserk.
The man was socializing it, perhaps, but at what expense, should it decide that another dog or person was looking at it the wrong way, to provoke an attack.
I know home insurance companies will often consider these types of creatures a risk, a liability, and charge more for coverage if there is such a dog in the home.
Awareness is the best defence, I’d say.
I will continue to marvel in awe as to why these dogs are owned by people, in subdivisions, in neighbourhoods.
When I see them being walked, I will continue to cringe.
It is said, they know not what they do.
The dogs, that is.
The people, though, are another story.