These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm wondering . . .

I'm wondering something, so I've decided to take a little survey. Let me set the stage for this.

I was away from Kansas City for many months, and when I returned there was, well, perhaps it would be called a phenomenon, that I noticed. I returned in late February. First, I've been aware of pit bulls everywhere I look. In recent weeks it seems to me that we have had way above average numbers of put bull attacks. We have had, in Kansas City, multiple pit bull attacks on humans and other animals. I have scanned back throught the headlines of The Kansas City Star, and I counted at least 5 indicents in which pit bulls (multiples in most cases) have attacked at least 7 people since May. The most recent resulted in the death of an elderly woman last week.

These numbers just seem extreme to me. Perhaps I'm extra conscious of this because a month or so ago one was running around in our neighborhood, climbing in and out of the fenced yard across the street. It lunged at the letter carrier, and even approached another neighbor in his car in the street. While I was on the phone with animal control, I went out to see the house number to tell them, and when the dog saw me in the yard, he watched me with more alertness than I was comfortable with. I made sure to stay close to my house. Finally I resorted to giving the number of the houses on each side, because every time I was close to being able to see the number, I was away from my house, and the dog would take a step or 2 in my direction, head lowered and eyes glued to me. Both that neighbor in the car and I called for the dog to be picked up, and it was.

Here is the question: Have any of you noticed a rise in pit bull attacks in your area this summer as compared to previous years? If not, I'm going to assume that Kansas City has become the pit bull capitol of the US! Why not, one of the suburbs has been "affectionately" known as the meth capitol.

It really is time for me to go, isn't it?

14 comments:

  1. my parents have a pit bull mix and he hasn't attacked anyone.

    when i hear about the rise in pit bull attacks, i think of it as a "people" problem not a dog problem.

    somebody is not training the pit bulls properly *or* they are specifically training them to attack!

    ps when you move, are moving out of Kansas City? Where will you go?

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  2. m - I wouldn't dispute that it is an owner problem. It's more or less like saying that a gun isn't dangerous unless it is in someone's hands. An undisiputable statement, but the presence of the gun raises the odds. I am really concerned because people manage pit bulls wrong. I simply have noticed an increase in attacks. I find that concerning. I've been around pit bulls that I really liked, but I will not trust one on the street.

    I'm moving to New Mexico as soon as I'm able to get my house ready to list for sale. Hopefully within the month. It has been a long time I've been trying to get this ready for sale, and I'm ready to go!

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  3. Actually in my area (large city) there have only been... maybe 1 or 2 attacks that made the news, this spring and summer.

    The city here is trying to get a law enforced that sees to naming those dogs as dangerous and requiring special licensing... and care.

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  4. unfortunately, my friend, if you notice the locations of these attacks - they are in the predominately lower income/lower education areas. it's a sad thing to say, but when education is lacking, the focus tends toward THINGS. i see it with my kids (ages 8 & 10) - they are fixated with "cool things" - things that make them 'look' cool. when there is a lack of true substance and a sense of something greater than yourself, then the pull is toward having things that give you power (most people grow out of this immature frame of mind for the most part). these dogs are powerful creatures. and the people who own them (9 times outta 10) are people who are looking for validation from power (fear). the problem isn't the dogs. the problem is the people owning the dogs and their reason for molding the dogs into having the behavior patterns they do. there are idiots everywhere. but i agree, there is a problem in this city - it's just not the dogs!!!

    incidentally, my show is this weekend! wanna come?

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  5. there was recently a dog attack report on a little girl, but i dont think they were pitt bulls.

    Pit bulls are being bred out here, you need to neuter them by law and can't breed them.

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  6. There was a big problem in some parts of San Antonio with pitbulls in the past. Not sure if there's more this summer or not. Generally it seemed to be in the more "urban" parts of town than the outlying suburban. I do know that I haven't heard of one incident in my town or the surrounding towns in this part of CT.

    Its all in how they're raised. Years ago (15!) in NH my family lived next to a family with 3 children all under 5 and their dog was a pitbull rottweiller mix; two of the meanest most vicous breeds. It was the sweetest, most gentle dog ever. Never hurt a soul.

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  7. My niece has two pitbulls she raised from Pup's and I can honestly say that Pinky (the big male) is the sweetest most non-threatening dog I know. Now Scarlet (the smaller female) has an alertness about her, her, I watch. I don't think all Pit's are bad but the bad ones have given them all a reputation. It's so sad to hear when someone is hurt or killed. That dog you mention definitely sounds to me like it has "issues". Once they get a taste of aggression that is it, or so i've heard. Stay safe sweet Lynilu!

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  8. We've got a fair number of pits around here, though no recent reports of attacks. I had a client recently who bred them and loved those dogs to bits, and he said the same thing: pit bulls are very loyal and protective, but they're properly trained they're not dangerous at all. Sadly, you can see how often they're neglected or mistrained. :(

    -the cat

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  9. Laura decided that if they put a ban on black dogs in KC she is painting Brady black. I thinks he was being serious.

    We need to remember that dogs are not human and there is something called instict in them. I remember one time Sophie and Casey got into a fight one time that was so bad that one of them bit me really bad when I tried to break them up. They didn't mean to bite me, but they are dogs.

    I do think that Pit Bulls are a dog that I do not want anywhere in my neighborhood let alone my house. I feel sorry for the dogs because they are just doing what they have been taught to do. It's sad watching all these people turning in their dogs knowing they are going to be killed. Just sad.

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  10. typo: she was being serious, not he (she is doing to kill me thinking I called her a "he".)

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  11. everyone - again, I'm really not blaming the dogs. I personally don't trust them because I don't know the background, even if it belongs to someone I know. It is concerning to me that there have been so many in such a short time in this metro.

    silent - we have ordinances in KC and most of the suburbs, but enforcement is another issue. And the 1-2 is more like we've had in the past. That is why this jump in numbers concerns me.

    cameo - your comment is right on. Since we share the same city, you have seen it, too. I worry that the process of enforcing the ordinances will cause a lot of moving the animals to areas where enforcement is slack - and you know our own KC doesn't do a good job ofdoing the job. sighhh. Yes, call me with information about the show!!

    fatty - I'm glad your community is on top of it. I feel bad for the dogs because most of it is not their fault; breeding and training are responsibilities for the owners, but . . .I feel most people aren't responsible. Too bad for the few who are.

    sassy - yes, I've been around pits that were very gentle, like big babies. Sad that some people misuse them to inflate their own eogs.

    patti - you make my point, too. They are unpredictable, and without good training, can be very scary. And they're only doing "what comes naturally," in most cases.

    cat - I did psychotherapy in client's homes. A few had pits as pets and they were always gentle to me. However, as part of the process of helping people help themselves, sometimes I needed to confront them. My style is gentle, but firm, but none of us likes to be confronted. I would not have been comfortable with a pit in the room when I'm having to contront its owner! I always asked that the dog be elsewhere, behind a door, during sessions.

    caroline (and everyone) - this is a good point. for those who don't know it, Caroline's dogs were both big goofy pets, but instinctively, they will do that at times. Look at my little furballs!! Totally nonaggressive and gentle. but years ago, we brought back to our home one of Ali's sons when the new owner couldn't manage (not the dog's fault, she was the one with problems). All went well for a while, then when Dandy, the son, reached puberty, they started fighting to establish the alpha position. Fortunately we found a great home for Dandy, but not before I was bitten a couple times trying to pull them apart.

    So I hope every understands that I am not against pit bulls. The instinct is there in most animals, even these little sweethearts in my home. It is tearing my heart out that one city in our metro has begun to enforce their ordinance which means that dozens of dogs will be euthanized. For the next 2 weeks owners have an amnesty period in which they will not be charged if they surrender their pit bulls.

    OK, question/my curiosity is answered, I think. We DO have a problem here that is greater than other areas. Of course, those of you who responded respresent just a spit in the bucket of urban/suburban areas. cameo, caroline, we gotta get outta this place!!

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  12. cameo, you hit the nail right on the head, especially with this:

    it's a sad thing to say, but when education is lacking, the focus tends toward THINGS. i see it with my kids (ages 8 & 10) - they are fixated with "cool things" - things that make them 'look' cool. when there is a lack of true substance and a sense of something greater than yourself, then the pull is toward having things that give you power (most people grow out of this immature frame of mind for the most part)

    It's the same way here in Baltimore!!

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  13. jen - you'll get no arguement from me on that. I had a conversation with a friend today on this exact topic. In fact, I think I will post on the ideas we shared in the conversation. Have you seen an increase in pit bull attacks in your area?

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  14. My grandparents lived in Roswell New Mexico for years and enjoyed it. I have uncles and cousins and a gradma who still live in the state. I love New Mexico.

    It will be fun to read about your move.

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!