CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 9 June 2006

Dangerous People

As several sites have reported today, a woman was killed in Tenerife on Wednesday night, when her son’s American Staffordshire Terrier attacked her. I wasn't aware that Staffordshire had been moved to America and another report had called it a pit-bull. Probably kept for intimidation, whatever it was.

I'm sure the story has also been doing the rounds of the press and the TV and, no doubt, with all the usual sensationalism about "dangerous breeds".

Obviously, we don't know the full circumstances - and I am not insensitive the fact that the owner has lost both his mother and his dog - beyond that the son was arrested on charges of reckless homicide, as he had not registered the animal as potentially dangerous. (Though I fail to see how registration would stop the animal doing what it did in it's home.) Nevertheless, people here have an atrocious reputation over how they treat their animals.

In 14 years on this island, I have yet to see anyone here, other than English or German expats or those with Canarian hunting dogs (then only when hunting), who ever take their dogs out for exercise. Most dogs are kept in small spaces, most often on short chains, eating sleeping and shitting in the same 4 foot radius, 24/7. Then the owners wonder why these animals go crazy! Duh!

But, thanks to ignorance and helped by the media, people carry on thinking that there are dangerous dogs, where, in truth, there are only dangerous owners.

As I was out walking my dog this afternoon - no way is she dangerous and she was under control, on a lead which I pulled in close to me as I had to pass what I can only call a pair of "mal educados" (Rednecks).

As I approached, they began talking loudly in disapproving tones, at the air in general, but with clear inference in my direction, about how someone was killed "dangerous dog". Honestly, they didn't have the balls to address me directly, but they had to get their 2 cents in.

Holly merely sniffed in the direction of the guy's wheelbarrow, while passing, not even within arm's reach of him, but he immediately made melodramatic hand waving actions to shoo her off. The stupid thing is, of course, that if they did that to an uncontrolled and untrained dog, then they likely would get their hand bitten. And it would be their own fault, not the dog's, but, of course, they just can't see it.

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