[nagdu] A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog aggression increasingin Davis, Calif.

Valerie Gibson valandkayla at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 01:52:43 UTC 2014


apart from the obvious, my only gripe about this article in particular is that it seems to point out pit bulls as the breed to attack other dogs.  While I'm sure that the dogs mentioned were pit bulls, I'm sure they were not the only breed that's been after this couple and their dogs.

Just another article to give the pit bulls even more of a bad rep than they already have.

On Sep 14, 2014, at 3:04 PM, Nicole Torcolini via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:

> This kind of thing where the laws are not enforced until there is a problem
> has got to stop. It's not just with service dog laws; it's everywhere.
> Nicole
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ginger Kutsch via
> nagdu
> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 4:44 AM
> To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
> Subject: [nagdu] A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog aggression
> increasingin Davis, Calif.
>      A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog aggression increasing in Davis,
> California
> September 07, 2014 
> By Mike May
> Source:
> http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/a-leisurely-walk-or-a-n
> ightmare-dog-aggression-increasing-in-davis/
> Mike May and his wife Gena and their Seeing Eye dogs, Tank and Yulie, walk
> on F Street in downtown Davis. The Mays say that aggressive dogs,
> particularly downtown and in Community Park, are becoming a big problem for
> them and their guide dogs. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
> With your eyes closed, picture the sound of growling and barking getting
> closer and closer and yet you cannot open your eyes.
> Sound like a nightmare?
> Now with your eyes open, walk down the street with your wonderful but nosy
> dog on a leash and pass a blind couple with their Seeing Eye dogs. Your dog
> barks or even growls. You shout, “She just wants to play.”
> The blind couple can’t hear you over the barking. They can’t see if your dog
> is on leash or baring its teeth. This is a leisurely walk for you and a
> nightmare for them.
> Things are totally different from the perspective of a blind person with a
> guide dog. I am blind, as is my wife Gena. Both of us have a little vision
> but not enough to know if there is a fence between us and a growling dog or
> if the dog is on a leash. For us, walking in and out of downtown Davis two
> or three times a day can be a nightmare.
> Our Seeing Eye dogs, Tank and Yulie, are trained to ignore other dogs and to
> focus on their highly challenging job of guiding us. Pet dogs mostly pass by
> our working dogs without incident but at least once a walk, we encounter
> aggressive dogs, which seem to appear from nowhere.
> The nature of aggressive dogs ranges from barking to growling to lunging at
> Tank and Yulie. We have no idea if that dog in the front yard of the house
> on Fourth Street near E Street will reach the end of a chain, is behind a
> fence or if it has burst from its house with intent to protect its
> territory.
> Believe me, my adrenaline spikes and Gena usually screams. This turns a
> pleasant walk into a frightening experience for us and our dogs.
> The two worst areas for dog aggression are the Community Park and E Street,
> although the Third and E corner seems to be quieter the past few weeks.
> There are several pit bulls in the park. Occasionally, one is tied to a
> bench without an owner apparently around. Other times, these dogs bark and
> growl and even lunge at Tank and Yulie such that we have to leave the
> sidewalk to avoid them.
> Recently, two guys with their three dogs were blocking the sidewalk in the
> park. When I asked, “Are your dogs on leash?” They said, “Two are. Only the
> black one is vicious.” I learned only after giving them a wide berth that
> the black one was the one not on leash and the other two were pit bulls.
> Gena didn’t risk it and took the long way around.
> We have given up taking the shortcut through the park into town and instead
> stay on the much busier Fifth Street where there usually aren’t dogs other
> than sometimes at Davis Community Church at C Street.
> Not all obnoxious dogs are big and mean-looking. There have been two little
> dogs frequently with their owner on the corner of Third and E streets that
> are allowed to bark and surprise us because their owner says, “Dogs are
> allowed by God to use their voices.”
> That stretch of E Street, near Peet’s Coffee & Tea, often has a gauntlet of
> dogs, some well-behaved, some not. One day, when walking along the west side
> of E Street between First and Second streets, we passed three growling dogs
> and one nice one, all within one block. When crossing Second Street, a dog
> snapped at Yulie in the middle of the intersection and the owner did nothing
> but continue on his way.
> Most dog owners try to be responsible even if a bit misguided about dog
> handling or socializing. Many owners don’t quite get that town is not the
> dog park and letting their dogs socialize with working dogs is a dangerous
> distraction. Some say nothing when their dog barks and growls.
> We can report the situation to Animal Control or the police, but the
> officers have little recourse if no dog or person has been injured. Like a
> dangerous intersection that needs a signal light, it will take a serious
> injury before anything will be done about this dog aggression. Even then,
> that will only impact the one bad dog and not the more general increase in
> lackadaisical dog management.
> A Seeing Eye dog costs about $65,000. Injuring the dog physically or
> emotionally is expensive and traumatic, potentially leading to the dog being
> taken out of service. My fourth Seeing Eye dog was attacked in a park and
> seriously injured while I tried to stay out of the way with my 3-year-old
> son in my arms.
> My dog subsequently became very protective so when pets challenged him,
> instead of backing off and defusing the situation, he fought back. That’s
> not something that I want my guide to do. Fortunately, Tank veers away from
> other dogs.
> Sometimes near-proximity with pet dogs is unavoidable, like the dogs tied to
> the fence at Café Bernardo, or the dogs under the outside tables at Burgers
> & Brew or de Vere’s Irish Pub. Now that a recent bill was passed allowing
> restaurants to permit dogs on their patios, we know that unpleasant
> surprises are in store for us at many restaurants.
> We hope that Davisites will be sensitized to this problem by reading this
> article. Perhaps the city leash laws could be expanded to disallow growling
> or lunging dogs to be in town. At the very least, officials could patrol the
> park to deal with unattended dogs and to enforce leash laws.
> We would someday like to navigate Davis as we did even a few years ago
> wherever, whenever, without being threatened by dogs with well-meaning but
> misguided dog owners.
> We love Davis and are always happy to meet people in town and even other
> dogs under controlled situations. We almost always say yes when children
> nicely ask if they can pet our dogs. Please say hi to us as we can’t see
> you.
> For more information about state laws regarding dog attacks, see
> www.seeingeye.org/protect.
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