If there was any doubts I had about my decision to give Willow back to the rescue, they were displaced yesterday morning.
We were on our morning walk yesterday when she went after a kid. It is one thing for her to be overly aggressive to dogs, squirrels, and strangers, but to be aggressive towards children is a far more serious matter.
As we were walking down the sidewalk, there was a boy of 8 or 10 up ahead waiting for the bus to take him to school. As when I see any person, no matter there age, I tight up on the leash and leave no slack. What I have learned from previous experience is if I see another dog, I will take Willow across the street and try to steer a large path – sometimes this helps, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’ve never had to worry about people or kids. Until this day.
The boy turned and saw the both of us, stalled for a moment, and then immediately darted past us. As he neared, she lunged at him and barked for loudly. I have no doubt in my mind that she would have gotten to him if I hadn’t had a short leash on. Now, admittedly, his action startled the dog, but that is hardly excuse for her extraordinary behavior.
The what-ifs of such a scenario are terrifying. It is one thing to get into a dog fight and leaving another dog injured, be it serious or not. But to attack a human, or worse, a child can hold devastating consequences for the dog and the owner. That kind of attack could force me to put the dog down, face legal repercussions including civil litigation. To have a kid poke a dog with a stick until the dog attacks is almost understandable, but to have a child attacked in an unprovoked manner is unexcusable.