Posted by: Betty | August 25, 2011

Dogs.. Dog Breeds etc.

Barrett, 1998 an adorable puppy, but grew up quite dangerous


I read Rudee’s post today about her Pit bull neighbor I was reminded of an incident a couple of weeks ago……

About 13 years ago, we “found” an adorable puppy in the back of a truck at home depot.. Along with his owner, a man trying to find homes for this litter of Chow/lab puppys.. We picked her up, named her Barrett (after doc holiday’s line in Tombstone…” I couldn’t bare it” )  It wasn’t until after we brought her home that we learned a little more about Chows.. VERY territorial or so we were told.. BUT she was half lab and we’d raise her to love everyone. I had a few worries that first year, but was too naive and ignorant to know that what I was seeing were signs of aggression.  Once Barrett turned 1, ANYONE and I MEAN ANYONE, she had not met before her first birthday was in danger being around her. She was sneaky too, pretending to be fine then lunging and neighbors. By the time she was 13 months old, I NEVER took a chance with her around new people or children.. Paul loved her and she loved him.. When we had grand kids, I had many sleepless nights.. Especially since Makayla lived with us..  Once while sitting near the slider with Madi (18 months at the time) Barrett, on the other side of the slider, looked at Madi, for 15 seconds, then lunged with teeth bared.. Terrified by Madi and me and after that, sleep was elusive..  Finally when Makayla learned to walk, I took the bull (Paul) by the horns and took her to a local no kill shelter.  We learned two days later Barrett had been put down the next day after growling at a volunteer there.

While I’ve never once regretted my decision – other than delaying it so long- it was a hard time around the house for weeks.. Paul, and the kids were very sad. I maintained, and still do that people, especially children, are more important than dogs. I know, I know  blasphemy!

Our next dog, obtained while in grief for Barrett was Rex, our collie. We lost Rex about two years ago to hip problems that were at once painful and non curable.  We now are proud “parents” of Shane (our ever faithful Border collie) and Barney.. our very nosey and needy collie.

I know me.. I’m NOT a good dog trainer.. My dogs behave about as well as my kids did.. VERY GOOD PEOPLE/DOGS but well, behavior can be another issue. I love them and would risk my own hide to save them if needed.. (both my kids and my dogs)..  Since our heartbreak (me being the murderer) with Barrett, I never considered any dog that could be dangerous to kids..or other living creatures.  I kid myself when I inform Shane or Barney that I, ME, am the alpha dog around these parts.. Only when they let me..

About three weeks ago, we had a stray show up at our house. We brought him in, fed him and gave him water. We live pretty close to coyote territory so we kept him with us for a few days.. His color made me think Lab, and his build made me think Boxer or Rot.. Didn’t have the heart to take him to a shelter where “bully breeds” are regularly put down and he was pretty good with our dogs… BUT our guys were on guard and stopped playing with each other.. We were also told by a few people that he looked like a pit bull too.. After a few days of no responses to our signs posted, and Paul’s efforts to get co-workers to consider him,  Paul called the humane society and sadly, I turned him over to the very nice “dog catcher”.

I’d mentioned Fred (the name we’d given him) a few times on face book and the day I reported he was gone, I was quite literally attacked by a now former face book friend who blasted me with several comments about the cruelness of my actions; I didn’t do my homework on pits;  Basically that I was an ignorant fool.. hmm.. She then proceeded to post on her page – that Breed Awareness was the same as bigotry against African Americans? HUH do we BREED PEOPLE?   It caused some ruckus on line and at a certain point that afternoon, I simply deleted her..

I figure that MY decision to NOT keep a dog I knew nothing about , who may or may not be a fighter, who could have been a danger to my grand kids OR my two dogs was based on careful thought and and Caution and  certainly, being accused of “dog racism” for this decision was a little over the top.  I’m interested to know what my blog friends think on the subject…. Just please don’t call me a dog racist.. 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.



  1. Ja ja, well you know how I feel about pets, I just don’t know how to have one. I will never put a pet at the same level as a person for that reason I leave the pet owning to those of you that really have the know how. Although if you must know Abby does come with this little lovable chihuahua. lol I even blogged about her in my blog. Her name is cosita (little thing) and she stole my heart too.

  2. My neighbor, the one with the insane pit, just does not see her dog as aggressive. I cannot be in the back garden when he is outdoors. He’s terrifying, and she is ignorant. The dog was her daughter’s and when her daughter moved last fall, she was supposed to take the dog. I didn’t see him for weeks and weeks and thought the neighborhood the better for that. Then on Thanksgiving, there he was. The ignorant neighbor left him outside in the cold drizzle for hours. Part of me feels sorry for the dog, but the other part of me wouldn’t blink an eye if the pound came and fetched him.

    • I am always amazed when people refuse to see or acknowledge that their dog could be dangerous. Not to be able to go out in my own garden would pretty much enrage me for that matter.

  3. Well…I missed all that on facebook Betty. I am not real good at reading all the posts on there. I would have deleted that friend also though. Most really good pet owners know by their instinct what is best for the dog or cat and their family. We had to give back a dog we had once after keeping her a year. It is sad…but sometimes you just have to.

  4. Well wow, first off, i enjoyed reading about the dogs in your life and the ones you couldn’t keep, but damn – that person who attacked you for your decision is one crazy nut case…period…and ignorant to boot – to attack somebody like that….

    • Yeah Sandy 🙂 and she could not believe I deleted her.. I am retired and no longer take abuse from ANYONE… Not even a relative.. LOL

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