Dr. Dawg

News of the day: dog bites (wo)man

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Shih Tzu.jpg

One of those small personal tragedies, the sort of thing that goes mostly unnoticed during a federal election campaign, is playing itself out in the Ottawa area at the moment. And once again the media have buried the lede.

An elderly woman in a Home Depot in Gloucester, just outside Ottawa,was accompanied by her Shih Tzu, riding in her shopping cart. The cashier bent down to greet the dog, putting her hand on its head, and the dog bit her nose.

It was a bad bite, but her nose was not “bitten off,” as the cashier and the papers reported. It took stitches to fix her up, though, and some plastic surgery will be necessary.

The system immediately went to work. The old woman was hit with a $610 fine, is now required to muzzle her dog at all times when outside, and may have her companion destroyed. The cashier wants that, and the city is seriously looking into it.

Good grief.

I feel sorry for the cashier. The bite she received must have hurt like hell, and it was a serious one.

But how on earth does a person contrive to be attacked by a Shih Tzu—all 10-16 pounds of it? Well, it helps if you 1) are a stranger; 2) put your hand on top of its head; and 3) lean forward into the dog’s space.

Dogs are creatures of instinct. When they feel threatened, they react. I have scars on both my thumbs from a serious chomp that my mild old dog gave me when I unwisely tried to remove a dead bird from its mouth with my bare hands.

So I also feel sorry for an elderly woman who may lose her toy-dog companion animal, and has already been hit with a crippling fine, because the dog was (unwittingly) provoked. Who is she? What are her circumstances? That’s the real story here. And the media, so far, have missed it.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 19, 2011 10:20 AM.

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