Many of you who read my blogs will remember that about a year ago, my family went to the Humane Society and brought home a three month old Pit Bull. Very much against my will might I add. After having him in our family though, I began changing my mind about PB's and began thinking that it was truly not the breed but how they are raised that was the issue. I have put up many pictures of the Pitty who was named Vic and I have expressed my changed views over PBs many times as I watched him grow and become a very loving part of our family. Let me say here that Vic had three other furry siblings and despite his size and build, he always appeared submissive to our corgi Spud who is the oldest of all the dogs and played well with the others.
From the time we got Vic he was raised around other dogs and also my kids. He had a gentle nature and was never treated badly. He had a yard to play in, a bed to sleep in (mine) and tons and tons of love. He was our big old 75 lb. baby. My only concerns about Vic were his size and the fact that he wanted to be treated like a small dog (lap sitting and playing like the small dogs) but his size would not allow for it. I was afraid he might also hurt someone in play because he was a solid powerful dog. Other than that though....he acted like the rest of the dogs and we all got along just fine.
Vic's relationship with people has always been friendly but I was never stupid enough to leave him alone with children, especially not David. I trusted Vic but I knew that provoked any dog could take it as a challenge and hurt someone. Without realizing it, a child could accidentally provoke a dog and be hurt without ever understanding what they did. Vic's relationship with the other dogs was always good too. They would run and play and they always got along fine. This summer though there was one incident with Vic and Shane our Rottweiler Boxer mix. Vic and Shane were playing and they started to fight over a toy. Suddenly it went from play to a full on fight with both dogs sustaining some mouth and facial cuts. Since Shane had actually started the fight I assumed that it was because he had not been fixed yet and it was a testosterone filled "guy thing." We kept them apart for awhile and gradually allowed them to play together again. They usually kept a pretty wide circle between themselves though after that.
This past Sunday.....all my illusions about Vic and PB's were shattered. The dogs were in the back yard and thankfully both Z and I were out there too. Z was in the process of taking Shane into the garage when suddenly without provocation Vic attacked Spud. It happened in a split second right before my eyes. I screamed and tried to pry Vic's mouth off Spud's neck. Both Z and Shane heard me scream and both came running back out the door. Shane then proceeded to go after Vic. Z and I both were fighting to get the dogs apart and save Spud. Finally after hitting the ground, rolling and twisting with the dogs and Z being bit twice, we were able to pull a bloodied and battered Spud from Vic's mouth. Vic and Shane however, were still in a battle that was going to end in death for one of them. I finally was able to reach the hose and I sprayed them apart before they were able to kill each other. Luckily both only sustained minor cuts and bites but Spud did not fare as well. Spud ended up with deep canine teeth wounds on his neck where Vic had locked his jaw tightly and refused to let go. He also ended up with lacerations inside his ear. He was covered in blood and probably due to the ear damage he was walking at a tilt.
Vic was originally my older sons dog but when he moved to a place where "dangerous" breed dogs were not allowed, Vic ended up staying here. After the attack incident though I called my son and told him that he had to pick up Vic immediately and find him a new home. He did.
What I learned from all of this is, there really is something to the fact that PBs can attack without provocation. Vic was never mistreated, unfed or unloved. He also was not in protection mode nor had he been provoked by anyone or anything. He was running and playing and Spud was doing nothing more than walking up to the house. Within a split second Spud was attacked and had I not been there....Spud would have been killed. During the whole thing I was full of adrenaline and felt no fear but afterwards I was terrified. I realized that had I not been there and had Z and Shane not come running out, the outcome for Spud could have been much different. I also realized how lucky Z and I were that Vic had not decided to turn on one of us. Most importantly though I realized that Vic could just as easily have attacked David without provocation or any animal or child for that matter. It was a hard realization but it was a lesson learned very well.
Lucky for us we have a friend that cancelled her Sunday plans and came over and shaved Spud and helped us doctor his wounds. Monday I took him to the vet to learn that his wounds were deep but thankfully not lethal. He was given large amounts of anti-biotics and we were told he would likely be sore for awhile. Blessedly he seems to be healing, me on the other hand.....I still am in shock. Z's arm though sore is healing nicely but will likely scar. A permanent memory of what a PB can do.
I still love Vic with all my heart and huge part of me misses my snuggle buddy. Truthfully.... 99% of the time he was a loving and gentle dog, but the fact is....that 1% is all it took for me to realize that something in him was a ticking time bomb. Never again would I have felt safe with him because I myself saw him attack without provocation. He was not protecting himself or anyone else. He was not teased or mistreated....he simply snapped in that moment and if it happened once, no one could convince me that it wouldn't happen again. And....as a mother I cannot in good conscience keep a dog that could do that around my family, especially not David.
I am sure there are PBs out there that have never once hurt anyone, but that is not to say that something might not snap in them and even for a few moments change them into a vicious animal. Trust me, when this happens it is not easy to pull them back and in the time it takes to get them under control....tragedy could happen.
I will always love Vic and I do miss him terribly. We all do, but after this experience....armed with this new found knowledge, I would never again own or even really trust another PB. Yes folks....I was wrong!