In the department where I work there used to be a lady who really didn't want to work for her living, and she'd invent all kinds of excuses so that she could go home early, or call in sick. Her problem was that she always thought she had to top her previous reasons why she had to leave work - each excuse had to be more serious and serious and a better reason for leaving than the previous one she'd given.
Each relative can only die once, you can only get so many tummy aches - so the excuse to end all excuses was the day where she had to go home because she had been crying so hard she'd shit her pants and she hadn't brought an extra pair of underpants to change into. That topped all her other previous reasons for having to leave work and go home early. Shitting your pants because you'd been crying so hard down in the locker room - now THAT'S a good reason why you'd have to leave work early.
And so it is with today's Chronicle Herald article about Sunday's tragic story about the boxer/mastiff dog who was shot to death by the RCMP officer. It's like as if the reporter who wrote the article has pulled out all the stops to make the dog and the story sound as salacious as possible so that we can really understand WHY this story ended up the way it did.
(Although the online version of this article has been changed since this morning and the article now calls Cujo a "aggressive bull mastiff mix dog" and not an "aggressive pit bull like dog" anymore)
But today's article has lines like -
"“He had white foam and was frothing at the mouth," Brown said."
"Brown described the brown mixed-breed dog as about 80 pounds of muscle."
"Sunday’s confrontation could have ended worse. “I could have been in my wheelchair all by myself . . . or my (10-year-old) son could have been playing in the yard by himself.""
That last line is the man in the wheelchair talking.
Another line in the article is very telling - "Brown said he had never seen the dog before"
So this is a dog that had lived in the neighbourhood for years - but had never been seen before. Obviously he was NOT a big threat to the neighbourhood children and handicapped people - because if he was - then people would have seen him before. When dogs are bad dogs and have habitual horrible owners - people in the neighbourhood know about them.
(Edit - I found some stuff on Facebook by a relative of the dog's owners where she said the following - "They had another dog for years before this, but had him put down because he had cancer. This was only a few months ago and they got this dog as a new family pet." - so the dog had actually only been in the neighbourhood for a few months)
Could this have been a one-off - dog getting loose with horribly tragic consequences simply because of the way the dog looked? Who knows. But the Chronicle Herald's editors seem to really be playing up the story - for whatever reason, I fail to see.
It's a true shame all around.
The end of the article says - RCMP and Halifax Regional Municipality’s animal control department are investigating.
I certainly hope they are - and I hope they come to some good conclusions.
This is an article from today's "Metro Newspaper" - it's equally as bad - and reaffirms the fact that the dog lived TWO HOUSES DOWN from the Brown family. If this dog was a crazy aggressive dog - they would have known about this dog previously. Why did the dog's owner not know that he'd gotten loose? It almost sounds like he was a chained dog that had gotten loose - in the Chronicle Herald article is mentions that the dog had "been restrained but got loose" - so if that's the case, then this is another example of why it's a bad idea to chain your dog out and abandon him to a backyard for his whole life...
(Another edit - also from Facebook, and the relative of the dog's owners - Cujo had supposedly been blocked off on a deck in his own backyard - 10 feet off the ground, but for some reason - we'll never know why - maybe he saw a particularly delectable cat, or something that he'd been wanting to chase for awhile - he saw fit to jump over the railing on the deck - and off he went for a walk-about through the neighbourhood - and it ended two houses down in the driveway of the Brown family house - so maybe Cujo was not a chained dog, but he was most probably a dog who was outside unsupervised in an unfenced yard - much to his detriment - and also according tos his owners relative on Facebook - "the whole family is heart broken over the out come.")
As well - on a CBC Online news article - Cujo's owner has left a comment, and it reads as follows:
As Cujo's owner I would like to say something.
First previous to doing this interview we did not speak to Mr.Brown. We both understand how he appeared to Both John and his son. I understand that the officer did what he felt was right.
Cujo was locked on our deck we never thought that Cujo would of jumped that distance. i wish i knew why he jumped off the deck, i wish i could explain why he pined John Brown.
He was not rabid, he was not a "Pit Bull" he was a Mastiff Boxer cross, i have gone over and over what I should of done, made him go inside insted of letting him lay in the sun on the deck. I know that this was our fault but that doesn't help how we feel. We did not blame the officer, I would just like to see alterntives to leathal fire.
Animal control was on route John and his son were in their car the officer was in his car. Why did the officer get out? The most painful part of this was that my son spoted Cujo's lifeless body first.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me but I wanted to make my point. This was a mistake, it could of been a costly mistake. If you don't understand the breed, if you didn't know the dog, you may never understand. Listening to John talk one on one with me i understand how scared he was. I also understand that the officer fear for his safety.
I feel that all this outrage over Cujo is due to people who have Breeds such as this who don't have the dogs to love. This is a widley misunderstood breed in general. I have taken him to the park and kids would pat him. The only problem i ever had was a Irish Setter who almost took a chunck out of him.
Believe what you will about me, my family, and my late Cujo thats your right, but he was just a friendly giant and a part of our family.