Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coffee and Provocation

Pitbull Eats Police Cruiser:
Winston, a "pitbull mix" has left four cars -- two of them Chattanooga police patrol vehicles -- with flat tires and at least one with a missing bumper because of his aggression. Rather that order the euthanization of the dog, the court has ordered the owner to take Winston home and taken him to court-ordered obedience training. Anyone want to guess how this ends up after reading that the owner thinks it's amusing that his dog went nuts, ripped through two fences, destroyed four cars, and was pepper sprayed and tasered by the police?

Dogs as Guinea Pigs and Mutant Messes:
Here's a post on ten ways dogs have helped advance medicine. The bad news is that the dogs have mostly helped advance medicine because so many breeds are mutant messes that they readily present with genetic diseases thanks to Kennel Club inbreeding. Of course, dogs have also helped advance medicine because they are so easily bred and abandoned, meaning that they are cheap guinea pigs. Therapy animals would seem to fall outside of either bin, but I am not sure they actually qualify as an advance in medicine. What does qualify (and is not mentioned) are seeing eye dogs and other assistance animals.

Dogs are Not Pack Animals?
Dogs are not pack animals, we are told, and never mind the fox hound packs and packs of wild dogs seen all over the world. And this? Ceci n'est pas une pack!

Camera Trap Law Enforcement:
Camera traps are now being used as surveillance cameras to catch camp ground vandals, illegal dumpers, trespassers, pot growers, and poachers, and also to monitor deep-sea commercial fishing boats. Not only are camera traps a low-cost force multiplier, but they also provide evidence which is very hard to argue with in court.

David Allen Sibley Paints A Feruginous Hawk:
Check out this slide show to see how David Allen Sibley works. To order any of his books, click here.

My New Computer Desk Top?
Yes, I may switch to this one. The icons go on the shelf, with temporary save files on the bulletin board. Nice!

Napoleon's March into Russia:
Back when rocks were soft, I bought a first edition of Ed Tufte's book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which has some great stuff in it. One of those great things is a combined map, timeline and troop count story of Napoleon's march into Russia. It's now available as a stand-alone poster. And yes, I am a geek.

Appropriate T Shirts for Caffeine People Like Me:
I like this one quite a lot, but would never wear it. I would wear this one for sure.

A Tribeca Coyote That is Not Robert DeNiro:
Yes, another coyote has been found in Manhattan -- this one a young female in Tribeca, between Greenwich Village and the Battery (where the World Trade Center used to be). Previous posts on NYC coyotes here and here.


Eleanor Herrick said...

Re the car eating dog... Yes, the owner absolutely has a responsibility to keep the dog safely confined, and that responsibility, he failed. Miserably. Obviously.

But. I have to admit, I had to fight a grin watching him go at that bumper. And getting his neighborhood friends in on the act. This wasn't a vicious dog attacking. If you're a Pit Bull, it was the perfect game of tug. Just such canine joy. Not groovy from a human perspective, but sheer dogness perfection.

The policeman driving the car really didn't have it all together either. S/he had opportunities to leave which weren't taken advantage of.

I think the judge made a good decision. "Leave it" would have been a really handy command. Let's hope the owner takes advantage of the second chance and follows through.

Seahorse said...

The dog's owner doesn't get it, the dog owner's lawyer thinks it's funny, and the judge has missed the boat. I don't know what the laws are there, but this will end in death. Hopefully limited to this dog only.

Seahorse--> Been there, seen it in person, you don't want to.

PBurns said...

If the owner thinks it's funny when his dog is pepper sprayed and tasered, he will think it's a laugh riot when that dog is shot dead with a 9-mil. And I sure you that is how this is going to end up. This dog will never compleat that course.


Eleanor Herrick said...

What would you rather the judge have done?

PBurns said...

The police should have shot the dog in the head.

Pretty damn funny now, huh Eleanor?

Bet you would grin like crazy at that, eh? Just "canine joy" and a little game of "catch the bullet."

Comments like that are why people have no patience with pitbulls or or their owners.

Just shoot the dog in a case like this. Owners will either be responsible or not. If not, then the police need to do their job, and the fire department can wash the blood off the sidewalk afterwards. Better the dog's blood than the neighbors, right?

So yeah, shoot the dog and no apologies. How's that for a punchline line, Eleanor? Funny enough now?


Eleanor Herrick said...

Excuse me? You don't know me, and you have no right to make assumptions as though you do.

This is not a bad dog. This is a game dog. I would think someone calling himself a terrier person would be able to appreciate that.

He didn't attack a person, or even another animal. He actually wasn't even "attacking." Read the body language. He destroyed some property. I believe dogs are intelligent animals, but I don't think they're smart enough to figure out how we humans perceive value, and I'm quite sure they have no understanding of the concept of expense.

He's an inadequately contained, apparently unsupervised and untrained dog. Nowhere in my world does that equal an automatic death sentence.

I'd be more supportive if you advocated shooting the owners. I have no doubt that anyone with any dog experience, sense, and training ability could turn this dog into a model canine citizen.

I don't pronounce death on a dog lightly, and certainly not for what entirely a human failing.

So yes, while I can certainly understand the humans' upset over what he's done, in my dog loving and understanding heart, I can also appreciate a moment of canine joy, albeit misdirected. And yes, despite all the reasons why I know I shouldn't, deep down it makes me grin.

So shoot me too. Y'all are pretty free with the bullets.

PBurns said...

Eleanor, you shoot the dog not because it's instructive to the dog, but because it's instructive to fools like you who think it's all fun and games when a dog detroys two fences, four tires,and a bumper. It's not.

Maybe a dead dog will underscore that point?

And YES, if it takes shooting people to get that message across, then let's got on with it.

Since you seem to be a laugh-it-all-off kind of person when dogs go on a rampage, I will not object to the police shooting you when they come to visit your rampaging dog. Again, not instructiuve to you, but perhaps to others who think it's all a never-mind and really quite humorous. Show a little contrition, and stop acting as if all thisb is amusing, and maybe you and the dog will get to live.

Otherwise, be aware: Society is tired of this nonsense. We have a million Pit Bulls a year going to their death invisibly at the back of the pound every year. Maybe a few more public shootings will get the message across that this is not a dog for fools. As for "game bred dogs" let me know when you have stuck a few dogs back together. I suspect you have no idea at all.


Viatecio said...

I find it disgusting when, instead of society being "tired" of something like this, it's "cute" and "funny." The dog in the video was definitely having fun--hey, the car was playing along with the whole tug game--but the reality of the situation is, the owners will put ZERO effort into making him stop, because it's "what dogs do," or "he's just being a dog," or heaven forbid, "It's so kyoot to watch him do that.". If they prove me wrong, then I will stand corrected.

Reminds me of the dreck that is shown on the "Funniest" home video shows, whether it's human- or animal-based. Most of that stuff is NOT funny: it's sad, dangerous, inappropriate and I find no joy in laughing at the real-life misadventures/injuries of others.

I LOVE that sled dog video. I'll be willing to bet that there are debates out there that those dogs are so well-behaved because Heini beats them with that stick until they listen. Yeah, there's a basis for a great relationship with a pack such as what he demonstrates...I noticed that he went out the gate first. Must be because he's a domineering Alpha-type who doesn't realize that dogs don't have a hierarchy. /snerk

Eleanor Herrick said...

"Eleanor, you shoot the dog not because it's instructive to the dog, but because it's instructive to fools like you who think it's all fun and games when a dog detroys two fences, four tires,and a bumper. It's not."

Actually, to this particular dog, by all appearances, it was.

But now I see that this is not about dogs at all. As usual. It's about a human using an individual dog as a podium to promote an agenda. I get so tired of real dogs being sacrificed for stuff like this, and I'm grateful to the judge for having enough sense to not allow that to happen in this case. Maybe the dog should have been trained and then shot. Make everyone happy.

I will maintain my position of consideration of the individual dog. I admire his drive. In another time and place, I'd have offered to take him for his training, because he's the kind of dog I enjoy working with. Funny how dog trainers can easily imagine this dog's intensity focused for good.

MY rampaging dogs? Thanks for the second grin in a string. They lead an unfenced, off lead, never unsupervised existance, so when it happens, I'll be right there as a handy target for you. Don't hold your breath though. It ain't gunna happen.

Linda Kaim said...

I'm gonna weigh in here, because I had a big Rott and his housemate, Justice the fuzzy PitBull who did exactly that... About three years ago this last February I guess. It made the AP.

Judge the Rott, punctured three of four tires on a USPS Jeep Grand Cherokee, while it was IN MOTION on his owners property. No mean feat.

Justice and he held the driver "at bay" while the terrorized driver called 911 and requested a "rescue".

Thankfully, their owners showed up as the police were rolling up the drive.

Judge used to carry around full sized auto tires like a necklace.

He thought it a charming trick to grab at the tires of his owners ATV while they toured their expansive property.

The owners were ordered to train the dogs, even though A) the postal worker had no need to enter private property, which she herself admitted and B) it was established at the hearing that she had willingly passed through obstacles to enter the property, including a gate that stated in siren red letters "ABSOLUTELY NO TRESPASSING" on a 3' by 3' metal sign at the foot of the quarter mile long drive.

I had prior knowledge of the owners and of their two dogs; both absolutely lovely, well socialized beasts, who were frequent guests of mine, and I theirs.

The Pit was also accused of goat killing, which was unsubstantiated and to this day has still not been proven. No blood, no body yada yada yada.

Anyway, the owners were remanded to have the dogs trained "by an approved Trainer, kennel or facility specializing in the training of large, 'aggressive' dogs."

So Fuzzy Justice and the Judge came to live with me for a time; learned to perceive autos, either moving or stationary with suspicion, to default to their porch at the sight of vehicles that enter the drive and to be 'nice dogs'. I had to provide documentation, video and testimonials to the durability of the training I had provided and the issue ended with the owners paying for the damages, an electronic gate with remote override and "caution-dogs!" signs posted every 20 feet along their road frontage.

By the way, it would never have occurred to either of these dogs to harm anyone. Now, then or ever. They were two of the most delightful dogs I have ever trained.

PBurns said...

Dogs are not a right; they are a responsibility.

Part of that responsibility is to make sure the dogs are not running loose and if (and when) they are running loose, they are not killing cars or people or livestock.

If someone thinks it's funny that their dog attacks the tires of moving vehicles, then they are an IDIOT and the dog deserves to die. The only question is whether the dog will die under a tire ("woops, that never happened before") or from a police or famer's bullet, or whether someone will "wake up and small the coffee" and train the dog to STOP doing behavior which anyone can figure out will end in tragedy one way or another.

I don't have "an agenda" Eleanor.

I am simply tired of morons who think the laws and the rules don't apply to them. I get tired of folks who shrug when dogs rip up stock, who don't care when dogs savage other dogs, and who think it's cute when a dog terrorizes a neighborhood. So yeah, I am tird of folks like you who think the rules don't apply and that it's a all "fun and games.' No one is a worse amassador for pitbulls than someone who thinks this kind of stuff is funny.


Novus said...

Breed bans are going in all over the world. Pitts and Rotts are already restricted in the UK and most of Europe to from what I understand. A lot of this is due to histeria, but it's also a failure of dog owners. They have left the gate open for police and councils to take action. If that had been my dog, I would not have been laughing, I would be writing a massive check and asking for forgivness. Of course, in the countryside, a famer can simply shoot a dog that runs stock -- not too many questions asked by the police in a case like that as yesterday's paper notes The owners of this Alsatian say their dog was just playing, and the bites to the cattle were no big deal. The famer does not look amused though does he? Hard to blame him. Alsatian may be next with owners like these!


Seahorse said...

Roaming dogs become EVERYBODY'S problem. I don't want to hit your dog with my vehicle and I don't want to be forced to shoot your dog when it attacks.

Why should I have to live in a state of hyper-vigilance because some dog owner is an irresponsible dumb ass? Sure, I have a right to kill an offending dog, but it doesn't make me feel good about it. Also, that requires me to be constantly here, on alert, armed and ready. Do I get to enjoy my life? I don't need burdens placed upon me by people who are BREAKING THE LAW. I keep my animals home and should be able to expect the same out of my fellow citizens.

A good friend of mine had two goats killed by two Great Danes. The owners had been warned about these dogs chasing the horses, and one horse had its tail chewed off in the process. When the dogs came for more goats, the husband shot them. He then piled the carcasses into his truck and deposited them on the front porch of the owners. The dog owners simply went out and bought two more Great Danes.

Another good old boy I know shot two dogs that had been worrying his farm animals and hung them in a tree on the main road in front of his farm. Gruesome? Very. But, he'd been pushed by the (in)actions of the owners and was sending a message he hoped even THEY could understand.

It infuriates me that I have to deal with this nonsense on my own property. I've SEEN first-hand the carnage bully-type dogs can do to horses, people and other pets. Live in the REAL world. Oh, and I support well thought-out breed bans. Yeah, it kicks the can down the road to the next jurisdiction, but if I live in the first one, it works for me. Just look up the stats for Prince George's County, Maryland. In the first year of their pit bull ban the dog bite incidence rate fell something over 90 percent. So, what does that tell you about what breed of dog was doing the most biting?

BTW, I don't care what breed of dog is endangering my animals; I'll dispatch a Yorkie or a Pit. And I will eternally resent someone's irresponsibility becoming my problem.


Marie said...

Well as the spouse of a part-time postal carrier, I think I would like to weigh in here. I am offended by Linda's remarks about the postal carrier. A postal carrier has a right to enter a property to deliver mail. Perhaps she had mail that had to be signed for, and thus had to enter to get a signature. Hearing my behind, I am going to believe someone that says these dogs are lovely and well socialized, they just happen to have this cute little problem of attacking moving vehicles and putting fear into people?

She's not "trespassing" she's trying to do her freaking job. Really, she entered the property because she just felt like it? I say B.S. in huge capital letters.

Postal workers are always being attacked by people's dogs. Their always "delightful" unless they are terrorizing you.

stonesoupdiaries said...

Sorry, No. A postal carrier does not have a right to trespass, as was established in a COURT OF LAW.

She opened a closed gate and passed posted signs, and let's not forget the FILED STATEMENT where she openly admitted that she really didn't have a "need to enter the property".

My own postal worker is required to contact me before entering my property. As are UPS, FedEX and every other delivery service where I would expect a delivery.

It's not too difficult to request. The only person that is 'allowed' on my property without an invitation is Law Enforcement and Emergency personnel. They are the only civil servants that have the "right" to enter a property without prior authorization.

PBurns said...

Stonesoup you might find yourself on thin ground depending on the state and the circumstances.

Yes, as a general rule, posted property and locked gates provides a reasonable "trespass defense" for a dog bite, but not always.

If a child enters that property, for any reason, the court is likely to rule the other way and find the property owner liable.

As for postal carrier, the dog law blog notes that they are ALWAYS
covered (i.e. you are liable). Police officers performing their official duties are also not considered trespassers, not is anyone else who has an invitation, express or implied, to be on the dog owner's property (i.e. an electrical company meter reader). See >>

Also, if a dog attacks a hunter or almost anyone who has the means to stop the dog dead (by hitting it with a car or truck for example, or beating it to death with a pipe), they are going to kill that dog and let God and the courts sort it out later. You dog is mere property in a case like that. You may not get prosecuted for the bite, but you sure as hell will be burying your dog. And why? Because you did not care enough about the dog to protect the dog from itself and a reasonably predictable situation.