Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It's A Mom Thing. Mom. Mom. Mom.

Many years ago, while living out of state, I was walking Miss L. She was a medium sized pup. In the neighborhood I lived in, there was a big issue with roaming dogs. The animal control officer and I saw each other at least once or twice a week. From the dog hoarder at the end of our street to the neighbor who moved out and left their dog, and everything between, I made frequent calls to update him on the happenings.

I took Miss L out for a walk down the street. On the way back to my house, I was approached by a large, familiar dog. Miss L remained calm although I could tell she was ready to defend me. The large dog showed its teeth and snarled. I slowly picked up Miss L and calmly walked to the door on the side of my house. The large dog continued to snarl and bark, but kept its distance.

Trying to unlock my door, keep an eye on the wandering dog and hold Miss L was challenging, however, I kept my composure, focused and managed to get the key in. When I turned the key, the large dog came after me. Miss L started barking. The large dog tried to get at Miss L by clawing at me. Once I was halfway in the door, I put Miss L down, blocked the large dog with my body and shut the door. However, seconds before I was able to shut the door without injuring the large dog, he bit me in the hand.

My leg and arm was scratched up pretty bad. The bite wasn't severe. Once I felt his teeth on my hand, and before he could bite down hard, I yanked my hand out. I called the ACO. I knew who the dog belonged to. Our neighbor. The ACO confronted him and he denied ownership. Law enforcement was brought in. They weren't buying it either. The dog was stuck to our neighbors side like glue. Eventually our neighbor confessed. Thankfully the dog was UTD on vaccinations. I didn't press charges. Our neighbor surrendered the dog to the ACO.

Last summer this incident came up in conversation. I don't remember why or how, but it did. I do remember with who, but that's irrelevant. Their reply took me by surprise.

"You shouldn't have picked up Miss L. Had the dog aggressively come after you, with the intent to severely harm or kill, Miss L would have defended you and become a distraction so you could get to the safety of inside your home."

My jaw dropped to the floor. I didn't even attempted to put on my best poker face. My expression said it all. No words needed.


"Any expert will tell you that if you're in a life or death situation with your dog, let the dog come between you and harms way."

I could feel my face turn to stone. My blood was boiling. I don't hide how I feel about so-called experts. I embrace learning from those who have experience, but it's the arrogance of those self-proclaimed experts I have a difficult time dealing with. This situation included.

I didn't entertain them with a lengthy version of the thoughts spinning in my head like a hamster wheel. The only thing I said, before changing the subject, was, "Miss L wasn't just a dog. She was my daughter. I will protect and defend regardless of the outcome."

I meant every single word.

Coco is about the size of Miss L. Sophie and Lobo are both under 12 pounds. We've taken them for walks around the block. However, the majority of the the time, they run around our fenced in yard while we're out there with them.

Most of the people in our neighborhood are pet parents. Aside from our neighbor who lets their small pup wander freely and the occasional wanderer, we don't have problems with roaming dogs.


If I were out and about with any of our kids and was confronted by an aggressive dog, I would slowly and calmly pick up our kid and, in the best way I knew how, remove us from the situation. If I was not able to do so, there is no cell in my body that would even consider putting my kid down to defend me or redirect the attack so I could get to safety.

I would do everything in my power to shield Coco, Sophie and Lobo from harms way. If that meant being mauled, so be it. None of them would survive an aggressive and persistent attack from a large dog. If by some chance they did, the injuries and pain they would suffer would be beyond anything I can imagine.

I'm their Mom. 

Regardless of whether your kid is human or dog, it has no bearing on your instinct to protect and shield from harm's way. It's a Mom thing. Mom. Mom. Mom.

That Mom thing doesn't stop at the potential threat of being confronted by a large, aggressive dog. It's with everything. Last year, for a little over 4 months, we didn't leave the kids home along because of our upstairs neighbor. That's a long story in its own, but he had made several comments about "shutting our kids up" when they barked and we weren't home to shush them.

Thankfully, he was evicted before the new owner of the house moved in upstairs.

It was a very long 4 months and I went slightly stir crazy, but there was no way in hell I was going to leave our kids home alone after he made those nonchalant threats. No. Way.

Our kid's well being and safety is a priority. We don't budge on that. Ever. If that means cancelling plans to attend an evening backyard barbecue because there's a threat of bad weather, so be it. We don't put our kids in harms way or leave them to fend for themselves in situations they're afraid of.

Yes, that includes all Fourth of July festivities. 

They're our kids. As their Moms, it's our responsibility to protect them. Always.

I don't care what the experts say.

That's how we roll.

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