Last night, Eric at Roc the Run became a hero in my mind. I know that he doesn't think that he is, but he is in the truest sense of the word.
You can read his account of what happened, here, if you want. Please keep in mind that the description and photos are graphic in nature.
If you do not wish to read what happened, the short version is that he heard one of his neighbors in distress and ran out to find three pitbulls attacking, viciously, two greyhounds and their owner. Eric did what he needed to do to get the three dogs off of the woman and her dogs and saved their lives. Unfortunately, Dasher, the greyhound who got the worst of the attack, is not doing well and is fighting for his life. Dasher and Vixen's owner is likely going to need surgery on her hand.
I only live a few blocks away from Eric, his wife, Sheila, and their dog, Picasso. This could have been them or it could have been me, Mike and Bernie, our dog.
It could have been our friends Sarah, Mark and their dog Kiva. It could have been Ali and Rex, Jen and Pepper, Alex and Freckles and so many more. It could have been anyone walking or running with or without their dog.
I am angered not only because Dasher is fighting for his life and his owner had to go through this horrible experience, but I am also angered because the three pitbulls are going to lose their lives because of their selfish owner. Their owner alone taught them to behave this way and now innocent people and dogs are suffering as a consequence.
I do not support Breed Specific Legislation as I do not think any breeds are vicious on their own. Owners need to take responsibility for their dogs and do what needs to be done to make sure nothing like this happens.
Mike and I did just that with Bernie. He is a Chow Chow/Black Lab mix and most people shy away when we utter the word, "Chow Chow". Chow Chows are, by nature, aggressive dogs and they need training. Mike and I are not experienced dog owners, however, we are smart enough to recognize warning signs.
He looks sort of grumpy in this picture
When Bernie was only three months old he started to exhibit dangerous behaviors that needed to be stopped. We went to a trainer at the recommendation of our vet and she put it to us bluntly. We had two options (well, really three but ignoring it wasn't really the best option): give him up or have him stay there for three weeks of intensive training. He was a liability, to us and to other people.
We left the appointment crying because we knew what we had to do, he was going to stay there for three weeks.
This is the only way we saw him, cellphone pictures and videos from the staff
In April we brought him there and after three weeks we picked him up. He was a new dog. He is now well-behaved and rarely exhibits aggressive behavior. We know his triggers and warning signs and when he is in a dangerous situation, we LEAVE (no matter who it offends) because the truth of the matter is that Bernie is the one who would be at fault if something ever happened.
It cost us thousands of dollars to do this and I know that not everyone has the means to do that, however, do what you can to protect your dog and others. Give your dog a fighting chance at a good life. There are good pitbulls out there (take Patrick the pitbull as an example), but there are just as many bad owners who ruin these dogs' reputations.
I donated money for Patrick and now he oversees all of our training
Eric is organizing a local 5K run next Sunday, June 10th at noon called "Dash for Dasher". Updated: It is now called the Dash for Dasher Memorial 5K. If you can't join us in Rochester, you can also participate virtually. He is also asking for donations to help with Dasher's vet bills because even though the pitbulls' owner is going to be charged on three counts, he may not have the means for restitution.
Please consider joining us in Rochester, virtually and/or donating whatever amount you can.
Just think, it could have been you out there crying for help.