I am sure many of you by now know the sad story of six year old Kaitlyn Hassard, who accidentally died of strangulation as the result of playing with her one and a half year old golden retriever, Jesse. The dog was playing tug with Kaitlyn's scarf, which she had wrapped around her. The dog dragged Kaitlyn across the ground and she was found dead in the yard.
Unfortunately for the family and perhaps for the rest of us, we now have to hear the tripe from so called experts stating that children should never be left alone with the family dog and that we must be alert and aware at all times when children are with dogs.
We have our perfect example of this in a Newsday article on the tragedy. Supposed expert, Nancy Williams, an associate certified applied animal behaviorist in Manchester, Md stated the following
"No matter what type or size of dog, "children should never be left alone with a dog for one second, even if it's Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. Dogs are not playmates, they're animals, and you can't trust them. It takes half a second to get your face bit, and anything can happen."
"You can't trust them"? Excuse me? Please tell that to all the owners whose dogs alerted them to fires or notified them of their babies choking. I am sure those owners trust their dogs with their lives.
Golden retrievers are known for being wonderful family dogs. The family put Jesse in The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter for understandable reasons (it would be really hard to have the dog around even if the dog did not mean any harm), but the shelter has already received 300 callers offering to adopt Jesse. That's how fondly golden retrievers are thought of and I believe those people know that Jesse meant no harm and that it was strictly an accident. Those 300 callers rightfully could care less what Ms. Williams has to say.
I agree that young children should be supervised when playing with the family pet, but young children should be supervised with playing with other children as well.
As for Ms. Williams' comments, Ms.Williams, we are animals/mammals too. Does that mean I shouldn't trust anyone else either? I don't think so. And also, I would trust my current dog more than a good number of the people I have met in my life.
Another so called expert, animal behavorist Peter Borchelt comments, "In truth, the only lesson from this may be that a young, highly active and playful dog can injure somebody, or worse, in the process of playing, whether it's knocking an older person down the stairs or dragging a child into oncoming traffic."
Did we really need to hear that last comment? Was that really necessary? Couldn't he have just left it with "a young highly active and playful dog can injure somebody or worse in the process of playing"
It really amazes me what people say and what the media publishes. It was an accident. A tragic accident. But that's all that it is. But now the media makes it a larger story and brings in all these experts. Once again another example of the media making us live in fear. Now we have to live in fear of our family dog...
I am very sorry for the family of the daughter. I can't imagine their loss. Having Matt, I hope I never do. I just hope people will leave them in peace...