It’s been a variable week of dog news here in Christchurch (to say the least).
The news was all bad by mid-week, when it was reported that two Rottweilers mauled a young boy of eight, named Mason Bennett. Mason had been staying with his mother and her partner (who owned the dogs). And there had been a previous incident when the dogs were aggressive with another young boy.
Read Dad’s shock at earlier attack by same dogs
The recent dog attack saw lots of comments about how Rottweilers can’t be trusted. Was it the dog or the owners who are to blame?
In the same edition of the newspaper, columnist Rachel Young wrote about My dog was a rottweiler. In general, a defense of the breed, Ms Young also mentions in her story that when her family Rottweiler, Zeb, became unwell with kidney disease he became more aggressive. Her parents decided to euthanize him. To quote “Despite the loving environment, at times you can’t beat nature. In Zeb’s case, it seemed the protective, aggressive nature was developing as he got older and sicker.”
Which shows that even some dog owners don’t know a thing about dogs. Maybe a sick dog lashes out because they are in pain and can’t communicate that in spoken words – and their family doesn’t get it!!!!!
This provoked a Letter to the Editor on my part – which the newspaper largely got right but they decided to edit it by attributing the dog attack to dogs that were unwell (which there isn’t any evidence of – just poor owners!)
The dog news turned for the brighter the next day when police dog Gage was honoured with the PDSA Gold Medal posthumously. Killed in 2010 during a drug raid, Gage took a bullet that was meant for his handler Bruce Lamb. The PDSA Gold Medal is known as the Animal’s George Cross, for civilian bravery.
Bruce Lamb tells his and Gage’s story here Shot police dog Gage honoured for bravery
Today is Monday and there is mixed news for dog owners in today’s newspaper. Front page news is the story of landlords charging special pet bonds to allow tenants to keep pets. This is when a tenant pays more than the standard four week’s rent upfront to secure their rental and it is illegal.
The story goes on to say that charging more for a pet-friendly rental (week to week, or month to month) is okay. Unfortunately, since Christchurch is still in earthquake recovery mode, rental housing is at a premium. Many dog owners don’t dare contest a pet bond because they need a home for all members of the family. Read Landlords in dog box over pet bonds.
Further into the newspaper, some better news. A little puppy of about six weeks old was found cowering under the seat of a car when it was stopped by police. The offenders fled and the dog is believed to be stolen property. A police constable is appealing for information about the wee puppy.
Read Police pursuit nets puppy
Here’s hoping that the stolen pup is returned home soon…
I’d like to see more positive news about dog and dog ownership in Christchurch. But it seems that for every bad news story, we need about ten more to gain the confidence of the public.
How does your city/town deal with dog news? Please get in touch.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand