Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A pit bull at preschool.

Each morning, my son, Parker, goes to a preschool which is only two blocks from my house. Dad usually takes him, but some mornings, I do. Today was one of those days. I loaded up my twins and we (Parker, the girls, and my mom who is visiting) all headed out. Right when we arrived at the school, a dog ran up to us on the sidewalk. It was a black mix of some sort. Probably with some sharpei. There was no owner in site. I kept one eye on the dog and one eye on my girls, still sitting peacefully in the stroller. Then a huge, brown and white, cropped ear pit bull came charging up the street. My mom was horrified. Another parent who was just coming out from dropping their kid off was horrified. I was, however, not horrified. When the dog came running up to me and the stroller, I said, in my firmest, but calmest voice, “Sit!” giving the sit hand signal at the same time. And you know what? He did.

You see, I had seen this dog on walks in the neighborhood. He is kinda hard to miss in my neck of the woods. So I knew he was well behaved and trained. And even if I hadn’t, I could tell almost immediately, this was not an aggressive dog. The sharpei mix was still running around and just then the owner came out of his house. He yelled at both dogs to “GET BACK IN THE HOUSE!” and they both jogged off back home.

While my mom was taking Parker into the school, the other parent, who was now in her car, pulled over and said, “I was very impressed how you handled that.”

“Handled what?” I said, thinking she noticed my smooth hand off of my son to grandmother.

“The dog,” she responded. “I was terrified. If my child had been down there, I don’t know what I would have done. I was soooo scared.”

I said, “Oh, that. That pit bull is a good dog. Most are, you know.”

She replied, “But you were so calm and handled it so well.”

Again, I said, “No reason not to be calm with that dog. Now…the sharpie mix was another story…”

She thanked me again and went on her way.

With Parker all checked in, my mom and I started home. She also said how scared she was and asked how I knew what to. I told her, “Mom, I’m not worried about well-behaved pit bulls. It’s the small off-leash dogs that terrify me.”


Anonymous said...

Nice moment for education. Amazing how those few moments might impact someone elses thinking.
Ditto on the little dogs!

Kary said...

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo ... you rock!