Racial Profiling

I'm guilty. It makes me feel dirty to admit it, but I am guilty of racial profiling. Of dogs. (Would that make it breed profiling?)

The offspring and I were out in the yard this afternoon, playing on the swing set. Our swing set is in the side yard, as the fenced part of our yard contains the pit of despair a pool. I was pushing Z on the swing and Q was playing with bubbles in a lawn chair near by. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a white dog trotting over toward us. Bear in mind that we live in the sticks, and lots of people don't fence their dogs. I just assumed it was the neighbor's dog, Gracie.

I did a double take when I saw that the dog in question was not the harmless basset-cross Gracie, but a huge unfamiliar pit bull. His ears were clipped and he looked very menacing. Now, I am not one of those people who thinks pit bulls are the devil. A dog is what you train it to be, and I know that there are lots of sweet pit bulls that make great family dogs. This dog, however, was a completely unknown quantity.

With any dog, my first instinct is to pet it. But his stance wasn't overtly friendly, so I decided to ignore him and see if he would just go away. But he didn't. He was getting too close for my peace of mind to Q on the lawn chair, so I snatched Z out of the swing, grabbed Q and headed for the elevated fort portion of the swing set. Yes. I let a stray dog tree me in my own yard.

I figured that when we were out of reach that he would head off on his merry way. But nooooo. We stayed up in the fort and piddled and blew bubbles for what seemed like hours, but I'm sure was closer to 15 minutes. By now, I am just freaked the flip out. Q kept trying to escape and was losing patience with me for blocking his exit. The dog just kept circling the swing set and looking up at us. Yikes! Finally, a neighbor across the street pulled into their driveway and the dog headed off toward their house.

Q immediately went down the slide. The dog stopped and made a beeline for Q. My heart started pounding. Q, having no fear since he's been surrounded by all manner of dogs since birth, reached out and gave the dog a pat. The dog didn't react, so I released a pent up breath of relief. Only to see Q grabbing onto the dog's hindquarters. Twice.

My heart leapt into my throat as I shoved Z aside and vaulted down the slide (I had been trying to go down the ladder, but my hips were too wide for the opening. Ack.) By now the dog had knocked Q onto the ground and he had started crying. I snatched up the crying Q, helped Z slide down the slide and headed for the house. I had freaked Z out enough that she wanted to run, but I restrained her. The dog followed right behind us all the way into the garage to the door to the house, and would have followed us in if I hadn't closed the door on his face. (We lost a Pomeranian to a Doberman once, so I was freaked out that he might eat one of my dogs in addition to my children.)

I have no idea why this dog scared me so. He was never aggressive. No growling or barking. He had his tail tucked, which indicated to me a nervous/not happy dog. He had no collar and was hugely muscular. I guess my survival instincts were just saying "better safe than sorry," but they convicted that dog without any cause.


  1. I can understand that. I worked at a shelter for years where tons of pits and rotts came through -- some sweet as all get out and some who had been trained to fight.

    An unknown dog. Small children. I'm with you and taking no chances. I'm glad it turned out well for you! Not to mention really jealous that you were able to play outside today.

    And thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday on my SITS day. I had so much fun and am still wading through wonderful comments. I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you come back to visit soon!

  2. I can understand...we have a dog in our neighborhood that pins me in my house...the person it belongs too swears the dog is friendly but it is has gone after the puppies and if it is loose it snarls at me through my door (not good)...those instincts are there for a reason and it may turn out to be a sweet dog but one never knows.


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