When I grew up, it was a given that dogs roamed our suburban streets. All the kids knew how to handle dogs, which dogs to avoid and in most cases these lovely animals became our beloved friends. They played cricket and rugby with us, and we had hours of fun.
Unfortunately things have changed a lot since then. People are now confined in Security complexes, small Townhouses or Flats where the housing of big dogs are almost impossible. The smaller breeds like Yorkies, Maltese and Dachshund’s became a popular choice for dog owners who do not have the necessary space to keep a larger animal. Others have cats or alternative exotic pets.
I love all animals, and are especially fond of Yorkies, but since I need some form of security, I do have large dogs.
A few times a year a horrible incident occurs when someone is attacked or bitten by a large dog. Although isolated, these incidents have caused a large amount of panic throughout the South African community, and I have noticed how people treat my dogs in public.
I always walk my dogs on – leash, even in places such as Delta Park and Emmerentia where the average dog owner does not bother to do so. I only allow my dogs off – leash in isolated areas, where I can see if people or other dogs are approaching.
As an experienced dog owner, I have always maintained this policy, to avoid any nasty comments or incidents with human beings or other dogs. The majority of people, who own large dogs, understand the responsibility that goes with keeping such an animal. They need loads of attention, socialisation and training.
So I hereby plead with the anti – dog brigade to please stop passing your paranoia to your children. Even if my dogs are on – leash, women grab their kids and run in the other direction. Old ladies get aggravated when their Dachshunds get a bit of a wrestling, when they attack my dogs. (In fact I have been bitten many more times by these smaller little canine creatures than I have ever been attacked by a larger dog.)
People have told me, how afraid they are of my Boerboels as they seem to maul woman and children, left right and centre. This while my “Boerboels” are in fact a medium sized dog, called a Boxer.
I have found this isolated spot in a sleepy Johannesburg suburb, where I go every single day. This area is adjacent to a public park, but in all the years that I have walked my dogs there, I have not seen a soul. In fact – This area is basically a swamp. Most dogs like to get down and dirty, and boy do they make a mess! But besides chasing a few hadedas and digging some holes, I have never had any incident up till today. I am always there to supervise and control them.
To the man who spoiled my little alone time today, with my beloved dogs I would like to say the following:
- If you did not scream at the top of your lungs in a threatening tone from 100 metres away, my dogs would not have ran in your direction
- When you made your claim that your grandchildren regularly play in that swampy area, their parents are irresponsible, as it is wet and full of objects that can harm a child.
- The area is deserted, and my dogs are trained not to venture 20 metres away from me at any time, even if they feel that I am threatened, by someone like you.
- The area is not part of the public area, as you claim
- Boxers do not maul children at random, in fact – Most large dogs that are properly trained will do less damage to a child than your standard miniature canines.
Thank you to the anti – doggie brigade for constantly reminding me of the fact that animals are much better companions and much more loving, less hostile and obedient than the average human being.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.