Just one week ago, Dawn Brown -- a 44-year-old firefighter and owner of two other dogs -- brought home a Bullmastiff to add to her family. Two days ago, in a disturbing scene straight out of a horror movie, the dog killed her.
According to previous owners, the dog had no history of being aggressive. When Brown's husband came home Monday afternoon, he found his wife dead at the bottom of the stairs. But she hadn't fallen. The couple's new dog, who weighed about 140 pounds, had attacked her neck and killed her.
For dog lovers, this news is chilling. For someone considering a new dog, this news may mean not getting a dog at all. But the reality is, dogs are animals.
Friends of the couple say that they didn't have children, so they thought of their three dogs as their kids. Clearly, these people knew and loved dogs. It wasn't like they were new at the task of caring for a dog and didn't know how to handle it. Perhaps the dog was stressed in his new environment or spooked. Maybe we will never know what happened. But it's not really the dog's fault.
When people have dogs, they need to recognize that they are animals, not humans. In no way am I blaming Brown for what happened. This may have just been a fluke and something spooked the dog. But I do see this with other people.
Their dog bites a person and they think, "Oh he just didn't like that person." A dog bites a child and they think, "Oh that child was just in his face."
The fact is, an aggressive dog -- a dog that bites humans -- shouldn't be living in a home at all. Even if it's only every once in a while or only when it's spooked. It's not the dog's fault, but it IS the human's fault for not taking care of the situation at the first sign of trouble.
From all accounts, it sounds like the dog in this case had NOT shown aggressive tendencies, which makes it even more imperative that dogs that DO show such tendencies be properly dealt with. I have a dog. I love him like a family member. But if he bit someone? He would have to go.
Humans come first.
This story is a very sad one because Brown clearly loved dogs and never could have imagined being killed by one. It's downright horrifying to think a beloved pet could turn on us like this. But it's also a grim reminder that no matter how well we think we know our dogs, they are still animals capable of great hurt.
Does this make you think about your dog differently?
Image via ell brown/Flickr