Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Dog won't bite

Famous last words. "Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about a dozen die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls." [CDC Dog bite prevention]

At the coffee shop this morning a man drove up in a white Mercedes station wagon with vanity plates and OSU decals, and let his two large dogs out of the trunk area. Thinking he was going to let them roam the parking lot while he got his coffee I thought to myself how unsafe it was for his pets. But I was wrong. It was only unsafe for the customers because Mr. Dartmouth-Sweatshirt let the dogs into the glassed vestibule of the coffee shop where they waited, panted anxiously, and scratched at the glass while he leisurely got his coffee. Meanwhile, the customers coming in had to make their way around an overweight, long-haired shepherd mix, and an adult yellow lab, half the size of the other dog.

Dog owners casually say, "Oh, he won't bite," but statistics prove them wrong time and again. Even a minor bite can become infected, and often children (usually young and male) are victims of the dogs (usually young and male) with careless, naive owners (usually young and male). Also, given the thousands that are bitten each year, millions of people have been traumatized by a dog at sometime in their life and may be very anxious closed up in a small space with a strange dog.

All dogs will bite. Be safe. Be considerate. Leash your pet and don't bring him into a people only area where he will become anxious around strangers. Don't let him run loose in public areas--if you decided on a large breed that needs exercise, accept the responsibility and run with him at the end of the leash. If you don't listen to me, here's the web site of a personal injury lawyer. People sue for a lot less than have their face ripped off.

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  • At 15 August, 2007 02:50, Blogger Shannon said…

    Excellent thoughts.

    People look at me very funny when I say kindly and nicely, "No Thank You" when they offer to let my facinated kids pet the doggie, or when I grab their hands and make them wait until the dog is out of range. It just isn't worth the risk to me, especially since I don't know them.

    I will let them visit with our friend's dogs that we know extremely well.

    Stranger dogs, just nope. I'm also not comfortable with people that use their dogs as an "in" to talk to kids........that just really creeps me out on a couple of levels...... Thanks for the post, Shannon


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