There is a fenced in school yard across the street from our house. We take Tallulah over there every night so she has a change to really run around. About 8-12 other dogs frequent this area with some regularity. Kirby (Tallulah's boyfriend), Lilly (T's rival for Kirby's affections), Madonna (a fat white english bull dog with a a skin disorder who is as sweet as they come, Marble (who just walks though), Bailey (who is the fastest dog I have ever seen) just to name a few that we know well. All the dogs are well socialized, have fun together and make it a very enjoyable place to spend time. Also frequenting the schoolyard is airplane guy - who flies model airplanes and it very cool. There are also a variety of neighborhood kids who come to the playground and throw the ball for our dogs or just ride their bikes on the blacktop. It is a great place and we are lucky it is so close to our house.
All was well until about a month ago when a woman drove her truck up with 3 large dogs - one of them being a pit bull. When we took Tallulah to the school yard she ran over and told us that her dog doesn't get along with other dogs and from the way he snapped and barked at the fence we took her word for it and went home. A few days ago Kirby and his owner returned from an extened vacation and headed over to the yard. They saw other dogs in the area but as all the other dogs have always been friendly dogs they just walked in. We saw this and ran out of the house shouting for them to get out because the other dogs are the "bad dogs!!". But it was too late and Kirby had already ran over - tail wagging, ready to make friends. The bad dogs!! owner ran over to break up the dog fight that was already heating up. Kirby made it out without any blood drawn, but she was still clearly attacked. And after knowing Kirby for a year, he is the sweetest of dogs - even sweeter than my own dear Tallulah (who we all know can be a diva). So we were clearly worried about him. Kirby is fine and he and Tallulah played in our small yard for awhile. Then we called it a night.
Side note: Normally I am not prejudiced against Pit Bulls. In fact I tend to think they are misunderstood and deserve a fair shake. But this dog - and the other two equally aggressive doge that hand out with him - is not a friendly dog. He makes this normally happy space a danger. And really after he attacked Kirby -in front of my very eyes- I just have no sympathy for him or the breed at all. I know, I know. There are some really great Pit Bulls out there who would never hurt a fly, but seriously people this is a bad dog!! For the past month I've been repressing my feelings about this dog, and the fact that we can't take Tallulah out to play when they are over there, but them Kirby was bit and seriously all bets are off now.
Tonight the bad dogs!! came over again. Part of the problem is that they arrive at 5:30 (as soon as all the after-school kids are gone) and stay for 2 hours! They basically hold the playground hostage. No one else can go over there when they are there. Today Tallulah and Kirby wanted to play but we had to keep them back and ended up playing with them in our basement because the bad dogs!! would not leave. Kriby's owner went over and talked to them, without much success because they stayed - holding the yard hostage for quite awhile. Then 4 kids on bikes rode up and we had to tell them it wasn't safe for them to go play because of the bad dogs!! It was a good thing we did too because 15 min later Airplane guy entered the yard the and bad dogs!! jumped on him and one bit him. It didn't break the skin but he was clearly still bitten. Shortly after that the bad dogs!! left and we headed over, the kids on bikes came in and Airplane guy kept flying his airplane. It was about as picturesque a scene as you could come by.
So Kirby's owner who happens to be a law student is going to talk to them one more time and encourage them that charges could easily be drawn up since the dog is clearly dangerous. I just hate that this one woman and her bad dogs!! are making this lovely area a danger. I hope they just the message and stay away.