Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
A little girl was mauled over the weekend in Florida. Little 5-year old Ramayah was outside riding her bike when the neighbor’s dog rushed up and attacked her. Little girl would have been brutally ripped apart if it weren’t for one thing: her own dog rescued her. Does the breed of dog matter to you? Okay, fine, it was a pit bull. No…not the dog who attacked the girl – the dog who saved the little girl’s life. The attacking dog was a lab mix. Is it important? No. Here’s why:
A little girl was mauled.
That’s it. That’s the most important story. Not what great dog pit bulls are and look how it saved that little girl’s life. A dog saved his little girl’s life. Furthermore, the attacking dog that authorities are claiming was a Lab mix? Well…does it matter?
Another child was mauled.
Obviously a great debt is owed to little Remayah’s family pet. After all, Remayah might very well not be here today if it weren’t for the bravery that the dog showed in defending his little girl. Am I glad that it was a pit bull who was defending his little girl against the other dog? No.
Because a little girl’s face is now disfigured.
I think there is a bit of a problem if someone takes the fact that a pit bull was the defender, and a Lab was the aggressor, as the main rallying point in this story. That’s inconsequential. If it takes an attack from another like this to show that pit bulls are not vicious and are bravely loyal companions, well, we already knew that. And it’s not always the case, as we read here. Sometimes pit bulls can indeed maul. They are, after all, dogs. Just like the Lab who attacked in this situation. Dog is a dog is a dog is a dog, as Gertrude Stein might say. So instead of turning this story into the glory that is pit bull, let me distill this into what actually happened:
A little girl was physically and emotionally traumatized when an unsecured dog attacked her. Her own dog defended her, most likely preventing her from certain death.
That is the take-away. That is the real story. The story is about a little girl whose name is Remayah, who will never be the same. It is not a story about glorifying pit bulls. It’s about glorifying a little child’s dog, who bravely charged to her rescue. More importantly, it’s about safety. Why this never should have happened to begin with.
Who is at at fault? Certainly not 5-year old Remayah, who was merely riding her bike. What about the Lab? Is it the Lab’s fault for trying to protect his own pack and family from what he obviously took as a threat? You may automatically condemn the Lab for attacking the girl, but a child whirring up and down the street on a bike can indeed be a very scary thing for a dog. No, I seriously doubt the Lab could have even been deemed “aggressive”, as you will read here. It was most likely trying to protect his home, which is an intrinsic right for any living creature.
The fault belongs squarely on the shoulders of the Lab’s owner(s). Any dog is can be a living weapon and must be secured at all times, including a Lab. Also, in my experience (which isn’t minute), a dog does not just one day wake up and start exhibiting reactions to kids on bikes like this. Questions had probably been asked by this dog for quite a while, giving the owners some indication that this was indeed a dog who needed to be more than adequately secured. “I thought I had locked him up”, is not an acceptable answer, no more than “I thought I had put my car in ‘Park’”, just after it rolls down the driveway and crushes a child riding a bike. It’s not the vehicle’s fault. It’s not the dog’s fault.
So, at this point I’m sure some of you are angry that I didn’t make a bigger deal about the hero dog being a pit bull. Honestly, I’m not surprised that it was a pittie doing the rescuing, and the amount of gratitude I have for that dog is tremendous. He saved a little girl. They are great dogs, just like every other dog. Faithful, loyal, and loving.
“With my last breath, I’ll exhale my love for you. I hope it’s a cold day, so you can see what you meant to me. ” – Jarod Kintz
But that’s not the story here.
Because a little girl was mauled. That’s the real story.
If you would like to donate towards Remayah’s recovery, please check out this link.