Friday, February 25, 2005

Pit Bulls Do NOT Make Good Babysitters

Just read an article yesterday where scientists have discovered that Pit Bulls and other aggressive breeds of dogs are more likely to attack a baby in a rocking swing than, say, a baby in a crib, a baby held in the arms of a parent, or a baby NOT ANYWHERE NEAR A PIT BULL. Good study! And let me say up front my comments will be philosophical, not graphic, since a number of the babies who were the subject of this Ridiculous Study met an unfortunate end. Of course when I first heard about the study I wondered what they used: Crash Test Babies? Life-sized dolls that can cry, wet, and perhaps cuss out their parents on command? Because I have to wonder about a parent who would leave their infant alone in a swing with a pit bull in the room. I know, I know. "Your" pit bull is gentle and wouldn't hurt a fly. But remember, flies are very good at avoiding flyswatters and lunging pit bulls, whereas babies are not. These were not controlled studies run under experimental conditions. The scientists just took data from dog attacks against babies and discovered they were more likely to attack a Moving Baby than a Still Baby. The theory being that perhaps their primitive instincts told them that the baby was "prey" rather than a valuable member of the household. This is one of those Tragic But Avoidable Incidents. The implication was that you can increase your baby's safety by not using a swing, or by making sure they baby is attended by a parent or other responsible person while in the swing. Hahahahaha. Well aside from the fact that one mother returned home from the drugstore to find her husband rolling on the floor with the Family Pit Bull in a choke hold, maybe the responsible parent WOULD NOT OWN A PIT BULL. That was just an editorial comment with no scientific basis whatsoever. Because I know "your" pit bull has always been friendly to "you," and therefore can be trusted in a room with a Dangling Newborn. (Didn't you ever watch those Looney Toons Cartoons where Daffy suddenly looks like a roast duck? Extrapolate.) Now of course parental pit bull owners will be rushing out to buy special swings with a Pit Bull Guard so they can still answer the door or the phone and leave the baby and pit bull together. This is obvious. But you know, it doesn't take a pit bull or rottweiller to initiate an attack against a baby. Any breed can do it. And for those who take comfort in the fact that "your" pit bull is so gentle, in the majority of these cases the dog attacked with no previous history of such attacks. In other words, you're playing Pit Bull Roulette, and your baby is the prize we're competing for. Does that make sense? I remember when my youngest brother was born. We had a dog at the time who had always been good to the rest of us kids. Well he didn't take to the new baby. He would growl at him. Do you know how many minutes my parents spent warning the rest of us to "never leave the baby and the dog alone together?" NONE. Because they got rid of the dog. Sure, maybe it was only a small chance that our dog would go after the baby. But why take that chance? I'm sure my brother Andy is grateful to this day that he has no Dog Bite Marks on his face. Another thing to keep in mind. The average Pit Bull Mother would never allow a baby human alone in a room with HER puppies. Baby humans are too unpredictable! Just like, ahem, most of the Animal Kingdom. So I suggest that human parents should have as much sense as the Pit Bull Mother, which is to say you don't leave babies alone with Pitt Bulls and Rottweillers EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT IN A SWING. We see Baby. They see Chew Toy. As an aside, from a daily reading of the headlines there are plenty of mothers leaving babies and toddlers in the care of BOYFRIENDS. Frankly, unless the kid is old enough to tell you what is going on, I wouldn't do that either. A boyfriend is not much better than a pitt bull in that respect. In fact, the pit bulls may be safer. Please note although I have focused on pit bulls, my comments also apply to the Family Monkey, the Family Cheetah and the Family Boa Constrictor. We should really treat our babies for what they're really worth, which is Everything. And if you wouldn't leave your best pair of shoes alone with a pit bull, why leave your baby?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cocker spaniels are more likely to attack than a pit ull, also proven by "studies"

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