|The late Bear-Bear|
My focus here, though, will remain on the canine aspect. First, I am not here to bash law enforcement. I have the utmost respect for them and the jobs they do on a daily basis. This is not about dog owners versus the police. This is, however, a story that has no happy ending. We have to ask ourselves how can we prevent this from ever happening again?
I do not personally use dog parks, my Sibes have their own fenced-in backyard to run free and play in. However, I know many folks who do use one and their pets enjoy it tremendously as it gives the dogs the freedom to run as well as a social outlet of playing with other dogs. In my own yard, I watch as my Sibes play in their carefree world, and they are a beautiful sight to behold. As any Sibe owner can attest to, they will run like the speed of light, growl with each other, and mouth each other sometimes so roughly that the sounds of teeth biting teeth can be heard. Siberian Huskies will “bite” each other’s necks and tails and pull each other around while doing so. And yes, they even will rear up, similar to wild horses fighting, and play fight. Anyone who knows the breed, knows these are the energetic roughhousing qualities of a Siberian Husky.
Possibly someone not knowing this about Huskies may become alarmed if they see this type of playing occur. Or, they may panic if they have one jump on their own dog and try to play in this manner. And maybe, just maybe it can escalate if one or both dogs are not happy about the type of play, but to have one shot for this is beyond my wildest nightmare. I cannot speak for the man who felt compelled to react in this manner with Bear-Bear. I was not present for the incident nor do I know why he felt so threatened that the only recourse was to shoot the Sibe. I can only speak as a Hu-mom and owner and trainer of five Siberian Huskies; viciously going on the attack is just not in their nature. While I suppose some owners could make a dog aggressive, it’s difficult for me to see it in a Sibe. It’s not in their genetic makeup. They have been for centuries, very social, hardworking, energetic dogs. Their energy, however, can get quite high, which can result in extremely rough play. One of ours, our alpha queen, will occasionally pull back her mouth and give a full wolf-like, teeth-baring snarl as a warning when she does not want to be bothered. She will also mount the other Sibes and growl and stand up and bat them “polar-bear style” with her paws all in the traditional high-energy style of Siberian Husky play.
In my humble opinion, there just has to be other methods of separating two dogs who are engaged in rough play. I have to believe that, otherwise, who will ever feel safe in a public dog park? My question is, if the man was unarmed, what method would he have used to separate the two dogs? Curious.
No matter what the outcome, Bear-Bear is gone, and that is truly a shame. May he now be at peace and happily playing in the wide open fields of the dog park beyond the Rainbow Bridge. We must all keep in mind that no matter the outcome of the investigation and all of the media attention this incident has brought, nothing will bring Bear-Bear back. That fateful day cannot get a do-over. I can only hope that something like this never occurs again. We all need to remember Bear-Bear’s story and that the true message here is as humans, we must all remain humane.