Mind Your Manners

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On Thursday a coffee shop that I regularly patronize had a very unsettling incident happen. It ended with a pit bull being shot dead in front of the business.

Man Shoots, Kills Pit Bull Attacking His Dog Outside Coffee Shop (KGW)

Police: Pit Bull Shot, Killed in Multnomah Village After Dog Fight (KATU)

Rain and I don’t live in Multnomah Village, but we visit fairly frequently. I’ve often referred to our interactions at Village Coffee on this blog while withholding the name. Once she gave D. the barista an earful when he saw his friends pull up outside and ran at the door, right where she was standing. Rain has hopped up on the empty tables outside before, with D. admiring her “doggy parkour” as he called it (we call it agility :)).

For the record: Village Coffee staff immediately ran to the nearby veterinarian and summoned a a vet and vet tech to respond to the scene. Multnomah Village people love dogs (even exceptionally barky ones).

After the incident Thursday evening, the community was abuzz. Were the pit bulls on leash or off? Does that give someone the right to discharge a firearm in a hopping commercial district? This incident involved a few topics that are pretty hot buttons in Portland: breed discrimination (for lack of a better term), guns, and off-leash dogs.

Regardless of the finger pointing, it reminded me of why I work so hard with Rain on her social skills. Despite her bark and desire for chasing squirrels and kitties, Rain would probably never hurt a fly intentionally. One never knows when a stranger is going to misunderstand the tone of a bark, or interpret an attempt to get a treat for some sort of personal attack. Not all dogs are perfect angels, but we can do our best to shape their behavior to try and get them there.

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