Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mama Bear

So, the fierce Mama Bear came out in me last night, probably not in the best way.

We were at flag football practice. I was chatting with another Mom there and when I looked back around at the field I saw a HUGE pit-bull jumping onto one of our smallest players. That’s when Mama Bear came out.

I had seen this pit-bull with a bunch of older teenagers in the parking lot when we arrived at the park. I had a really, really bad feeling about it, I just knew something was going to happen concerning the dog, but I kind of put aside those feelings as being silly.

*Note – I am not saying that pit bulls are bad dogs, so I don’t want angry comments about training vs. nature in dogs. My feelings and the lessons that I have learned working with wild animals at Out of Africa have taught me that ALL animals, including dogs, have differing levels of prey triggers. In my opinion there are certain breeds that have a higher prey trigger than others. Pit bulls are among the list, and unfortunately, because of their strength and size, they can do more damage.

Ok, so I see this enormous dog on one of our kids and I spring up. Jon is already on the dog, holding it down to the ground by the scruff of its neck. Enter the scruffy skateboarding kid coming over to get the dog. He starts yelling at Jon about the dog, and I lost it. Screaming at him about keeping control of his (it’s not his) dog, and he’s screaming obscenities at us, and Jon is grabbing him telling him to take his dog away, etc. The kid goes off and suddenly, there are 16 (yes I counted) of his friends coming over to us. Ok, I have a field full of 3-4 year olds and their siblings behind us, with a handful of other parents. So I grabbed my phone and called 911. Yes, I was a bit scared. There were 17 teenagers full of rage coming at our old asses. A couple of the other Dads are now coming out trying to calm things down, I’m on the phone with the police, the Moms are taking all the kids out to the cars and finally the police come.

The kid that supposedly got beaten up by Jon has disappeared along with most of the rest of his crowd. One police officer talks to the group of kids that are saying Jon attacked this kid for no reason, but he ran off because he was scared of Jon. The other police officer comes over to talk to us. He takes each of us aside to ask us what happened. By the end, we are chatting and joking around with the police officers. They tell us that they have had a lot of problems with this group of kids at the park and that they are know to be doing drugs and getting into trouble.

Thankfully, none of our players were hurt. They weren’t bitten, but two of them had been knocked down by the dog. The parents thanked Jon profusely for protecting their kids. But, I am left feeling conflicted. I am disappointed that I lost so much control of myself and let out my inner Mama Bear. I am upset that there are these ‘lost’ teenagers at the park that apparently need some serious guidance. I am upset that I fear for my children’s safety in a community park and that they all witnessed something so ugly happen. But, I am happy that my husband is able to take care of him and us and I am thankful that nobody was hurt.

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