Monday, June 06, 2005

This dog isn't shaggy (neither are the horses)

I'm a sucker for dog stories, and this one is epic. There are so many heroes here, I don't know where to begin--Dawn Montiel and her son, the victim's little sister, the staff at the school. But all the medals really belong to Maya, the black Lab.

Please read the article, or you won't have a clue what I'm talking about. I had a lot of questions when I read it, most of them unanswerable ones about animal and human behavior. One more easily answered question of mine (or so I thought) seemed simple: was this actually a pit bull? Pit bulls are ordinarily not large dogs, but India's reported size--120 pounds--is gargantuan.

From this website, which gives information about American pit bulls (APBTs), came:

The APBT ranges in size from 22 pounds to 110 pounds (rare), with the most common being between 35 - 55 pounds (16-25 kg.), in fact the original APBT's were between 20 - 40 pounds (9-18 kg.) and were bred small for their main purpose, fighting.

Other pit bulls breeds are the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (40 pounds max) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (between 57 and 67 pounds, which seems curiously exact to me for a range).

Here's all you ever wanted to know about pit bulls and more.

My guess is that India (thankfully now deceased, although Rasputin-like in his ability to survive the various attempts to kill him), the 120-pound pit bull in the Chicago story, was a cross with some other breed, most likely a Mastiff:

A grown [Mastiff] male often weighs about 200 lbs. / 90 kilos. It is not unusual for a male to weigh even more. About 220 lbs. / 100 kilos isn't all that rare. The size varies quite a bit within the breed, though. If your Mastiff ends up weighing "just" 155 lbs. / 70 kilos, most people will still talk about your friend as if he was an average sized pony.

An average-sized pony? Well, actually, yes, if it's a Shetland pony (although it's hard to find weights for these)--or, even better, a miniature horse, which commonly weighs between 150 and 200 pounds.

This is one of the benefits of blogging, following a train of thought and finding (and then sharing) information about mindbogglingly bizarre but potentially fascinating things. The world of miniature horses is certainly one of those things, at least to my way of thinking--just look at those pictures! Cute, or grotesque, or some strange combination of the two?

But this is the most flabbergasting find of all. It is not a spoof site, it is not the Onion; this is for real. And, after a bit of reflection--why ever not?


At 12:54 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

India reminds me of Howard Dean, always frothing at the mouth, howling, baying and snapping, and he doesn't appear to stay put down despite numerous head and gut shots. Woof!Woof!

At 1:04 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

India reminds me of Howard Dean, always frothing at the mouth, howling, baying and snapping, and he doesn't appear to stay put down despite numerous head and gut shots. Woof!Woof!

At 1:54 PM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On behalf of American Staffordshire Terrier Breeders of America (ASTBA) I must say I resent that comparison. On the whole, "Staffies" are much better trained, more temperate, and more lovable than Dr. Dean.

At 2:47 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger TmjUtah said...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. Always. Sometime it's the size of the cat.

I have a Siamese cat that in his youth defended our basement window kitty door from a boxer. The dog had exploded into our culdesac, chased the kids into the houses, and chased one of our other cats into the basement and then tried to follow her in through the flap door I had built into the window.

All the commotion brought me to the front door. Simon, no chess master, God bless him, leapt onto the window sill next to me and spun around as the sounds of battle erupted from the basement. He streaked down the stairs (running flat into Caitlyn,The Prettiest One, on her way up) and launched himself up onto the washer. I saw the snarling dog's head sticking through the flap and immediately turned right to my reloading/leatherwork/scale model/tech library/armory room to pick up the right tool for the job before he could force the plexiglass out and enter the basement.

He was going ballistic. Gone ballistic - and Simon was puffed up to the size of a moderate Volkswagen as he SAT and just watched him from the top of the washer. I was hitting the last number on my gunsafe combination when things went quiet... which was the moment the dog figured out he was stuck.

Ever hear a real interrogative bark? I did then. "nnnnnnBark?".

And about a half second later Simon laminated himself to Fido's head and went to work. By the time I came around the corner to settle Fido's hash all I could see on the inside ledge was flying blood, chunks of dog skin, and clumps of Siamese fur flying out of the blur. And two fat dog paws braced on both sides of the kitty door, splayed out as Fido tried to extricate himself.

I couldn't shoot. Mrs. Utah called down to say that a policeman was at the front door and Animal Control was on the way, and then the dog was gone. He left a trail out of our back yard and the Animal Control officer caught him three blocks away.

Simon got tuna for dinner that night. He was o.k. except for being bruised up, and a few days sleeping on the window sill fixed that.

I do like a fighter. Even if he couldn't win a checker game with a doorknob.

At 9:05 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

Sometimes animal control picks up the wrong species at the house of problem dogs. At the least the owners should go to the pound also.

At 11:42 PM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pancho's absolutely right.

I hope the pit bull owner loses everything he owns - he should, for flagrantly disregarding the safety of everyone around him (especially children).

There is no excuse for anyone, anywhere, at anytime, to own a pit bull. They're unduly dangerous. Recently a neighbor found a stray one wandering around, and I helped him try to find its owner. After seeing its ferocious reaction just to the sight of another dog, however, I rather wished he'd left it running loose so it would be run over. And this from a inveterate dog lover - but also the father of two young children.

I don't want to hear about how "sweet" they usually are. "Usually" isn't good enough. They're like loaded pistols, which is what I would keep handy if one lived nearby.

At 2:00 AM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like these stories too, I'll have to shot it to my mother also.

anyway, on the subject of wierd miniatures, how about cows?:

At 7:42 AM, June 07, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I always thought dogs behaved in the manner they were treated and trained by their owners? I suppose some breeds are more protective of their turf than others. The worse thing our old farm dog would do is try to get in someone's vehicle in hopes of getting a ride. He was a huge beast and would barrel his way into anyone's car as soon as they opened the door. The problem was, once in, he would not want to get out and he had to be bribed with a treat to get him out. He weighed 120 lbs. and us kids couldn't man-handle him out of anyone's car. He never bit anyone and was rather fond of the cats.

At 3:38 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Valerie - Still Riding Forward said...

Try here for pretty mini horses
and here for a great dog story

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