Embellishing & A Story

A black tee for my girl dressed with a few buttons becomes a fun candy corn shirt in just minutes. It will look cute with the black leggings I bought her with the pumpkin buttons at the hem.

Before sewing on the buttons, I ironed interfacing/stabilizer to the inside of the front to give the shirt a little stability. She says she loves it. But it's not pink. I have a hunch I know how this will go down ...

* * Story * *

I try to keep the peace. Really, I do. But when there is something dumb or ridiculous going on, I just can't help myself. I have to speak up. On Friday morning the boys (Carter, Jackson and Mason) were at the bus stop. The bus was just pulling down the street when I noticed a neighbor running down the street with her two children (while holding a toddler). Running with her were also two Pit Bulls. Not leashed. Not muzzled. Just running down the street. About 30 feet ahead of her.

Is it just me, or is it common sense, that you just don't allow two aggressive-by-nature animals running freely on a street when children are at a bus stop???? I thought it's common sense, but apparently, it's not.

One dog ran to the door of the bus as if it try to board it. (I couldn't see if the bus driver shut the door by that time because the door was on the opposite side of the street.) When the bus pulled away, the lady turned back around and the dogs followed her. Again 30 feet behind her. One dog wandered around neighbor's houses and one sat and stared me down through my glass door. The owner was oblivious.

I called our town office, who referred me to the local Humane Society. They sent me information to pass along to my neighbors, either anonymously or however I wished. The papers came in the mail on Monday and I prayed for an opportunity to give them a copy of the county ordinances.

Yesterday as I was leaving to take Spenser to preschool, I was getting the two littles in the car when I noticed both Pit Bulls running wildly on the street again, without the owner in sight. At all. I quickly shut the car door to protect the children and started to go inside the house to get my camera (as recommended by the Humane Society). I looked around to check the dogs' location and one was sitting across the street staring me down again. Not a good feeling when you're on the opposite side of a locked wooden door. When I got inside, the dogs ran home. Instead of grabbing my camera, I grabbed the information from the Humane Society. I bravely walked across the street (still slightly horrified that these dogs were loose somewhere) and rang their doorbell. I talked to the owner, who seemed quite annoyed that I was disturbing him. I tried to give him the literature, but he refused to take it. He kept saying "they're puppies, they're puppies." I told him one sat and stared me down. He told me to "yell at them." I explained that I was trying to work it out by coming straight to him, and not calling the police. He wasn't rude or abrupt, but he wasn't warm and fuzzy either. (And they might be puppies by age, but not by size.)

I made another call to the Humane Society. They said I could either make a complaint and they would come out to visit the neighbor and possibly fine them, or I could document the past two times and if it happens again, to call and make a complaint. Although in my head I was thinking "there might not be a second time where it ends peacefully," in my heart I thought I needed to give the owners a chance to exercise their brain cells.

While I really don't want any enemies over this, I certainly would rather have enemies than have an injured child. The whole thing just makes me ill.


Anonymous said…
I really don't think it's too much to ask him to put them on leashes.
You did the right thing.
Dreammy said…
Have a good time

Stacey said…
It just shows that the owner is not taking responsability for his pets. Pit Bulls need good owners that enforce rules!!
You are right by doing this now! They need to follow city ordinance...it's not like you are dealing with a Yorkie here!

Good Luck!
julie said…
i am a dog lover and have grown up with dogs all my life. you are doing the right thing and probably being more patient about it than i would be.
Karyn said…
1. Very cute shirt. Would it look dumb for a 40-year-old woman to wear a button candy-corn t??

2. You KNOW how I feel about pit bulls. They must be stopped. What I don't understand is why the Humane Society wanted you to talk to them and deliver the brochure. I would think that that would be their job!
Jessica said…
What an adorable t-shirt! If Spencer doens't like it, do you think it'll fit me?! hehe (I think I said the same thing about the jumper!!)

About the dogs, I think you're doing the right thing. I'd even go so far as to file a complaint now. While there are some very docile and friendly pit bulls out there, these dogs are just too smart and too strong to be allowed to just run loose. Dogs need structure and rules and dicipline. These neighbors obviously aren't providing that and I'm afraid they are just ticking time bombs.
christy said…
pit bulls or not, they're breaking the leash law. it annoys me when i see dogs running around with out their owner and even more when i find dog poop in my front yard. if i knew who's dog did it i would go put it on their front steps.
kira said…
We had a situation with a loose dog that CHASED my 5 yo old around in circles at the park, while the owners sat there and laughed! I told them I was calling animal control and even then they didn't try to get the dog under control, until the animal control showed up at the park. It turns out there's been problems before with those people too! Even if they don't attack ... they could do something like chase your kids around & create a FEAR of dogs ... just like that dog did for my son, who absolutely freaks out whenever dogs are even heard barking now. I would complain more, shame on them!
kira said…
BTW, cute shirt!
Emily said…

cmay said…
I was afraid of dogs for a long long time because our neighbor's chased me when I was like 5. it sticks with you. and also, it's much much safer for the dogs themselves if they are on leashes. I mean how's that guy going to feel if they run out into the street and get hit?! I think you did the right thing and you should keep going until it's resolved.
Melissa said…
Lera, I saw these stitch markers on etsy when I was looking for something else and immediately thought of you. Do you knit? If not, you might think about taking it up just so you can buy these: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_2&listing_id=15919800

:) Melissa
Anonymous said…
I called the police, several times. It was awful to get the neighbors to sign the complaint, though. Even though they did, I knew it meant they could be called to court. But I've got pictures, too. There's 23 kids on our block! The house was full of college kids & 5 pitbulls, 2 of which were always out. It was the landlord's fault, because there were holes in the fences & the windows. & he didn't give my personal call the time of day, so they were all fined at least twice. You have to protect your littles...ps, bra hasn't come yet! hope you're not staring at your mailbox!!
lisa said…
Besides the fact that they are pit bulls (which I’m not fond of either), what if the school bus hit the dogs? I can’t imagine how that would freak out the kids. Not only are they not concerned about their neighbor’s safety, they aren’t even concerned about their own dogs’ safety. I think you are doing the right thing.
Amanda Jean said…
first off, the shirt is CUTE! I LOVE IT!!!!!

(I also went to the etsy link for the candy corn knit markers...If I knew what to use them for I might be tempted to buy them, but I am not that advanced in my knitting yet.)

now about those dogs...I applaud you for standing up to your neighbors. I hate confrontation, but sometimes it's necessary, as in this case. I'll be another one to say it...you did the right thing.
LunaMoonbeam said…
When I was younger, we shared a street with a family that owned two Doberman Pinschers (sp?!)...and two families with really horrid young boys. The dogs were held in by a fence that crossed the driveway...and could be opened, remotely, by the dog owners after communicating with them via a buzz box at the top of the drive. Guess how those awful boys spent their summer afternoons? Convincing the dog owners they were deliverymen! My mother kept a sharp eye out and called us in as soon as she saw the dogs loose. Someone would then call the owners, and they'd round up their dogs. I think it only happened three or four times, but these were full-grown guard dogs for a fairly wealthy family. (The boys finally got their come-uppance - their parents never believed they were the ones to let the dogs out - when they broke into a new house on the street and RUINED all the fresh cement, fresh white carpet and fresh white walls. The mothers denied that their angels had anything to do with the trespassing, but the police found cement covered shoes and paint covered pants in their laundry bins. Aah, sweet justice!)
Anonymous said…
my sister-in-law has 2 pitt bulls and they make me so nervous. you absolutely did the right things, for all the reasons already stated. Good luck.

And great shirt. I'm with Karyn on wearing one as a 40 year old woman. ;)
Anonymous said…
Cute shirt! You'll have to post a picture of Spenser in her new fall outfit. And on the subject of the pit bulls. . . call now. Don't wait. There was a pit bull loose in our neighborhood and it attacked our 85 year old neighbor's little yorkie while she was out walking him (on a leash). It didn't kill her dog but he had to get a lot of stitches and our neighbor was so scared and upset (understandably so). As bad as that was, it could have just as well been a neighborhood kid. People who aren't responsilbe enough to leash their pets shouldn't own pets. And its not your problem to yell at them to get them to go away. Okay, off my soapbox now and back to work. ;)
Anonymous said…
okay, that anon was me.
Anonymous said…
oops. That last comment was me. I put my name in. Don't know what happened there. Diane
Anonymous said…
nevermind. diane confused me.

I need another cup of coffee....
nikko said…
Cute shirt. Think my boys would wear it? ;o)

There are pit bulls in my neighborhood, too. Not fenced, but on a long leash. Still so scary. They are so aggressive! You did the right thing!!
Anonymous said…
I don't care wht kind of dogs they are - there are leash laws for a resaon and if they are puppies they need to be trained to stay in the house or in their fenced in yard. Bad owners make bad dogs. Our dog would run wild all the time if we let her and she even took down our screen door so as an atttempt at good ownership we keep the door closed. Congrats on the courage to talk to them. I would just continue to report him.

Cute shirt by the way - I might have to make one!
Amy Jo said…
The shirt is very cute!! I'm sure she'll love it.

And regardless of the breed of dog - they should be on a leash. I have a dachshund - all of 10lbs of him - and he's always on a leash.
Diane said…
Great quick outfit for Spenser!

You are not asking too much for them to be responsible dog owners. Like you, I wouldn't want to wait for something terrible to happen before trying to get them to follow the rules. I own a dog. Kids are first. Dog is always on a leash. Period.
Bridget said…
Love the shirt!!! I'll have to make one for my baby!

Having kids who are terrified of any dog let alone a pit bull I think you did the right thing.
erica e said…
good for you! i hate pit bulls. about a year and a half ago i watched out my window as a pit bull attacked and killed another dog as several people tried helplessly to drag it off. what if it had been a child?! sorry if i'm being melod-dramatic but, oh, yeah, definitely file a complaint.
hooli said…
Oh my goodness. I take it your city doesn't have the good sense to ban these animals like my city? Long story short, some children were killed around here so pit bulls are banned unless they are kept inside (and never let out) or kept on a chain (certain length) and never let off the chain. So, I would simply be able to call the police and the animal would be put down.

I think you did the right thing. You basically gave your warning. Now, stick by your guns and pursue it. Also, rally some others with you in your complaints. It will help you feel stronger.

But I assure you, you're doing the right thing.
jessica said…
I am so much more outspoken about things like this than I would have been before I had kids. No dog should be allowed to roam free, no matter what the breed, and especially not a pit bull!! I agree with everyone else - you absolutely did the right thing!
In a lot of states it's illegal to have dogs off leash. It's one of my biggest pet peeves too. That and not picking up dog poop after your dog. If it happens again I would go ahead and file a complaint. If he doesn't care to leash them then chances are he doesn't care enough to train them to be kind either.
misschris said…
Wow. You did the right thing. I mean, ANY DOGS I don't know, running after or near my kids scare the popsicles out of me! Grrr. (that's me growling at the dogs.)

ooh, and bonus. Cute shirt!
Anonymous said…
Hi Lera, I am appalled by the owner's attitude. Pit bulls are banned in this country because they are bred as a fighting dog. This is their nature the dogs themselves can't help it. They need ultra responsible owners. At the moment they are young and therefore playful. The trouble is through curiosity and playfulness they could injure someone. It wont be the dog's fault because they haven't been taught any better. It's the owner's fault for not teaching them better, but unfortunately the dog will pay with it's life. Please do go ahead and make the complaint. You may not only be saving a child but also the dog. They need ultra responsible homes. The owner can choose to shape up or the dogs can be removed. You shouldn't've been asked to deliver any papers to him. That is the job of the Humane Society.
Jane said…
Sat across from an eight year old with a 6 month old 4 inch scar on her cheek. Grandpa's dog got her. I don't know what kind it was, but excited, unleashed or managed dogs -no matter the breed, are a danger to children.

You are doing the right thing.

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