My mother, although not usually given to generalisations, used to declare that anyone who did not like dogs had a personality defect. What would she have made of Clark Cross’s letter (7 November)?
Apart from probably thinking it was a covert attack on all dogs, there was perhaps a degree of snobbery, which she was equally down on. By implication, Mr Cross appears to suggest it is all right to own a dog if you live in Springfield Road, Linlithgow, but not where I live in Pitlochry in property owned by a housing association, with nary a pitbull terrier or Japanese tosa inu in sight, albeit that Aldour Gardens has won the Pitlochry in Bloom “best street award” many times. It is hardly a downmarket ghetto.
I have been surrounded by dogs all my life, first by farm collies and in adulthood by a series of Border terriers and chow chows, none of which has ever bitten or attacked anyone.
All the dogs we have owned have come from reputable breeders with safe breeding lines. Bulldogs are a usually placid breed but this one, if what has been reported is true, was a rescue dog.
Who knows how it had been treated before being rescued, which might explain what triggered its sudden aggressive behaviour which led to the death of a sweet little girl who obviously loved it?
It is in very bad taste that Mr Cross should point out it was kept in a flat owned by a housing association which prohibited tenants from keeping dogs, at a time when the poor mother put up a brave and spirited attack on the animal, in an attempt to save her child. One cannot imagine the grief and pain she is going through just now without saddling her with unnecessary guilt.
John R Murdoch