The article "A New Breed of Feral Dogs", by Buckshot was excellent. I think he's right that far too many of us only have "Lassie" or "Benji" idea of dogs. One generation back my family had labs and would have trusted them with their lives. Remember the old dog lover vs. cat lover saying, "If you die alone in your home, your dog will die at your side, but if you have a cat, it will eat you". I certainly prefer dogs to cats, but I was over to friend's home who had a Doberman and felt very uncomfortable with that animal, and kept watching where it was. My aunt was once suddenly attacked at a friend's home by their dog, and had to protect her with her left forearm, which the dog mauled before the owners could get control of the beast. She had to have plastic corrective surgery and had to go to her only daughter's wedding with a cast over it. Was the dog put down for that? Unfortunately this happened in California, so no, it wasn't. My Uncle threatened to kill the dog, and they told the police, and the police threatened him.
In the recent 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow, they had to make the giant leap of faith that a pack of wolves somehow escaped from the New York City zoo, but notice this is what they chose as the terrifying nemesis from nature – being hunted by a pack of wolves in New York City. There is something about that, being the elk, being the moose, surrounded by the pack that is a scary thought.
With our modern day veterinary science keeping dogs far more healthy, we forget about the image of a dog "foaming at the mouth" – and thus being rabid and dangerous. I think people in very rural areas do have more of an appreciation for this article. I had a friend who, as a young teenager in Northern Wisconsin got cornered on a dock alone while fishing by a smaller dog, literally foaming at the mouth. He used his fishing poles to fend it off from coming toward him on the narrow dock, and considered jumping off and swimming for it, when the dog heard something in the woods and took off. After a few minutes he ran to the cabin and called his father. He, a few men then hunted it down as it was vacation area with a lot of children. The point one of the men made that my friend remembered was – "Once a dog goes wild, it's different than other wild animals because it has no fear at all of man."
My brother recently went fishing in Alaska and brought a .45 Winchester Magnum, an actual "Grizzly Mag" on an [oversize] 1911 frame. The guides up there though used 12 gauge with Moose shot (OOO size buckshot, I believe) and aim for the face seeking to take out the eyes and have the shot go into the brain and take the big animal down. For those of you who can't walk around with a gun, remember the old postman's remedy, pepper spray. It's an easy thing to carry, especially if you are just out walking or even biking in a rural area. My sister in law loves to run in rural areas, and I have finally convinced not to do that without pepper spray on her, dogs being one of the main reasons is used. Cheers, Buckshot, great article on something we all should consider. - Rourke