Team Lobo: I have to side with Lobo on this ["Save Lobo," by Todd Spivak, February 7]. The Justice of the Peace erred by ordering a dog put down who never harmed anyone. However, Lobo's family should be aware that if you don't know a particular dog, especially one as big as Lobo, it can be intimidating. You don't want to find out first-hand that he is aggressive.
In my own subdivision there was a family who lived near our grouping of mailboxes who insisted on keeping their rottweiler off its leash. I'm sure he is a gentle soul — I used to see him in the front yard with the couple's young kids climbing all over him. But every time I walked to the mailbox, he would come out and begin acting very aggressively, obviously protecting his family from me, a stranger. They moved out, but not before I got into the habit of driving to my mailbox to avoid this dog.
My own beagle was 17 when he died and never bit anyone, but when a delivery man or someone else would come to the house and asked if he might bite, I would tell them "not yet." In other words, the companionship and love a pet can provide comes with a certain amount of responsibility. If someone is not willing to accept that responsibility, they shouldn't have pets. But please don't punish the dog for that.
Comment by Vince
Bad owners: This is typical one-sided reporting from the Houston Press: Lobo sounds like a great dog. Rarely do you find a bad dog, but bad owners — all the time. The dog has no business running the streets of the neighborhood. It is not safe for the children; it is not safe for drivers; it is not safe for Lobo. Maybe this family should find a new home for their pets if they can't be responsible owners and keep their dog safe. Try to make the judge the enemy all you want, same thing with animal control. At the end of the day, you are dealing with bad pet owners.
Comment by Dog Lover
Friendly dogs: It appears that an overprotective grandmother started all this. And as a grandmother, I too want my grandchild safe. However, as the owner of a Siberian husky and a Siberian husky/German shepherd mix, I can say without reservation that Siberians are the friendliest dogs around. They may look intimidating sometimes, but I have never heard of an attack, especially on a child. My huskies love my granddaughter, who's almost a year old, and she loves them. She can pull their hair or ears or tail, and they do not mind. Lobo, I wish you a long, happy life.
Comment by Kay Watson
One-sided: I'm a dog owner, and I've followed this story since Lobo was taken from his owners back in January. I must say, Mr. Spivak, I find your version of the story to be quite one-sided. I feel sorry for Matt and Jennifer Calk. It seems like all they were trying to do was protect their family. I'm sure I would have done the same thing and notified the proper authorities if my neighbor's dog was frequently coming onto my property and around my small child.
Unfortunately, the Calks' names are now published on neighborhood signs, in the local newspapers and on the Internet. They are portrayed as people whose sole purpose in life is to have their neighbor's dog killed. Are you kidding me? They both worked at pet stores, hoped to open their own pet store one day and volunteered to help homeless animals in another state after a natural disaster. And their sole purpose in life is to kill a dog? That is absurd. I think the Fraziers should be ashamed of themselves for making such statements, and so should any reporter who publishes the same.
I'm happy with the court's decision to release Lobo from custody and not euthanize him. He's innocent. I'm certain the court could have found a more responsible home to send him back to, though. It appears the Fraziers have gone to great lengths to get their dog back. They hired an attorney. They created a Web site. They placed posters in neighborhood yards. They attempted to discredit a local judge and get an animal control worker fired. It seems like all of this could have been avoided if the dog was simply kept on the owners' property. Mr. and Mrs. Frazier, if you love Lobo, keep him off the streets.
Comment by Ryan
Happy ending: I have been following this story with such horror that a family pet could be taken away for such ludicrous reasons. Our dog is a member of our family, and I can't imagine this happening. I was so happy to hear the outcome of your story and that Lobo is back home with his loving family.
Comment by Cortney Clunn-Winborne
It's the country: I drove through this neighborhood every workday for eight months straight during 2007. This is the country and not the city, that is for sure. Every day you can count on seeing one or two dogs unleashed on a regular basis. Anyone knows that driving around country roads, you have to look for animals crossing. It's nice to be able to live somewhere with enough land — and community members who communicate with each other — to allow this type of no-leash rule of thumb for dogs.
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I currently reside in downtown Houston, where this would not be acceptable. The comments that folks walk around with sticks are probably true, but not because of Lobo, I am sure. They live in the country, and you never know what you might encounter. My coworker spotted a cougar crossing the road not even a couple miles from that neighborhood in 2006. Bigfoot would even find this a nice place to live.
Bottom line is, the dog never attacked anyone. Until then, we cannot assume he will. If we do, then we need to assume that all dogs will attack and just remove any animal that could cause harm to a person. That is a broad range...and what about that unregistered cougar? Should we have it put down for trying to continue to inhabit its space that is now a neighborhood?
I hope to see all the good country dogs out here still running free while they still can before this area becomes too developed.
Comment by Ted