“Craig Sytsma left work Wednesday evening and went for a run along the shoulder of a rural road in Metamora Township in Lapeer County [MI],” freep.com reports. “A man mowing his lawn waved at Sytsma, a 46-year-old Livonia man, who politely waved back. The man said he continued mowing the lawn and the next time he saw Sytsma, he was in a nearby ditch being attacked by two loose dogs. ‘He yelled at the dogs,’ Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office Det. Sgt. Jason Parks said. ‘They would not release.'” The neighbor had a gun . . .
The man who had been mowing shot a handgun into the air. Still, the dogs would not let go. So he shot at one of the dogs, grazing it in the side.
That ended the attack, Parks said. The dogs left and went to a nearby house. But it didn’t end the trouble for the dogs’ owners, who returned home after the attack and later surrendered the animals, two Cane Corsos, an exotic breed bred to hunt wild boar in their native Italy, according to authorities.
Shamefully, the trio of Freep writers who penned this piece continue on about the dogs and their owners, failing to mention the fact that the Cane Corsos mauled Mr. Sytsma to death until the tenth paragraph. I guess that’s because this is one of several follow-up stories on the attack, which includes When dogs attack, safety choices are few, vet and other experts say. Here are the bullet points from that piece . . .
■ Run in well-lit, highly populated places.
■ Carry mace, especially if you are alone.
■ If a dog threatens, stay calm. Do not run. Avoid eye contact.
■ Stand sideways. Hold anything in front of you that you might have to appear larger — an umbrella or a stick, for example.
■ If the dog attacks, give it something else to bite. Pull your arm out of a sleeve and then slip out of the shirt. Or use a shoe. That may give you extra time to back away.
■ Get to a higher place. Climb a tree or on the top of a vehicle.
■ If you’ve been knocked down, protect face, chest and neck. Keep your hands in a fist.
■ If you are going to be bitten, the best place is on the shin or forearm. A dog bite in the thigh can cause fatal bleeding.
■ Whatever the breed, if you are bitten, resist the urge to pull away because this will cause more damage, according to the website of Cesar Millan, world-renown dog trainer and star of the show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.”
What’s missing here? Carry a gun. The ballistic omission is all the more glaring because, as revealed above, Mr. Sytsma’s neighbor was able to stop the attack by shooting one of the dogs. Not soon enough though. Perhaps if Mr. Sytsma had been carrying a gun . . .
Perhaps not. But his death is a cautionary tale on a lot of levels (e.g., the dogs should have been removed from their owners’ care after previous biting incidents). Don’t let this be you. [h/t Jeff]