Saturday night, Charlie went to a baseball game with two of our very good friends, Jim and Tim, who live in a neighborhood about a mile away. Jim and Tim live directly across the street from each other, and both men have children who are similarly aged.
While they were at the game, Tim was telling my husband that last month, his four-year-old son was walking down the street, when out of no where, a small white dog that had escaped from a yard - charged him. It barreled down on the four-year-old, yapping aggressively, with it's teeth bared. The only reason that the dog didn't take a chunk out of the child, was because Tim was right there and reached down and grabbed the dog by the collar. The dog's owner came out, profusely apologizing, and brought the dog inside.
THE VERY NEXT DAY, Jim's adorable four-year-old daughter (with her dimples and glasses and curly ponytails) was walking down the street, when the same little white dog escaped from the house and yapping aggressively, charged the girl.
This time, the dog attacked and bit her in the thigh and calf.
The owner, again, apologized profusely before dragging the poodle back inside. Jim brought his four-year-old in to their house and carefully inspected the bite but because it didn't appear bad enough to take her to the hospital, took photos of the wound to document it.
That was the end of the story. No charges were filed, the dog catcher wasn't called, the offending neighbor walked away unscathed.
Honestly - I'm befuddled.
Our friend Jim is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet and I know that the reason he didn't get the authorities involved is because he doesn't want to create waves in his neighborhood. This, to me, shows incredible self control.
Because Charlie - who is also a nice guy and will go to great lengths to keep the peace - confessed to Jim that if that dog, who had tried to attack a neighborhood child once already, ever took a bite out of our child's leg, he would have hit it to the moon with a baseball bat.
Upon hearing the story, I confessed that if my husband missed with his swing, I would be fully prepared to back over Fido (a few times) with our minivan. And then, I might have to bludgeon the owner. BECAUSE WHO LETS A DOG THAT ATTACKS CHILDREN, ROAM FREELY OUTDOORS?!?!?!
I'm not sure our tactic of slaying both man and beast is really suitable. So how would you suggest this situation be handled, in the most neighborhood-friendly way possible?