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Part 1: Family Safety, Pet Safety And How They Work Together…

Pets, Diets, Defense…Oh My!!!

As we think of safety, defense and families, we generally think about robberies, burglaries, attacks and the such.  Well, there is one thing that can be just as devastating but may not relate to any of the things mentioned before.  Animals and the safety of the family!!!

Animals, or “pets” can be an amazingly rewarding contribution to the family.  No doubt that Fido, Rover, Fluffy, Spot, Whiskers, Snowball and even Spike, are all loved members of many families out there.  So to understand what this post is about, let me dispel any thoughts that this is going to map out which pets are good with kids and won’t shed all over the couch or anything like that…no this post is about the safety factor for families whether they are your pets or someone else’s pets…the fact is that they are animals either way and you have to be aware of what could happen at any given moment. 

Let me start by adding a story that was emailed to me by Joe Kruessel.  Joe sent me an email just to say how much he loved and appreciated this site and the content we are providing.  Certainly, such a compliment made my day, but the story he related was worth the mental effort and is the story that spawned this post.

Joe writes, “I am a recent proud papa of a new baby girl and have a wonderful 3 yr old girl.  So as you can imagine, safety is on my mind for my family all the time.  Over the weekend, we attended a family event where they had a very large great dane.  As I was sitting in their home, I went to feed my daughter her bottle, when out of nowhere, the dog appeared and came towards us.  I was positioned on a couch feeding my daughter her bottle and was taken back as the dog was curious as to what I was doing.  Within a few feet, I quickly put up my leg to attempt to keep the dog back.  I did this because I was unsure of how the dog would react to the baby.  After a few sniffs, the dog walked off.  Upon seeing the dog leave, my nerves steadied a bit and I recalled the station and what could have happened.  The lesson reinforced for me was to NEVER trust an animal, no matter what the owner says.  Especially when it comes to my family.  The dog could have turned on us in which case my daughter and I would have been in a very dangerous situation.  The smaller lesson learned is to not worry about hurting someone’s feelings when it comes to their pets.  A pet is an animal regardless.  With that said, an animal can turn on people at any given moment and so I am always on guard when my family and I are near them.  This doesn’t mean I am to treat animals with a distrust or even a malice attitude.  But I am to always be aware of them and the potential for danger that could arise if they turn on me and my family. I respect animals and will attempt to gain respect from them.  But know full well, that my family comes first, regardless of someone’s feelings for their pet and how it relates to my family.”
This is a good story for the subject matter and I certainly appreciate Joe sharing this information with us here at Defense Actions.  Pets can be great, can be life savers, can be the best companion, so the list goes on.  But many times the pet can and will react according to how the owner has trained them, or can even “take on” the owners attitude toward life and other people.  We, as humans, are animals; so are pets, they are animals as well, so you can never be too sure of what would happen in a crazy situation or, just like people, they could snap at any moment. 
We all know that the food we eat everyday is loaded with all sorts of chemicals, preservatives, and other crap that we have no idea exactly what it is.  I attribute many of the sicknesses and depression and such “diseases” to the diets we all have.  The fruits and vegetables, the “good” food we are all taught to eat for better health, isn’t even nearly as good as it was 50 years ago.  Too many hybrids and loss of nutrients etc.  SO..what does this off subject paragraph have to do with pets?   Well, how many pets do you know of that eat off of the table of thier owners?  I have seen it all of my life.  I don’t have a pet, but I know tons of people who do, and since I have lived in many states throughout my life, I have seen countless pets that eat off the same table as their owners.  So in some way, shape or form, your pets are eating the same diet as you are.  That can account for many of the problems pets are having today as well.  The problem of weight in this country is now spilling over to our pets as well…like anyone is surprised really!
OK… so what does that have to do with anything?  Basically it means that if pets are eating like humans, and humans are getting more unhealthy, getting less exercise, more medicated, more disease ridden, more depression, etc, etc, etc,….then, so are the pets we all have in our homes and around our families.  So is there a threat when it comes to having a pet in our home?  Yes…and no. 
I remember when I was a young kid, playing at a friends house and he had a little dog as his pet.  Just to show me how the dog obeyed, he “sicked” the dog on me.  As a young tyke, who didn’t have a dog or any experience with dogs, I was dang terrified at that moment.  The dog obeyed and got all knarled up and came at me and went for my feet and legs.  One problem was that we were already sitting on the grass, so I was down to the dog’s level and had to use my legs to defend myself at that very moment.  That friend, who I can’t even remember his name or what he looked like, (big surprise there) just laughed and thought that was funny stuff.  I should have punched him and given the dog a real reason to come after me…but anyway;  it was a pretty traumatic experience back then.  Now add in the fact that diets are worse than ever and that pets are getting the same sicknesses as their owners, same diseases as well, and we have a growing problem here.  We shouldn’t be surprised really, but those are the facts and we should pay attention to them.
Does that mean we should not get pets if we have new borns or young children in the house?  Not at all, the facts that pets can be great for kids and families alike is still a positive attribute.  The fact that pets can also be a hazard to babies and young kids needs to be remembered as well.
The 2nd post on this subject matter will get more into defense modes and cautionary measures.  Safety, Defense, Personal Protection and yes, even firearms, will all be discussed in the next post.
Stayed tuned, there is more to come for all of you pet lovers and defensive minded folks alike.
Damon Thueson
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