I had the great privilege growing up of being raised in an immediate and extended family that included numerous Military Veterans, two Firefighters and three Police officers. There is no doubt overhearing their conversations and stories as a child, shaped my understanding of the harsh realities of life. Today I am a husband to my wife Irene, a father to our two boys, Demetrios and Dominic and our Brittany, Retsina. I have loved and owned dogs my entire life.
When I was a boy, our family lived next door to a man that bred both Akitas and beagles. He also rescued dogs of all breeds and I often assisted in their care and exercise. I became intrigued with the influence of a dog’s breed on its behavior, when he invited me to accompany him and his beagles on a rabbit hunt. Once on the scent of rabbit, these docile creatures were triggered into an unrelenting and crazed tracking frenzy. They literally could have run themselves to death. Later, I would become a bird dog enthusiast and hunt with the Brittany as my breed of choice. Again, this was spurred on when I witnessed an animal triggered by its first taste of wild bird scent, magically paralyzed in a frozen point. How I wondered, do they train a dog to do that? I was more amazed to learn, just as with the beagles, it was not a matter of training but a reflexive breed specific behavior.
I also had the opportunity to witness a well cared for and trained dog, once triggered transform into a extreme and formidable physical threat. One day the Akita while on its exercise walk, was attacked by a rogue Husky. That Akita, never in a scrap in its life, subdued the Husky by its throat in a blinding flash. Separating the Akita once incited, gave me a full dose of reality. That was the moment I realized the limits of care and training. No matter the dog, all prevail to their breeding and canine instincts. I understood then, that some breeds are simply Dangerous by Default.