Okay, I wasn’t actually attacked “per se” but, there was a confrontation. I had just pulled into my driveway with my daughter and her BFF in the minivan. Elby’s friend got out first, followed immediately by Elby who was very possibly crying because “I wanted to go first!” but while I was gathering Elby’s belongings to follow them into the house, suddenly Elby’s friend yelled, “Hey, Tina (she calls me Tina – long story), there’s a big doggy out here.” I hopped out of the car not at all alarmed because truthfully, I was only half listening since up until that moment they’d been arguing about who was the more beautiful princess, Aurora or Ariel – which is ridiculous because it’s so obviously Ariel.

Sure enough, I came face to jowls with a pitball that had to weigh more than both the Olson twins put together. It was gray, hungry, not neutered and had its tail slightly between its legs which made me suspect it could be nervous and therefore unstable. Oh, and HELLO, like I said it was a PITBULL.

I told both the girls to calmly get back in the van and I followed them in and closed the door. Then while the girls played “let’s tease the dangerous looking doggy from the window” I called the local animal shelter. They promptly told me that they don’t pick up strays and I’d have to call Los Angeles animal control. I was just looking for advice, not for someone to come get the dog but since the pitbull seemed to be stalking our car like we were in the middle of a wild animal park, I called. Naturally, I was on hold for a half hour during which time the dog circled the car and eventually walked around the side of my house. I never did get through to anyone so I crept out of the car quietly, closed the car door behind me, went to my front door, opened it slightly, peeked back around the house, got the girls out of the car and told them to run into the house.

Once everyone was safely inside I went out to investigate. I walked around to the side of the house and there was the dog, waiting for me and acting a bit growly. So I went back in and called the local firestation. “What should I do?” I asked. “My nanny will be walking up the street any minute with my baby girls and I’ve seen the news, I know how giant angry pitbulls love babies.

“I don’t know. Shoot it?” came the fire fighter’s response.

“Is that your official advice?” I asked, since we were currently a little shy on firearms at my house.

“No. I’ll send someone to come check it out.” About a half hour later, four pretty cute firemen came over and found the dog right where I’d last seen him. They trapped him on the side of my house and called animal control themselves. Then the lead guy – the one with a mustache (I’m kidding – they all had a mustache) told me not to think about it. Oh, sure, right.

I am a major dog lover – pitbull or not so I decided to give the dog some food and water. Since we don’t have a dog though (we would but with three kids I’d need to triple up on my Xanax to deal with pets right now) I had nothing great to give him. But he seemed to enjoy the Dino nuggets I heated up. He gobbled up about thirty of them. Luckily I had the bigassed Cost Co. box.

Finally, animal control came and got him. He had no tags just a big leather collar with metal spikes.

I didn’t want him eating my kids or any other kids in the neighborhood, but I also very much hope his owners found him because I feel sick thinking that he would be put to sleep. Please please put tags on your dogs. I’m going to put tags on my children who luckily still think this is a funny thing that happened.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 1, 2008 7:09 pmUncategorized45 comments  


  1. All Things BD said,

    There was once a big giant stray that decided to camp out between my condo building and the next in L.A. I called animal control for three days before they finally came out. On the third day I told them that the dog tried to bite my kid. That worked.

    I also fed the dog and got a LOAD of CRAP from the neighbors. Hello? Starving dog around our building, looking for something to sink it’s teeth into, or fat dog willing to sit in one place for a while, awaiting animal control? You do the math.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  2. Backpacking Dad said,

    This is the second scary-ass pitbull story I’ve read today.

    The first one involved a daydream in which the dad fought the pitbull off and killed it with his bare hands when it went after his daughter.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  3. Giovanna Diaries said,

    Dog or no dog, I think it would be fun to call those fire fighters again just to see ’em.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  4. Aunt Becky said,

    Jeez. They took you waay more seriously then the time I called because there was a dog on my neighbor’s roof. They seemed to think I was kidding, but I was not. I mean, maybe I was a little HIGH, but maybe I wasn’t.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

  5. Cheryl Lage said,

    I’m with Giovanna…better to try a non-dog approach…maybe some new fire detectors are in order…

    | October 1, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  6. heather... said,

    You don’t already have tags on your kids? Man, you’re irresponsible.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  7. MereCat said,

    I’m just glad you guys are okay. Those things are seriously dangerous. People really mistreat them and make them mean.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

  8. Ms. Bar B: said,

    Wow, a real Cujo moment you had there, lol. I guess he wasn’t too bad since he ate your food instead of the kids.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

  9. Sara Maria said,

    This story cracked me up since nobody was viciously eaten or anything. Firemen=so hot. I had me a fireman stripper on my birthday when I turned 21.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

  10. Ms Picket To You said,

    when i was a kid, an old (and sick) (and BIG dog) attacked me while i was riding my bike. actually, he might have been going for the spokes but got my ankle and splat! there I was lying in the middle of the road with this growling dog on top of me. my dad (a few houses) away was outside clipping hedges and the thing i remember most is the sight of him sprinting up the street with the clippers in his hand thinking OMG he’s gonna kill the dog!

    he didn’t. but i’m still kinda afraid of dogs.

    | October 1, 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  11. Count Mockula said,

    As a dog-attackee, that would scare the living shit out of me. My dad always has big ugly untrained dogs (two of which tried to kill me), so when I last dropped the baby off, I was like “Heh heh. Don’t let the dog eat the baby. Heh.”

    | October 2, 2008 @ 12:05 am

  12. April said,

    It’s totally Aurora.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 12:27 am

  13. Petra said,

    The authorities are NEVER any help with dog issues. We once had a dog at my mom’s house that wouldn’t leave the back porch and they eventually let it in, but since animal control was closed, the police said there was nothing they could do and my parents ended up keeping it overnight until a neighbor a few streets over heard they had the dog and came and got him.

    Thankfully he wasn’t rabid or scary.

    Glad you got out alive!

    | October 2, 2008 @ 1:24 am

  14. zellmer said,

    I’m a dog lover, too, but TERRIFIED of the combination of dogs and babies or young children. I’ve heard too many horror stories. I’m glad you guys got out alright, and that you’re still a dog lover, regardless.

    But, the best part of this story was the mustaches. Why is the thought of five mustaches so funny?

    | October 2, 2008 @ 1:57 am

  15. Erin said,

    Hold the phone, who the hell is Aurora? Damn me for bailing on Princesses 101!

    Glad to hear it turned out good in the end (and these firemen are located where?;)

    | October 2, 2008 @ 2:50 am

  16. Jenny said,

    Hahah!! You are terrified of a stray pit bull, which you know to be vicious, and yet you take the time to heat up chicken nuggets for it?? Hahah!!! That cracks me up. I am glad the whole situation was resolved, I am impressed at your abounding love. : )

    | October 2, 2008 @ 3:01 am

  17. Casey said,

    Sounds like you did the right thing by the dog. We’re known for finding strays and reuniting them with their owners and it’s like a weird calling for us (which we didn’t ask for).
    Glad everyone was safe and hopefully the stupid owners will put a collar on the dog so he can be identified if he ever gets out again.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 3:28 am

  18. Wicked Step Mom said,

    I am glad that the girls thought the situation was funny. It would have been a lot worse sitting on the phone if they were scared.

    P.S. It is Ariel, the competition is not even close!

    | October 2, 2008 @ 12:55 pm

  19. HeatherPride said,

    I find no humor in a free range pit bull. I know there are tons and tons of people who own them and never have any problems with them, but I had to rescue my dog from the jaws of a giant pitbull once, and it was the single most terrifying moment of my life. I am really not kidding. Not to mention, it cost me hundreds and hundreds of dollars to fix my dog while the pit bull owner did nothing. I have no love for them.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

  20. Jenée said,

    I’m on team Find Another Excuse To Get Firemen To Your House. Sometimes it’s even worth setting a fire to accomplish that. Let me know if you need help.

    If you’re really interested in returning the dog to its owner, it probably couldn’t hurt to put a few signs up in the neighborhood.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

  21. Laura said,

    So sad, I hope that there are good owners who just needed help finding him. Maybe he is a really good dog, but cursed with a terrible image thanks to many horrible dog abusers. In any case, you totally did the right thing.

    And I totally agree, Ariel is the better princess hands down.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  22. Sevesteen said,

    If a dog isn’t on his own territory, I wouldn’t run, or encourage kids to run–Many dogs will chase down anything that runs from them.

    If it is the dog’s territory (his yard, owner’s vehicle) that’s different–he’s likely to chase, but be satisfied once you are “away”.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

  23. LiteralDan said,

    Hey Tina, I think I have to ask the obvious question– did this so-called pit bull happen to have any visible lipstick?

    If so, this might have been a false alarm.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  24. Trenches of Mommyhood said,

    “…since the pitbull seemed to be stalking our car like we were in the middle of a wild animal park, I called. Naturally, I was on hold for a half hour during which time the dog circled the car and eventually walked around the side of my house…”

    You had visions of Cujo dancing in my head!

    | October 2, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

  25. Rachel said,

    I was run over by a pit bull when I was three. Literally run over. I haven’t been particularly fond of them since. Plus, in this day and age, you can never be too sure it isn’t one of Michael Vick’s runaways.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  26. Laggin said,

    OMG. Dan! Too funny.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  27. Sandra said,

    I’m glad it ended okay.

    I do not like pitbulls. I don’t trust them at.all. Never will. Too unstable. And that whole eat your baby thing is for real. Good thing you got help.

    Arial is the bomb.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

  28. Anonymous said,

    Just an FYI, but when you told them the dog tried to bite your kid…they will automatically put it down. Even if it wasn’t the truth. I understand you wanted them to pick him up, but maybe try something else next time.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  29. Stefanie said,

    Anonymous, what are you talking about??? I never told anyone that the dog tried to bite my kid!! Read the story again. I called the fire dept. told them that there was a dog in the yard and that he didn’t seem to want to leave. In fact, when animal control came to get him, I told the guy that the dog didn’t seem unfriendly but I couldn’t take my chances. I fed the guy too. I really don’t know what would possess you to make that comment.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

  30. Stefanie said,

    Oh never mind. I see you must be referring to my first comment. But I wonder why an animal shelter won’t send someone out instead. System needs work.

    | October 2, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  31. Mommy Melee said,

    Yikes. I would have been super freaked out.

    | October 3, 2008 @ 1:42 am

  32. Carolyn...Online said,

    I wonder if I could implant that tracking device they have in my dog into my kids.

    | October 3, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  33. Anonymous said,

    Sorry. Should have pointed out I was commenting on the first comment. It ends up bad for the animal when statements like that are made. And I absolutely agree with you. The system should work better. I have had the same run around when I found a stray animal. Just happened it was a Pit Bull also. Well, they wouldn’t pick him up so I did. (Disclaimer: I would not recommend this if you are not familiar with animal behavior….and never approach a pack of dogs…don’t care if they are chihuahuas). Lets just say I now have a 3rd dog and he is a Pit Bull. And he is wonderful.

    | October 3, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  34. June Cleaver said,

    “I’m just glad you guys are okay. Those things are seriously dangerous. People really mistreat them and make them mean.”

    Wow, that’s good information to have. I mean, 16 years in the animal profession as a vet tech, dog trainer, kennel worker and trainer in a city shelter and I’ve NEVER had a problem with a Pit but, good to know they’re “seriously dangerous”.

    Seriously, NEVER had a Pit growl, show it’s teeth, bite, snap or do anything overtly aggressive. Now, had I pulled up to my house to find a stray Cocker Spaniel or Chihuahua (which are responsible for more scars on my body than all my pre-teen hijinks combined) I’d have probably soiled myself.

    | October 4, 2008 @ 4:58 am

  35. Michael said,

    Cujo? Our Neighbor has a pit-bull and he sometimes gets out. Once I was getting my daughter out of the car and turned around to see this dog staring at us I thought I was going to have a pit bull attached to my leg foutunately the owner was nearby and called him. The dog ran off – whew!

    | October 4, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  36. RhoRho said,

    I had two stray dogs – not pitbulls, tho – rampaging through our neighborhood and they sent out a single little guy with one of those hoop thingies. Is there no better dog-catching technology now? I have a dog, if you can call her that (corgie), but you simply cant trust animals not to eat your kids. Dont feel bad.
    And it was totally too kind of you to HEAT UP the dino nugs.

    | October 4, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  37. Wishing 4 One said,

    OMG what a scaryass pitbull story. You were more than kind to feed him, and thank God for Costco, (I soooo miss it)!Glad you all made it inside….

    | October 4, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

  38. BITRCountryGirl said,

    I’m glad that everyone was ok and that the dog is probably in a better situation than road kill, but there are somethings that I just need to say about some of the comments that have been made above.

    1. Only 1 of Michael Vick’s pits was deemed to dangerous to be adopted out.

    2. I never understood why people are sooooo quick to judge an animal by all the bad publicity they get from all the bad owners out there.

    3. If gotten from a reputable breeder a pit can be a fabulous family companion. Know 2 people who have actually had there pits attacked by: a) a couple of labs and b) a mutt.

    4. Any animal can be dangerous, just remember that.

    5. Oh and I’m in the get the firemen to come back to your house group too.

    | October 5, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

  39. Always Smiling said,

    You’ve been tagged.

    Check out http://www.smilingthrulife.blogspot.com to see the details and recieve your award.

    My son was bitten on his bottom the neighbors pitt. It came after him when he was running towards his bike. I called the police and the dog was take to be observed for a few days.

    | October 6, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  40. WkSocMom said,

    Holy cow, was imagining Cuju while you were in the car, though. I think you like dogs more than me, and I have two of them, as I wouldn’t have minded the shooting idea, well, not really, I guess. I love me some cute firemen, that’s for sure.

    | October 13, 2008 @ 1:54 am

  41. ChefSara said,

    I agree with BITRCountryGirl. Pits are not inherently dangerous or aggressive. In fact, they are bred to be quite loyal and friendly. (And rottis are some of the sweetest dogs on the planet, and Dobermans are often very loyal dogs). It is not a *breed* that makes a dog dangerous, rather how it is raised and treated. I lab that is mistreated and not properly socialized is much more dangerous than a well cared for and socialized pit.

    That said, the fact that this dog was 1) in tact; 2) tagless; and 3) out wandering alone makes me believe that it is probably not a well cared for and socialized animal. Those things are that raised a red flag for me…not that it was a pitt bull. While I can’t speak for LA, where I live, pits are often purchased by people because of their tough image, and many of these dogs are not properly cared for and socialized, and therefore have the aggressiveness and behavior problems that are unfairly attributed to the breed. Any dog can be a wonderful, loving, gentle, docile dog when properly cared for (even pits, rottis, dobes, etc.) and any dog can be aggressive, mean, and out-of-control (even labs, cockers, goldens) when not.

    | October 17, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  42. supermom said,

    Love dogs too. That would have freaked me out though. I just ordered new tags for all our dogs (my mom’s and mine). Hopefully we’ll get them tomorrow

    | October 19, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  43. LORI said,


    | October 22, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  44. Marci said,

    That is so scary. My daughters BFF just got a pitbull puppy and I keep telling them it is cute now but honestly in a few weeks she wont be allowed over there to play anymore, I am sure it hurt their feelings but I have to protect my girl!! Glad everything worked out and HELL you even got to see CUTE FIREFIGHTERS,,,I hope a stray comes my way..

    Love, Marci

    | October 28, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

  45. Anonymous said,

    It’s people like YOU that make it hard for these animals.
    They’re amazing. Tpp bad he didn’t gobble up your child :]

    | January 20, 2009 @ 7:47 am

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