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Levels of Hell
December 13, 2006 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Bad parents suck. Which one of these two situations calls for a deeper banishment in hell? Should it be the mother from Arizona who leaves her 2-yr old in the car with the valet, but brings her dog into the mall? Or should it be the parents from Louisiana who slept through their 6-wk old puppy chewing off their month-old baby's toes?
posted by GatorDavid (87 comments total)

 
I guess the first one? I'm not sure either one really deserves banishment in hell. The kids are gonna be more or less fine.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:53 PM on December 13, 2006


Outrageous.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:53 PM on December 13, 2006


I don't think I want to read this, but thanks for posting this heinous shit.
posted by parmanparman at 5:54 PM on December 13, 2006


"I'll be quick, don't tell anybody," Zakrzewski told one of the valets before going into the store for nearly 30 minutes...
They told, those rotten snitchces!
posted by lekvar at 5:55 PM on December 13, 2006


I think the baby-microwaver wins, but I'm still not going to read anything more than the headline.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:55 PM on December 13, 2006


Well, the first mother left the kid in the car and went shopping and took the dog instead. In the second case, parents were asleep.
I've already heard folks saying that they're worried the pit bull might be put to sleep. No mention of the baby with no toes.

In both cases, it seems that the fate of the animal took priority over the fate of the child.


My vote: Mother 1 gets the hot spot with Mr. Pitchfork.
posted by drstein at 5:56 PM on December 13, 2006


Kwanstar, I think you meant to say something else:

OUTRAGEOUS!!!!



Or maybe... OUTRAGEOUS!!!
posted by The God Complex at 5:58 PM on December 13, 2006 [9 favorites]


Best of the web! Thanks!
posted by Eideteker at 6:03 PM on December 13, 2006


A 13-month-old baby suffered horrific burns when she was put in a clothes dryer, police say.

FYI, this story was a while ago. Apparently, the mother of the child has forgiven the boyfriend...

But the same thing has happened elsewhere(I can't believe I'm linking to fucking Free Republic). Friend of the mother: "I mean, we were always so cool and we were friends... I can't believe she's done that."
posted by Jimbob at 6:03 PM on December 13, 2006


I would hardly say that having no toes is "more or less fine".
posted by GatorDavid at 6:04 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm going to have to go with intentional negligence for the win as well. The LA folks were just morons and heavy sleepers.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:04 PM on December 13, 2006


People who keep dangerous animals around children are idiots.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:06 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Heavy sleepers? If the kid is "right next to them" and they don't hear it screaming? That ain't sleeping. Sounds like the dog is a scapegoat, so to speak.
posted by hovercraft at 6:07 PM on December 13, 2006


Question for interest's sake; does accidentally killing your own children also count for a Darwin Award? Removing your genes from the pool, and all...
posted by Jimbob at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2006


This is why I skipped the kids and just went with the dog. It's easier and cheaper. Thankfully the little fuckers only try gnawing off my toes when I'm awake.

[There is no way I'm clicking on any of the FPP's links. There are some things I just don't want to know.]
posted by quin at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2006


The articles I've seen express some pretty serious doubts about exactly how the puppy could have chewed off the kid's toes while the parents slept right beside the kid. The process apparently would not have been quick - the dog is only 6 weeks old - and you'd think the baby would have screamed the house down. How would anyone really sleep through that? Either they weren't there, or they were under some serious chemical influence. And honestly, most puppies I've known would be scared off by the shrieking, although not all.

And yeah, of course people are worried about the puppy. We already know the kid will live and may even be taken out of a bad situation.
posted by dilettante at 6:10 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm gonna have to throw this one in for consideration. You see, it's not just that they were so wasted they didn't hear the baby screaming all night as it was bitten over 100 times (some reports have it as high as 200 times). It's that they found the rat by a creek and took it home and decided to keep it as a pet. I know the reporter and believe me, the story in the news does not come close to illustrating just how stupid and/or wasted these people were. They also waited almost 24 hours to take the baby to the Hospital and only took him when the fever broke out from the infection. Also, the cage was apparently not strong enough to hold a small bird. .
posted by tatnasty at 6:11 PM on December 13, 2006


OUTRAGEOUS!!!
posted by Kwantsar at 6:13 PM on December 13, 2006


In lieu of inline kitten pics, here's something to make you feel better.

The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said, "Some day you may lose them all",
He replied, "Fish fiddle de-dee!"
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said, "The World in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!"

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said, "No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
Are safe - provided he minds his nose."

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him
He tinkledy-binkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side,
"He has gone to fish, for his Aunt Jobiska's
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!"

But before he touched the shore,
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green Porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew
For that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps or crawfish gray,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away -
Nobody knew; and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;
And she said, "It's a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes."</i

posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:13 PM on December 13, 2006


(.*) puts baby in (.*)
posted by brownpau at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2006


"The puppy itself was just several weeks old! I mean this was essentially a puppy," Natale said.

o rly?
posted by brownpau at 6:22 PM on December 13, 2006


Teresa Miller, who sold the puppy to the Hansches, was skeptical the dog did it. "He didn't chew on anything while he was with me. Out of all of them (in the litter), he was the least chewy."

what an idiot! i hate back yard breeders. they all need to die. it's not like anyone could blame her as the breeder for this anyway. WAY too defensive. i think the vet had it right when she said it was probably trying to nurse, but chewing and nursing at 6 weeks old go hand in hand because of weaning! aaaacccckkkk!!! unfortunately it learned very early that appendages are "tastey", and its likelyhood that it will [innocently enough, of course] want to chew on people parts in the future is hightened. they might have to detroy the puppy based on that, which is unfortunate. but ignorant owners happen all the time at the expense of a pet's life.

The kids are gonna be more or less fine

Unless they are raised by someone else, they're probably going to turn out just as retarded and continue the beautiful circle of life.
posted by lisalisa123 at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2006


An enterprising young fellow called joe
Had a spleen constantly on the go
Though ever so weary
I remained leary
Of his spleen's unattributed po...

...em
posted by Sparx at 6:26 PM on December 13, 2006



THIS IS THE COOLEST THINGEVER


Thanks for showing me that. (The wavy text, not these horrible headlines.)

My vote for biggest moron parents still goes to vegans who malnourish their kids. Also from Scottsdale strangely enough.

This case is even more repugnant.

One more example, for posterity.

Oddly enough, none of these were the original case I was thinking of. Anyone remember a case where the father commented that his child "looked fat" after authorities had nursed the kid back to health?
posted by Telf at 6:27 PM on December 13, 2006


I think the woman who microwaved her baby takes the cake.
posted by Balisong at 6:27 PM on December 13, 2006


People who keep dangerous animals around children are idiots.
no... that would be you. a 6 week old puppy is not a threat! The retarded parents (and i agree with the scapegoat hypothesis) should have crated the puppy. also, i'm sickened by the fact that the fucking news called it a pit bull. the breeder, as i mentioned above is not the sharpest tool in the shed, so who the hell even knows what she's breeding? furthermore, a dog is trained to behave dangerously. statistics show that golden retrievers are far more dangerous than the "pit bull" according to attack reports. FURTHEREVENMORE the "pit bull" is just a name for the american bull dog, who has been exploited in illegal fight rings. 9 times out of ten, a person who has no idea what kind of dog they are looking at will mistake it for a "pit bull" or american bull dog. see for yourself...Find the Pit Bull Quiz
lessee... what else? how about this? illegal fighting "pit bulls" are bred for aggression, yes. towards OTHER DOGS, not people! this is YET another distinction the general public has no idea about.
thank you. and goodnight
posted by lisalisa123 at 6:34 PM on December 13, 2006


Mom 1 shall spend eternity locked in a car with a view of Neiman Marcus.

Mom and Dad 2 shall be strapped to a chair while a puppy chews off their toes, with a sweet fix in plain view, yet well out of reach.
posted by owhydididoit at 6:37 PM on December 13, 2006


Gruesome stories GatorDavid.

It's hard to be a good parent, it's long-term work and takes serious skills, major patience, commitment and enduring love. Not enough people are equipped with those qualities when they bring children into the world.

As for the level of hell question, according to a schematic of Dante Aligieri's Inferno, those grossly or maliciously neglectful/abusive parents would likely deserve the ninth level, for the "Traitors to Kin".

ps Balisong what's the html for that wavy text? :)
posted by nickyskye at 6:40 PM on December 13, 2006


This case is even more repugnant. One more example, for posterity.

Ha ha, these vegans are retarded.

" Religious fanatics could face harsher treatment from courts if Moorhead case used as a precedent"


Don't worry, the ACLU will save you! Ha ha, yeah right. Rot, you vegetated bastards.
posted by IronLizard at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2006


Ask Telf, nickyskye..
posted by Balisong at 6:58 PM on December 13, 2006


lisalisa123: "statistics show that golden retrievers are far more dangerous than the "pit bull" according to attack reports."

And parents who keep either of them around infants are idiots.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


What an excellent thread to you show your kid:

"You think I'm bad for making you not letting you go to the concert?! Read this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM on December 13, 2006


It could happen. My dog ate the heads off several GI joes and he didn;t scream a bit. But the again GI Joe was a mean mother fu..
posted by Gungho at 7:10 PM on December 13, 2006


"furthermore, a dog is trained to behave dangerously. statistics show that golden retrievers are far more dangerous than the "pit bull" according to attack reports"

Never seen any stats like that, except from the pro-pit bull apologists that are incapable of accepting the fact their dogs are unpredictable psychos.
posted by drstein at 7:13 PM on December 13, 2006


furthermore, a dog is trained to behave dangerously. statistics show that golden retrievers are far more dangerous than the "pit bull" according to attack reports.

That probably has more to do with the popularity (I.E. numbers) of the golden retriever, rather than tendency towards violence.

lessee... what else? how about this? illegal fighting "pit bulls" are bred for aggression, yes. towards OTHER DOGS, not people!

Anyhoots, aggression is aggression. A large number of bites occur when owners try and separate two dogs fighting. If a dog is bred to attack other dogs, then that dog becomes dangerous to pet owners (trying to protect their pets) and their pets.
posted by Atreides at 7:15 PM on December 13, 2006


Never seen any stats like that, except from the pro-pit bull apologists that are incapable of accepting the fact their dogs are unpredictable psychos.

I've never owned a pit bull and wouldn't want one, but a good friend of mine did. The breed isn't naturally aggressive towards people at all, but many of the people who buy pit bulls are idiots who abuse them and/or train them to attack people. The (actual) breed does require an attentive and competent owner, however. When they start to grow, they are still playful but often do not know how strong their jaws are. An owner who is not mindful of this may have some problems if the dog gets around kids, or anyone who doesn't want to "play" with a poorly trained but very strong dog with a huge jaw. A well-trained pit bull is not a problem to anyone. But again, there is the problem of the people who are attracted to the breed ...
posted by krinklyfig at 7:37 PM on December 13, 2006


FURTHEREVENMORE the "pit bull" is just a name for the american bull dog...9 times out of ten, a person who has no idea what kind of dog they are looking at will mistake it for a "pit bull" or american bull dog. see for yourself.

The quiz disagrees with you. It says that the only true pit bull is an American Pit Bull Terrier, and it includes the American Bull Dog as an example of dogs that are commonly misidentified as a pit bull.

I remain confused about this whole pit bull thing.
posted by naoko at 7:47 PM on December 13, 2006


That's why I prefer cats, they tend to get distracted before they can make it through an entire toe.
posted by drezdn at 7:53 PM on December 13, 2006


drstein : Never seen any stats like that, except from the pro-pit bull apologists that are incapable of accepting the fact their dogs are unpredictable psychos.

Please, that is just nonsense. I mean Petey from the Lil' Rascals was a pit bull ferchristssake. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with pit bulls. They are no more dangerous than any other dog of their size. The problem begins and ends with irresponsible owners; The kind of assholes who buy a pit bull because they think pit bulls are big aggressive dogs and treat them as such. Were one of these people to do the same thing with a dachshund, they would end up with a very short, very aggressive dog.

I'm no pit bull apologist either. I've met many at the Humane Society that I wouldn't go near. But it had nothing to do with them being a Pit and everything to do with the fact that it was a big dog that clearly had been mistreated. I've also avoided many a Shepperd and more than a couple of Labradors for the same reasons.

But it's not the dog. It's the person who thought it might be fun to turn the dog into a weapon. Particularly since most of these trainers haven't a clue how to actually control what they've made.

[disclosure: never owned a pit bull. But would be more than willing to open my home to one.]
posted by quin at 7:57 PM on December 13, 2006


And on post: nicely said krinklyfig.
posted by quin at 7:58 PM on December 13, 2006


What about this awful case!
posted by mattoxic at 8:11 PM on December 13, 2006


Alighieri

ah yes, *Telf*, howja do that cool wavy thing?
posted by nickyskye at 8:11 PM on December 13, 2006


nickyskye, Never ask how, just "View Source" and all secrets are revealed. If only it were so easy beyond the browser. Perhaps it is, we've just lost the ability as a collective species to view the Source.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 PM on December 13, 2006


Does anyone have statistics of the relative chewyness of a pit bull vs a golden retriever? I'm in the market for a new puppy that is essentially a puppy and I wouldn't want to pass out and wake up with balance issues. Maybe that breeder can help me, she seemed to be a chewyology expert...
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:31 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm not a Christian theologian, but I think if these people confess and repent for their sins they can still not be banished to hell at all.

Whereas your judgment of people you have never met may in fact call for your banishment to hell.

Oh wait, am i taking this too literally? Sorry I meant:

OH MY GOD WHAT AWFUL PARENTS I AM HORRIFIED OH THE HORROR AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:37 PM on December 13, 2006


I'm a firm believer in behaviorism and learned behaviors etc. That being said, I'm amazed at the variations found in dogs which are all one species.

One of my pound dogs had some pointer in him and he naturally "pointed" at things when I took him on walks. My retriever mix taught itself how to retrieve things for fun on its own.

All my pugs have been stubborn to train and have been more interested in playing with people than with other dogs. I've never been able to train a pug to fetch or point. Maybe that's confirmation fallacy but it seems to be a breed related behavior.

I've had a pit-mix before and he was hands down the least aggressive dog I've ever owned. I do however have a personal bias against Chows who seem to grow up mean no matter what.

PS

I highlighted God Complex's orginal post and right clicked in firefox. There was an option "view selction source". I don't know anything about html but I figured this looked promising.

The letters are separated by bracketty things which may or may not be "flags" (I don't know anything about computers.)

Pretty much one bracketty thing = make me super scriptier. A "/" in front of commands seem to make them do the opposite. So the brackets with a "/" mean make me less super scriptier.

This also taught me how to turn off italics and I think I know what "/sarcasm" etc means now too.

Amazing that I never figured things like this out earlier.

posted by Telf at 8:41 PM on December 13, 2006


Sounds like the dog is a scapegoat

Yeah, I'd bet those parents chewed the kids toes off!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:12 PM on December 13, 2006


pro-pit bull apologists that are incapable of accepting the fact their dogs are unpredictable psychos.

drstein, stop acting like an idiot and do some research:

Pit bulls were genetically selected for their fighting prowess. What does this mean? What it doesn’t mean is that pit bulls can’t be around other dogs or that they are unpredictably aggressive...

Telf: I've had a pit-mix before and he was hands down the least aggressive dog I've ever owned.

Amen. A friend's got a pit and she's the most amazingly friendly and playful animal. Strong jaws, yes. Powerful muscles, yes. Don't want to be in her way when she gets up to full speed and misjudges the angle of her turn, yes. But "unpredictable psycho?" Hell, no. That's *solely* a product of the owner.
posted by mediareport at 9:17 PM on December 13, 2006


"The problem begins and ends with irresponsible owners; The kind of assholes who buy a pit bull because they think pit bulls are big aggressive dogs and treat them as such."

After being attacked violently by somebody's "sweet, innocent, loving" pit bull, I will respectfully disagree with you. I think they're unpredictable and dangerous animals.

Sure, other breeds are too, but I didn't have a shi-tzu snarling and tearing at my throat.
posted by drstein at 9:19 PM on December 13, 2006


Pollomacho: or, you know, somehow fucked up the kid's foot one of a billion other possible ways.

drstein- maybe animals just don't like you.
But hey, don't listen to those jack-off pit bull apologists at the ASPCA.
posted by papakwanz at 9:29 PM on December 13, 2006


I don't think #1 deserves Dante's Inferno for bad parenting. No such circle existed in the story, anyway. "Bad parenting", in Dante's time, would be defined as deliberately killing one's own child, and then only if no good reason existed.

Consider the situation from her perspective: a wealthy woman parks her car outside a very upmarket store, and leaves her child in the care of the servants of the store--specifically, the valets, who are given her car keys--who may be considered as her own servants, at least for the duration she is shopping there. The dog is a fashion accessory. It's no more significant that she took the dog inside than that she wore her shoes (which probably complement the dog's fur), or took her handbag (ditto).

Of course she thinks she's done nothing wrong. The valets will drive her car somewhere safe and then prevent it and its contents from being stolen or vandalized; why should this not include a child? The store has several parking valets - they can stand to lose one for ten minutes to watch the child of a high-paying customer. Supposing she left a watch on the passenger seat, worth $6,000 - should she expect the watch to be there when she returns? Surely a watch is easier to steal than a kid.

This is a collision of upper class and middle class values. The upper class consider shop employees to be servants, to whom ad-hoc duties that are reasonably within their capability and discretion (eg making a phone call, posting a package, watching a child) can be assigned. Probably, left to his own devices, the shop manager would have backed her up on this. However, the valets' middle-class values (and the submitter's, obviously) include an overwhelming fear for the safety of ones' child, and to them leaving a child in the care of a stranger, any stranger, is unthinkable; secondly, they live in mortal terror of legal liability. That's why they risked their jobs to report this to the police. If they haven't already been sacked, I'd be astonished. Apparently they think they're working at Walmart, and next week, they probably will be.

I don't see how the woman's done anything morally wrong. I'd go along with her reasoning in the context: it's not much to ask a store employee to watch a child, along with the car to which they already have the keys, for ten minutes. She's merely misjudged the situational etiquette, the social class of the clerks, and the absurd level of child-safety panic and legal liability aversion that the American middle class indulge themselves in.

Number two though, is different. Puppy teeth are sharp, and puppy bites hurt. To sleep through the screams of a child being bitten that badly requires a strong drug. For the child to sleep through it and not scream, pretty much the same. Assuming their story is correct (and I don't), these people drugged themselves and/or their child to that point. Their fault, not the dog's. As for hell, the courts will put them through something close enough, and hopefully the child and the puppy will go on to better lives ... although realistically, the puppy will probably be killed, and the child spend some weeks being lightly abused in a foster home before being returned to the parents due to lack of funding, to grow up to have babies, and pass out drunk beside them.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:40 PM on December 13, 2006 [3 favorites]


After being attacked violently by somebody's "sweet, innocent, loving" pit bull, I will respectfully disagree with you. I think they're unpredictable and dangerous animals.

Having been attacked by men three times in my life (and that's three times more often than by a dog), I could take the same view of men. But I prefer to judge them by their individual intentions and behaviours.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:42 PM on December 13, 2006


Deep advice Burhanistan . ahh, the Source. Thanks.

T H E

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I
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T
H
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C O OL E
S T

T H I N G


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V
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T H i S

P
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t o

T H E

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posted by nickyskye at 9:53 PM on December 13, 2006 [2 favorites]


drstein : After being attacked violently by somebody's "sweet, innocent, loving" pit bull, I will respectfully disagree with you. I think they're unpredictable and dangerous animals.

I feel your pain on this one, I was menaced by an Akita and it put me off the breed for a long time. I'm still not entirely thrilled when they are around, but I've learned that happy friendly ones do exist, so I no longer paint the entire breed as evil. Thing is, looking back, that Akita's owners were exactly the kind of people who would buy a pit bull today. They got it because it was a big scary dog. They didn't get him neutered, they fostered his aggression (not for fighting other dogs, just to scare off "bad people") and while I'm sure they thought they were being good owners, they did nearly everything right to make a dog that would eventually hurt someone.

I also was put in my place by a fairly authoritarian corgi, but that is another story.

You had a bad experience. Hopefully one day you will meet someone with a sweet sleepy pit that will change your mind about the breed. They really aren't all bad.
posted by quin at 9:57 PM on December 13, 2006


Having been anally raped by nine asain man in my life( 3 times more than by a dog), I can tell you this: Some of them ain't all that small in their no-no places. Thats a fact.
posted by econous at 10:01 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Keep animals away from infants. This means big dogs, little dogs, cats, ferrets, rats, guinea pigs, parrots, snapping turtles, monitors, rabbits, snakes, scorpions, and anything else some people think makes a fine pet.

The dog in the 2nd story should be destroyed. The mother in the first link should be destroyed. Both parents in the second story should be destroyed as well.

There is simply no way they slept through an infant screaming as its toes were chewed off. Infants can wake the dead from mild discomfort such as gas bubbles.

It is gross negligence in both stories, and I would vote for not only taking the children, but forcibly sterilizing the parents to prevent them from neglecting future children.

Regarding pit bulls... when you hear of someone getting mauled by a dog, out of the dozens of breeds that exist, you know immediately it will be one of 4 or 5 breeds. I get very, very tired of the "you just have to know how to handle them" line. A dog that has the potential to be lethal without "special training" is not a pet. It's like the morons who keep tigers as pets and take pictures of their babies swinging from their ears, till the one fateful day that EVERYONE knows is coming, and it does, eventually. Then they have the audacity to act shocked.

Even police dogs and show dogs have been known to turn on their owners/handlers. They are animals. They sometimes do things animals do, and humans never fail to be amazed when they do.

Also, the ASPCA is not going to damn an entire breed of dogs as "dangerous". You know this. Posting their viewpoint is of no consequence.

aeschenkarnos: your screed is one of the most ignorant things I've ever read on Metafilter. To even begin to plumb its depths would require a man of much greater fortitude than myself.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:04 PM on December 13, 2006


...Natale said he did not know what the puppy's fate would be after that...

...Natale said he did not know what the puppy's fate would be after that...

please someone find out what the puppy's fate will be!
posted by arialblack at 10:07 PM on December 13, 2006


your screed is one of the most ignorant things I've ever read on Metafilter. To even begin to plumb its depths would require a man of much greater fortitude than myself.

Fortitude, hmm? Is that what they call taking a shot with nothing behind it? Step up and try. In what way, specifically, am I wrong? Can I get, say, a couple of points of clear divergence of opinion, and some bases for these? Perhaps even some explanation of what you think what the woman actually did, and why that is actually worth being killed for? Do you even have the fortitude to put up an argument for killing the puppy? (Custom doesn't count.)

I get very, very tired of the "you just have to know how to handle them" line. A dog that has the potential to be lethal without "special training" is not a pet.

Surely, real knowledge of how to handle animals would include respect for their potential lethality?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:49 PM on December 13, 2006


Pollomacho: or, you know, somehow fucked up the kid's foot one of a billion other possible ways.

I'd say most likely they were drunk or stoned and passed out. At least they realized that there was something wrong with the baby having fucked up toes as opposed to the mother who was carted off to jail ranting (and believing, I'm sure) that she did nothing wrong by leaving her child in the car.

Sure, they are all bad parents, but I'll deduct less points for the ones that realized they were bad parents.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:58 PM on December 13, 2006


ah yes, *Telf*, howja do that cool wavy thing?

Please don't.

Also: won't someone please think of the children? [/obligatory]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:24 PM on December 13, 2006


What is the big deal with leaving the kid to be watched by valets, in the car? In essence, I'm with aeschenkarnos on this one. But I date back to the days when leaving a kid in the car was considered perfectly normal. The child was not left unattended. Isn't that the critical issue?

Now, to say this wasn't within the valets duties, okay. Did they object, to the woman? I don't see this said, and in the abscence of evidence to the contrary, can only assume they did not.

The toes though? Something is missing from this story, besides the kid's toes. It'd take more than heavy smoke to put parents that much to sleep. I strongly suspect we're genetically programed to be intolerant to baby screams (and I suspect this has something to do with some of those terrible cases where kids get murdered by their caregivers).
posted by Goofyy at 11:52 PM on December 13, 2006


WE HAVE BUNNY.

GATHER ONE MILLLION DOLLARS
IN UNMARKED NON-CONSECUTIVE
TWENTIES. AWAIT INsTRUCTIONS.

NO FUNNY STUFF.
posted by knave at 11:56 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


After being attacked violently by somebody's "sweet, innocent, loving" pit bull, I will respectfully disagree with you. I think they're unpredictable and dangerous animals.

Data trumps anecdote. Malcolm Gladwell sez:
The supposedly troublesome characteristics of the pit-bull type—its gameness, its determination, its insensitivity to pain—are chiefly directed toward other dogs. Pit bulls were not bred to fight humans. On the contrary: a dog that went after spectators, or its handler, or the trainer, or any of the other people involved in making a dogfighting dog a good dogfighter was usually put down. (The rule in the pit-bull world was “Man-eaters die.”)

A Georgia-based group called the American Temperament Test Society has put twenty-five thousand dogs through a ten-part standardized drill designed to assess a dog’s stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in the company of people. A handler takes a dog on a six-foot lead and judges its reaction to stimuli such as gunshots, an umbrella opening, and a weirdly dressed stranger approaching in a threatening way. . . “We have tested somewhere around a thousand pit-bull-type dogs,” Carl Herkstroeter, the president of the A.T.T.S., says. “I’ve tested half of them. And of the number I’ve tested I have disqualified one pit bull because of aggressive tendencies. They have done extremely well. They have a good temperament. They are very good with children.”
posted by dgaicun at 12:08 AM on December 14, 2006


...
posted by kosher_jenny at 12:37 AM on December 14, 2006


people really should need a license to breed.

also, parents who demonstrate this sort of complete lack of parenting ability ought to be chemically castrated and their remaining kids should be taken from them forever.

fuck, i hate stupid people.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 2:05 AM on December 14, 2006


Pollomacho as opposed to the mother who was carted off to jail ranting (and believing, I'm sure) that she did nothing wrong by leaving her child in the car.

No-one has yet shown that she did. Ynoxas might have wanted to, if he were up to it, but so far all we've heard on that side of the issue has been a bunch of "Don't you GET IT? Don't you SEE? Arrgh, you must be a BAD PERSON!"

Somebody kindly explain, please, why it's not merely dubious judgement, but constitutes actual criminality, to leave one's child under the care of parking valets for ten minutes.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:12 AM on December 14, 2006


OUTRAGEOUS!!!
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 4:45 AM on December 14, 2006


There's a whole blog devoted to this stuff: http://www.parentsbehavingbadly.com/
posted by GuyZero at 6:22 AM on December 14, 2006


what an idiot! i hate back yard breeders. they all need to die. ...

Unless they are raised by someone else, they're probably going to turn out just as retarded and continue the beautiful circle of life.

Thank you for your Ricki Lake wrap-up. I'll be sure to pay special attention to your level-headedness in the future.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:06 AM on December 14, 2006


They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
posted by Falconetti at 7:44 AM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


aeschenkarnos: "This is a collision of upper class and middle class values. The upper class consider shop employees to be servants, to whom ad-hoc duties that are reasonably within their capability and discretion (eg making a phone call, posting a package, watching a child) can be assigned."

As soon as I saw it was Neiman-Marcus, I had the same reaction you did.

"She's merely misjudged the situational etiquette, the social class of the clerks, and the absurd level of child-safety panic and legal liability aversion that the American middle class indulge themselves in."

True, but I'm still glad they carted her off to jail. If she can't afford a chauffeur, and doesn't realize that Neiman-Marcus caters more to middle class aspirations than to the real upper class, she doesn't have any business acting like she's old money. Fuck her.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:48 AM on December 14, 2006


Just one more data point: My brothers and I grew up with several pit bulls in our house. My mom was a veterinary assistant at the time, and had always been a responsible dog owner. They are some of the most loving, dedicated animals on the planet. I own two to this day and wouldn't trade them for the world.
posted by kableh at 8:05 AM on December 14, 2006


Somebody kindly explain, please, why it's not merely dubious judgement, but constitutes actual criminality, to leave one's child under the care of parking valets for ten minutes.

I'll drive right past the implication that dubious judgement is distinct from criminality and assume it was merely poor phrasing.

The law, and what I would call common western morality, place a higher value on human life than on property, and a higher yet value on the life of a child than that of an adult. I hope this is not a contentious assertion.

I would likewise hope that it can be taken as an axiom that not all people are equally and infinitely qualified for every possible task presented to them, nor are they all infinitely trustworthy.

Therefore, before entrusting an object of value to a caretaker, it must be determined that they are a) trustworthy and b) capable to provide adequate care, within reason. Valet parkers are not trained, experienced, or properly vetted for the position of caretaker. They are not hired with an eye towards their ability to determine the health or safety of a child. The barrier of entry to the job of 'valet' is astonishingly low.

It is shockingly poor judgement to leave your child with a valet attendant. I believe it would fall under the auspices of criminal negligence, but I am in no way a legal professional.
posted by Skorgu at 9:11 AM on December 14, 2006


Unfortunately these two stories are nothing out of the ordinary; we had a nearly identical dog-bite incident at our hospital earlier this year (baby lost foot, puppy put down, mom arrested) and the week before Thanksgiving I got called in at 2 in the morning to take care of a toddler whose mother's boyfriend had scalded him five days earlier and at some point in the intervening time interval hit him in the stomach so hard his intestines were perforated; mom only took him for medical treatment after he lapsed into a coma from his injuries. He had to be transported to 4 hospitals before coming to one that could care for a child with that sort of trauma. Both children should recover, but will also bear lifelong physical scars and disabilities.

The sad fact is that child abuse and neglect is all over the place. I could really get on a soapbox about the causes and failure of our society and government to care for these uniquely vulnerable members of our society, but I don't have enough time. It is easy to snark "think of the children" when someone gets on a rant about Harry Potter or Janet Jackson's breast (I certainly have) but when it really matters, all too often we don't think of the children until it is too late.
posted by TedW at 9:34 AM on December 14, 2006


One time this Lhasa Apso came up to me and started licking me for no good reason. I have no doubt that if I had stood still for several weeks, this dog would have licked the skin clean off my bones. The dogs are complete psychopaths and I now campaign to get them banned as a breed.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 9:40 AM on December 14, 2006


The only thing that would make this dog-breed debate more rational and level-headed would be if the pit bull was an athiest who had an abortion. (Or a Creationist who bit the toes off an abortion doctor).
posted by papakwanz at 10:49 AM on December 14, 2006


Hmm, mattress on the living room floor, baby in a car seat next to it -- I sense poverty here. Bossier County, eh, Katrina refugees? Anyway, I don't know how loud that baby screamed or for how long, if at all, but I think I can construct another kind of horror story out of the few factuals presented here.
posted by CCBC at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2006


I hate parents. My own, and everyone else's, and I'll probably hate myself when I have kids. They are the sole reason the world is fucked, and we as a species with the ability to consciously amend our instincts really need to stop with the babies and take a long, hard look at what we're doing to our kids and how we procreate. Until that day, when we can all sit down and agree that the problem is us having kids before we're ready, and I mean all 6-odd billion of us, there will be stories like this. I really think that individually we're just too error-prone to raise healthy offspring.
posted by saysthis at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2006


You know, I don't care what people keep as pets, as long as I (and other non-involved people) never have to deal with them. The thing that bugs me about Pit Bulls, and other large dangerous dogs, is that the owners never seem to maintain complete control over them.

I'm always seeing loose dogs all over town, and hearing about dog attacks on other people. I think about 1/4 of the people I've met in my life have a dog attack story. I've came very close to being attacked myself, multiple times. I can barely walk my own dog through most of town because of the idiots who can't keep their dogs in. She's even been attacked once.

So, to the Pit Bull defenders, this is what I have to say: If you don't want your breed banned, you need to self-police. Don't ever let your dog loose - I don't care if it's the nicest, most peaceful dog in the world, no one but you knows that and it's menacing as hell to everyone else. Don't tolerate other owners who do let their dog loose. Support tougher laws against people with menacing dogs - in most of the random dog attack cases I've seen, the owners had been cited by the police multiple times. Support action against unscrupulous breeders.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:19 PM on December 14, 2006


those of you who don't think that breed types known for cuteness can be agressive; like shih tzus, pomeranians, chihuahuas, pugs, labs, or other common breeds, have never worked at a vet's office. i am a technician with about 3 years of experience dealing with all breeds of cats and dogs. they can all be HUGE assholes when on the defense, not to mention extremely dangerous; VERY capable of damage.
yeah, at the vet they are more inclined to be defensive, but in their own home or "protecting" their owner nearby, they can all still exhibit the same kind of aggressive behavior. no breed is immune.

however i would like to add that, in my experience, airedales, *bichon frisees, toy poodles, and boston terriers all seem to be mostly free of meany-head syndrome. :D

*i have other things to say about the owners of this breed, lol...

one other thing, having a dog around an infant is not an idiot thing to do, unless you're an idiot and don't know the first thing about training. as a technician, i see hundreds of clients a year with newborns and dogs, and everyone gets along famously... because the client is educated.
posted by lisalisa123 at 4:51 PM on December 14, 2006


mediareport: "drstein, stop acting like an idiot and do some research"

I'd like to tell you where to shove your incredibly self-righteous comment, but it's a waste of time. I have been permanently disfigured thanks to someone's "sweet & loving" pit bull.

There is no amount of research in the world that is going to make me change my mind about those goddamned dogs.

The issue of pit bulls is a polarizing one. For everyone saying that they're dangerous (with good reason) there are others on the flip side calling them morons and touting some research and saying that 85% of the ones tested are just fine. A 15% 'failure rate' is pretty high, if you ask me. If it was about anything else but an animal, I think that people would react differently. The pro-pit bull apologists really are a rabid group of people...no pun intended.
posted by drstein at 6:18 PM on December 14, 2006


Skorqu I'll drive right past the implication that dubious judgement is distinct from criminality and assume it was merely poor phrasing.

That assumption would be dubious judgement. Dubious judgement is distinct from criminality. A lot of people here display very dubious judgement in their opinions; that's not a crime. Lending your last $100 to a deadbeat relative is dubious judgement. Visiting your ex who told you she never wanted to see you again is dubious judgement, but unless she took out a restraining order, not a crime. Showing up to a job interview drunk is dubious judgement. Etc etc. On the other side of the definition, criminality isn't always dubious judgement.

The law, and what I would call common western morality, place a higher value on human life than on property, and a higher yet value on the life of a child than that of an adult. I hope this is not a contentious assertion.

Libertarians contend the first, and this attitude strongly influences the Republican party. The philosopher Peter Singer contends the second, but has no traction in mainstream society.

I would likewise hope that it can be taken as an axiom that not all people are equally and infinitely qualified for every possible task presented to them, nor are they all infinitely trustworthy.

Yes. Conversely, any search for a person of infinite qualification to perform a given task, or even an open-ended search for persons more qualified than have so far been found, dooms the task to failure. We have to go with what we think is the best available.

Therefore, before entrusting an object of value to a caretaker, it must be determined that they are a) trustworthy and b) capable to provide adequate care, within reason. Valet parkers are not trained, experienced, or properly vetted for the position of caretaker.

And yet are given cars worth more than they will ever have in their lives. Astonishing as it seems, they usually don't drive off with them.

They are not hired with an eye towards their ability to determine the health or safety of a child. The barrier of entry to the job of 'valet' is astonishingly low. It is shockingly poor judgement to leave your child with a valet attendant. I believe it would fall under the auspices of criminal negligence, but I am in no way a legal professional.

Perhaps in your city valets are well-known to be members of child-barbequing cults, but I daresay most places they are just people, whose responsibility towards others--particularly customers of the place they work--can be assumed to be at least average.

Looking after a child doesn't actually require years of study or practice - those of our ancestors who were better at child-raising prospered over those related species who were not, and who competed in the same evolutionary niches. How utterly incompetent must a human being be not to be able to keep a child alive and unharmed for half an hour?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:41 PM on December 14, 2006


My vote goes to parents who smoke around their kids. Lung cancer is a terrible way to die, and when you go through the awful chemo you know very well that your responsible parents, who of course never had pets or a pond in their garden, and who snarked on the internet about those stupid parents who put their adorable babies at risk, killed you.
posted by davar at 6:32 AM on December 15, 2006


I'd like to tell you where to shove your incredibly self-righteous comment

Right back atcha. I am sorry for your injury, and understand your emotional reaction to pit bulls, but that doesn't make your initial style of argument in this thread any less obnoxious, particularly to those of us who know the breed.
posted by mediareport at 8:58 AM on December 15, 2006


dgaicun is dead right with that link -- dachshunds are more dangerous than your average pit bull (and nose-biters to boot! they were once bred to pull badgers -- not a very nice animal -- out of holes by their noses), yet I let mine sleep with me... and I still have all my fingers, toes (and nose)!

There's a rescue pit bull named Petey who lives down the street. Horribly maltreated by a neighbor of the family's grandmother, so they stole him in the dead of night and gave him a good home. He is as sweet as sugar, that dog, despite all the bad treatment as a baby. I'd trust that dog near any small kid. But my dachsie? Her, I'd watch...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:47 PM on December 15, 2006


You speak the truth bitter-girl.com, dachshunds are mighty warriors. I once watched my mother's fat lazy dachs get into a tug of war with my fusion-powered Australian cattle dog.

All looked on in amazement as a fat old wiener dog slowly but surely pulled a frenetic cattle dog across the floor. I think my dog was most amazed of all. Till that point she had always won every tug of war. Now she had not only lost, she had been bested by a dog one third her height.

I won't even get into details about the time I watched her dachshund run halfway up a tree to eat a chipmunk that had offended him.
posted by quin at 3:10 PM on December 15, 2006


Not that there's any chance at all that anyone is still reading here, but aeschenkarnos I'd have to say that your argument sounds a bit naive. Valets are just people, with average childcare skills and can be trusted for half an hour. By that logic, anyone walking down the street is in the identical position. Why screen teachers or other childcare workers if 'average' competence is enough? Why waste such a horrendous amount of effort vetting adoptive parents if nearly everybody is 'good enough'?

Determining the 'average' childcare skill is, in addition to pointless, massively skewed. Do we count only 'adults?' Where do we draw that line? Non-adults have taken care of children for millennia, yet they are not considered 'able' by our society to be caregivers. What about felons? A non trivial percentage of the population is, in the eyes of society, unfit to vote, are we to assume they are eligible for childcare positions?

Why do we not ask the garbagemen or construction workers to watch our babies? They're average too.

The plain fact is that the average childcare skill of any large, random sampling of people is not good enough for the standards of safety and health we expect in western society.

Valets do not drive off with cars because the organization employing them has safeguards to prevent it. Valet organizations do not, that I am aware of, have procedures in place to handle the safety and security of a child.

How utterly incompetent must a human being be not to be able to keep a child alive and unharmed for half an hour? What makes you think the obvious, common-sense skills you possess are universal, obvious or common? If the world were composed of six billion knowledgeable, skilled and caring people, sure. The articles in this thread alone speak clearly against that assumption.
posted by Skorgu at 1:41 PM on December 16, 2006


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