Monday, February 13, 2012

Rescued dog and TV anchor goes haywire - at Colarado


Britain is reeling under a severe cold wave; there have been weather warning and driving conditions on some roads are dangerous.  Brits are wary of another big freeze this winter – with snow falls and tough climate.   It is getting tougher in US also.  Denver is the capital of US State of Colorado.   Colorado state encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains.  Colorado was in news because of a news presentation !!

You would have watched hundreds of feel-good shows in various newscasts.  – description of some good  acts – it was to be one of ‘a rescued dog; a grateful owner, the hero fighter who pulled the dog from ice’ – but it turned to be different from what was projected to be shown and hence became a sensational news. 

Earlier, a dog was rescued from the freezing icy water  in Smith Reservoir in Lakewood -- a dramatic rescue.  It was reported that a dog owned by  Michael Robinson, namedd Gladiator Maximus chased a coyote across the reservoir and both fell into the icy water.  It was freezingly and cold and the dog tried to stay afloat by paddling.  West Metro firefighters arrived and one of them suited up in a special protective cold-water rescue suit and crawled on the ice to the center of the reservoir where Max was struggling in a small open area of water.  After the firefighter grabbed the dog, the two were pulled to safety by other firefighters.  The dog must have been very strong and courageous to survive that more than 20 minutes in the cold water in the lake.    The fire fighters reportedly gave it a big bone to chew; the dog later regained its  body temperature and back up and running.  The news reports mentioned that the  85-pound Argentine Mastiff dog was certainly lucky to survive that fall  into freezing cold Smith Reservoir in Lakewood, Colorado

The dog upon chasing coyote paddled and struggled and a fire figher Tyler Sugaski, in a special cold-water rescue suit and tethered by a rope, waded over to the water's edge until he finally broke through the ice and fell into the frigid water himself.  He had been trained for this kind of scenario but perhaps had not performed in real world, inched closer and eventually completed his mission.

Then the anti-climax.  Apparently it was a breaking news and NBC tried to have a show out of that rescue act.  Kyle Dyer, anchorwoman at NBC's KUSA Denver affiliate, was on air in a  live show with the dog, its owner and rescuer.   The anchorwoman  Dyer was shown petting the mastiff during the segment, then kneeling on the floor to get closer

--  suddenly the 85-pound  unleashed on her and bit her  in the face. Paramedics and animal control were called to the studio. Dyer was rushed to a Denver hospital where she had reconstructive surgery overnight. The 3-year-old dog was taken to a Denver animal shelter where it  was "quarantined.".     The newschannel later announced that  Dyer's surgery was successful, and that Dyer is expected back to work in a few weeks. Dyer is known for a weekly segment--"Kyle's Kritters"--that showcases animals from the Denver Zoo.

Michael Robinson, Max's owner, has been cited by Denver Animal Control for a "leash-law"" violation ("because the owner did not have control of the dog at all times"), for allowing a dog to bite and for not having the dog properly vaccinated. There are opinions that it was the anchorwoman who was really at fault.  Perhaps she had made it too uncomfortable and the dog was giving her enough indications of its unease !!.   The dog is  expected to be released to Robinson after a 10-day evaluation.

The TV newscast certainly did not expect such a occurrence and stated that their goal was to unite owner with the rescuer but whatever mileage they wanted to derive out of the show, certainly failed.  Though the show was live on air, the station later showed video of Dyer petting the dog, but stopped before the attack occurred and said they would not rebroadcast it. Other video showed the dog lunging at Dyer and viciously biting her face. The dog owner was charged with failure to have his dog on a leash, allowing a dog to bite and failure to have a vaccinated dog.

The rescued dog ‘Gladiator Maximus’ is an  Argentine mastiff, a breed also known as the Argentine Dogo,  known as big-game hunters and historically have gone after wild boars and pumas.   Though some rear it as pets, they were bred from a rather violent group of dogs.  Because of the dogs' violent nature, several areas have banned the breed, including Aurora, Colorado.  Aurora is the neighbouring city to Denver, where the broadcast took place.  Dogo Argentino  is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting.

Never venture closer to a fiery monster was the message learnt by the TV anchor at a heavy price !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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