One Of The Saddest (And Scariest) Days Of My Life

Juanita Torres (name changed) went swimming with her family one summer afternoon in the Farmington River.

Something happened and Juanita was dragged under the water. No one could find her. Police and fire department were contacted and still no one could find her.

State police divers were called in and searched for two days.

Still no recovery.

On the third day her family members found her and took her little, lifeless body into their van and went to back to the neighborhood that she lived in. A large group of friends and family gathered and followed the van to the hospital that I was working at.

About 150 people showed up with Juanita’s family. Her body was brought in as the friends and family waited outside on the street.

They were mad, they were angry that the police did not find her body. They felt the police gave up on their search too early.

I was the shift security supervisor for the night and immediately got on the radio and called for our K-9 unit to come over and provide a deterrent. The presence of a dog can calm an angry group of people like nothing else.

The assistant facility security supervisor (my boss) found out that we had a dog there and fearing a “Bull Connors” moment ordered K-9 to back off and leave the area.

As soon as they saw the K-9 unit leave the area, complete chaos broke out and within seconds we were in the middle of a full blown riot.

There were 12 of us working security that night and in less than a minute it was 12 against 150.

Luckily, Hartford Police was there within minutes but I have to say those few minutes waiting for HPD to show up were pretty hairy and I was not sure how it was going to end.

I’ve seen aggression up close with humans and dogs and here is what you have to understand:

Aggressive behavior is working completely on emotion. The brain checks out and emotion takes over. The brain basically says: “I’ll come back later. Until then please don’t call me because I won’t respond when you’re like this.”

Which is why it drives me nuts when I see someone using aggression to deal with aggression.

There are a lot of dogs that become reactive on leash. A choke or prong collar are often prescribed as the solution to fixing the problem.

This is like seeing a fire and saying: “Hey look at that fire over there. Let’s see if some gas will put it out.”

Using a choke collar to “punish” the aggressive behavior out of the dog is dangerous.

If your dog is showing signs of aggressive behavior on leash, the first step is to NOT use any type of choke or prong collar.

The first step is to find out what the underlying reason is. Is the dog angry? Fearful? Have a bad case of “status by association?”

Once you discover what the problem is you can deal with it. Many of these problems start because of the use of choke and prong collars. You don’t need them to teach your dog to walk on leash and I can show you how.

We show you how to do it step by step in our dog obedience classes.

Imagine your dog walking at your side, without pulling or dragging you down the street. Your dog can do it and this is where to start NOW:

Dog Training Classes



Scroll to Top