For those essential moments of light relief, I sometimes dip into Dear Prudence (http://www.slate.com/id/2157385/fr/nl/) and see how society in the USA lives. The piece below had a special significance here in UK where a pit bull type dog savaged and killed a small girl. Police action discovered a wide net of pit bull breeders which is a dog totally banned here. As a dog trainer and owner, I cannot understand the continued existence of any dog that draws human blood so, for my money, the question of Cujo coming to the get-together would never have arisen as he would have gone up the Golden Stairway.
Dear Prudence, My sister has an old dog, part pit bull. The dog has always been very skittish, and over the years, has nipped at the ankles of men and on occasion a woman (including myself). My husband, brother, and two older sons have been nipped on several occasions, and the dog is now starting to nip at the ankles of my 7-year-old son. We really never made much of an issue of this. Recently, my sister attempted to take the dog outside, when it bit her and held on to her hand, causing puncture wounds and resulting in a hospital stay for a severe infection. She insists this was not the dog's fault because he is deaf and was startled. Whenever my parents have a gathering at their home, my sister insists on bringing the dog. Last night, my mother asked me if my family would like to come over for a get-together. I respectfully requested that she ask my sister to leave the dog home. This morning my mother told me that the gathering has been cancelled because of my request. Please let me know if I am out of line.
—Wants My Son in One Piece
Dear Wants, So, collectively, the family leaves with fewer limbs than it came with—what is this compared to the happiness of a demented pit bull? No, you are not out of line, but something is awry with your family dynamics if your mother would prefer to cancel the event than tell her daughter she has to leave Cujo at home. Untrained dogs who view grandchildren as appetizers should be banned from family social events. Don't back down.