Editor's Note: Beware of the dog?
In the National Safety Council’s Publications Department, the Dog versus Cat battle has long raged. I am firmly on the side of Team Dog and, in recent years – as new staff members have joined the department – am unnerved to find myself in the minority. It never occurred to me to ask the question when interviewing job candidates, so now the Cat People rule, and Assistant Editor Tracy Haas and I stand in solidarity at team meetings and get-togethers, listening with ill-disguised dismay to stories about the acts of “mischief” that some cats perpetrate on their owners.
However, I’m not saying all dogs have a halo. My mom’s neighbor has a dog with a harsh, high-pitched bark that I’d describe as 50 percent yap, 50 percent shriek. This sound seems to defy the laws of anatomy and travel directly up my spinal cord, hunching my shoulders and making me wonder why anyone would want an animal that makes a noise like that in his or her home. (Although it may explain why the dog is put outside so often.)
It also has to be acknowledged that even the best-natured dogs may bite if they feel threatened. In this month's issue, Associate Editor Sarah Trotto (member of Team Cat) explores the subject of occupational dog bites. The issue is an important one for some employers of outdoor workers – particularly the U.S. Postal Service, to whom Sarah speaks for her article.
It has been a while since Safety+Health tackled this topic. The last article we published on preventing dog bites created a bit of controversy, as some readers took issue with the advice given by some of the article’s experts. Years later, Sarah has found that there’s still no definitive agreement on certain points. As her article says, “two schools of thought exist,” so we’re presenting both.