PROTECTOR Angela Wilson, 12, of Pleasant Valley, gives Margaret, a Staffordshire Bull
Terrier, or Staffy, a hug. Margaret recently stepped in front of an attacking
stray dog to protect Angela from harm. (Dakotah M. Davis/Courier)
Recent incident underscores county problem
with dog dumping
By DAKOTAH M. DAVIS
PLEASANT VALLEY - Furry. Brown. One foot tall.
Unusual qualities to look for in a nanny, by anyones standards.
But Margaret, a 30-pound Staffordshire Bull Terrier an English breed lovingly
referred to as the nanny dog proved herself the perfect guardian
recently when a stray dog attacked her handler, 12-year-old Angela Wilson of Pleasant
Shes not even our dog, said Angelas mother, Patricia Wilson.
Thats why I am so wowed by this.
Early before school on the morning of April 25, Angela headed down Hoover, the gravel road
in front of her house, to give the diminutive Margaret some exercise. With an American
Kennel Club dog show scheduled for the coming weekend in Grove, Okla., it was
Angelas job as a junior dog handler to keep Margaret in shape. The duo had barely
started on their morning jaunt when, without warning, a 50-pound mixed breed stray
surprised them and attacked.
I took her for a walk, and a dog came out and started grabbing my pant leg,
said Angela, a vibrant sixth-grader with curly brown hair. I think it had
Angelas mother was just moments behind her daughter when the snarling stray made a
grab for Angela. Patricia yelled. Angela yelled. And they both watched as Margaret jumped
in between Angela and the stray. The two hounds locked in a scramble that lasted only
seconds, in Patricias account, but sent the stray scurrying and Margaret straight to
By the time they got back to the house, Angela was covered in blood, but none of it was
hers, thanks to Margaret. In her efforts to protect her handler, Margarets upper lip
was torn back two inches and bled profusely. Two puncture wounds dotted her nose.
required quick surgery at local veterinarian Tammy Zimmermans office, but getting
the feisty show dog to leave her charge wasnt easy, said Patricia. Zimmerman put
Margaret under heavy sedation so she could stitch her lip, but when the dog heard Angela
say goodbye, she jumped up and tore off the bandages wrapped around her head, still in
They call these dogs the nanny dogs because they protect children, said
Patricia. She obviously proved thats true.
Margaret, whose owner lives in Adkins, Texas, returned to the Wilson home a little shaky,
but she is otherwise okay. Out under the carport to pose for photos, the sweet-natured dog
barely left Angelas side.
Patricia said the incident brought up a couple of issues for her: the stray dog problem
she said exists in her semi-rural community and peoples perceptions of what makes a
As a show dog, Margaret tours show rings, not fighting rings, even though her breed
contributed a portion of its DNA to the infamous pit bull. Patricia thinks bad owners make
bad dogs, not the breeds themselves.
A local official confirmed the stray dog problem. Although the Cowley County Humane
Society took in nearly 2,300 unwanted or stray animals last year, director Theresa Harden
recognizes that dog dumping remains a problem in the rural portions of the county. Harden
said there are too many animals and not enough homes.
Its a national problem. Every town, every area, faces it, said Harden.
Its a people problem.
People can leave unwanted animals at the humane society for free, said Harden. Donations
are appreciated. The humane society actively encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their
The Wilsons said they see a new stray dog every week. Pleasant Valley sits
just outside the Winfield city limits and is a prime place for people to ditch dogs they
no longer want, Patricia said. That, combined with the fact that many people in Pleasant
Valley refuse to properly fence their dogs, poses a threat for her daughter and the other
15 or so children who live within a block of their house.
Its the dogs out here that are a problem, said Patricia, the dogs
that nobody owns and nobody feeds.
Patricia is thankful Angela had a protective dog with her the day she was
Unfortunately, Margaret wont be returning to the show ring soon. She popped a few
stitches and required another trip to the vet, said Patricia Friday. But the vet thinks
the heroic hound will heal just fine, she said.
Margaret is four years old.