Darlne Wagner (easy), p2

Many people in Ontario and other places think that owning a pit bull should be against the law. There are many other people, though, who say that they say there is nothing wrong with pit bulls. These people say pit bulls are really friendly and playful dogs and that they make good family pets. They say the real problem is not with the dogs but with some owners who teach their dogs to be fierce. They also say that any kind of dog can be dangerous if its owner wants to make it dangerous.

Darlene knew that other kinds of dog could be dangerous. The dog that bit her in 1976 was not a pit bull. But, still, she said, owning a pit bull should be against the law because she thought they were more likely to be dangerous than other kinds of dogs.

The son of the woman who owned the dogs did not agree. He said he felt sorry for Darlene. But he also said his dogs were really friendly and had never bitten anyone before. A month before Darlene was bitten, he said, one of the dogs had been bitten by another dog. He thinks that may have been why it bit Darlene.

- information from: London Free Press, (London, Ontario), 04.06.04 (Teviah Moro and Brian Cleeve); CTV.ca, 04.08.31; Toronto Star, 0410.18

letter carrier:
person who delivers mail (often, when the letter carrier is male, ‘a mailman’)

tear off:
remove something by tearing (transitive separable phrasal verb)

adjective describing a manufactured replacement for something natural (e.g. artificial flowers)

very small (fine) drops of liquid (‘pepper spray’ contains chemical that causes pain to eyes of person or animal it is aimed at)

pit bull:
a ‘pit’ is a large hole in the ground; a ‘bull’ is a ‘male cow.’ Pit bulls are dogs originally bred for fighting with bulls in a pit.

a covering for a dog’s mouth to prevent it from biting

feel sorry for:
have feelings of sympathy with; feel bad about someone else’s suffering or unhappiness. A prepositional verb (synonymous with "sympathize with.")