Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God, I hate breed profiling.

My little brother just told me something that pissed me off so bad... Apparently their "sensei" who comes from their little tae-kwon-do classes told my dad and the rest of my family that because of three of the breeds (and species) [German Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, Chow Chow, and a low percentage wolf] my two dogs are mixed with, that one day they'd turn on our family and attack us. He's apparently knowledgable, having supposedly (brother said) imported a GSD straight from Germany from a "straight Schutzhund line".

Now, my two mixes are protective of the family, and certainly out of our four dogs, these two have the most even temperament regarding our family. They haven't snapped at us, or instigated fights. Hell, they don't even piss in the house. My dogs are loyal to the family. They may not be the friendliest to random people, but love you once they get to know you. You have to build trust with your dog, regardless of the breed.

I HATEHATEHATE the bias people have towards these dogs. Sure, they aren't for everyone, but just because there aren't enough people out their who can handle dogs properly, let alone responsibly doesn't mean everyone is like that. No wonder we have the media on our breeds... Not only is there a surplus of shitty owners, there are also snots like the aforementioned family friend who have to spread incorrect notions about the breed around, claiming to KNOW the outcome of living with such "vicious" breeds. This guy's an asshole.

Leave some breed-specific labels people have slapped on your dog before - I can't resist listening to idiots pretend to know what they're doing and get crazy on the owner.

[picture of my other mix on previous post. He's the above dog's full brother from the same litter! We should explore how unpredictable things can be when people breed mutts.]


horseys4me said...

I get people taking their kids away and grabbing their tiny dogs when i walk by with my pitbull while shes wagging her whole body like an idiot shes so happy and excited...all bc shes a pit...i wish ppl would educate themselves...all they know is its one of those "killing dogs" makes me sick...and sad :(

mommyof3 said...

I belong to a local Great Dane meetup group, we have over 200 members, but average about 20 Danes per meetup. We go to local dog parks, the lake, camping, hikes, etc... We've never had an incident with one of our Danes starting anything, however, we've had several get attacked by other dogs, mostly the small ones. It is amazing though, to listen to the other dogs owners when the Dane's start showing up. One old lady was almost hysterical, grabbed her little dog and shouting the whole way out of the park, how our Danes' were monsters and they were going to bite someone. Crazy.

CNSpots said...

We have Dalmatians. You wouldn't believe the people who have asked me why we have such dangerous dogs. My daughter came home from school one day and told us that her teacher told the class that Dalmatians were the dogs most likely to turn on a family member and seriously injure them. He wasn't even the first teacher to say that in front of my kids. I could not resist setting him (and everyone else that does it) straight. My Dals are VERY protective of our family and our home, but they are also the smartest, most loving dogs we've ever owned. Yes, they did bite someone who snuck in our yard through the woods and ran at my 2 youngest kids, but that is their JOB - to protect my children. And I have had one take down another dog that went after my then 2 year old son and knocked him in the dirt growling & snarling. But they also have excellent manners and can be taken anywhere without worrying about them starting fights with other dogs or hurting anyone. And they love kids.....any kids. Several people who have visited us complained about my dogs barking every time they pull in the yard and refusing to stop until we say it's okay, but once again, it's their job to protect us. We live in the country surrounded by woods and I'm home alone with the kids at night alot so it's understood that I WANT them to let me know when someone comes in my yard. I usually just tell people if they have a problem with my dogs, don't come to my home. It's their home too and they take their job of protecting us very seriously. To me they are as much a part of our family as my kids and anyone who has a problem with them is not welcome here. I've raised these dogs myself and they are 3rd & 4th generation of my breeding program so I know them completely and have no doubt that I can trust them with my life and they deserve the same loyalty from me.

gillian said...

Does it count as breed profiling that I'm suspicious of miniature dogs, dressed in little pink clothing being carried around by people with poorly bleached hair? 'Cause I really think those things tend to be vicious.

Jess said...

My dog is the complete opposite of the breed profiling you're talking about. She's a sheltie/Aussie mix and about 25 lbs. She's adorable, yes... but she hates people. People like to assume that because she's soooo cuuuuute she likes to be touched/pet/etc. She sniffs and walks away, leaving people very confused.

I always correct people when they assume breeds like pits, rotties, etc are "dangerous"... :| It's ridiculous. They're my favorites and I've never met a mean one that was raised right.

Emily said...

I hate breed profiling. I just adopted out (to a nice couple) a Rottweiler/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Now I am waiting my next foster. People were always concerned when they approached us while on the sidewalk - they would rather walk on the road.

Meanwhile, I have a lovely black Retriever/lab/?? mix who people think is the "cutest dog" and they all want to pet him. He is NOT a dog I would walk up to! Sometimes if he feels threatened he can become dog agressive and I have also seen him show agression towards people. We are currently working through his issues (he's an adoption too and came with 5 years of baggage). However, when people see us on the street, they often will walk right up and assume it is ok to pet him.

LegendsLiveOn said...

Emily - Same with our dogs. When people see the our big dogs, they'll move out of the way, but when I walk my Dachshund, people just run up and pet him. That's got to be one of my biggest pet peeves... Not teaching your child to ASK before they pet a dog (presumably at a safe distance)? That's just asking to get bitten.

Jess said...

I love it when people walk up to me and tell me my well-bred doberman's brain is going to grow too big for his skull resulting in my dismemberment. Yes, my goofy stupid protective doberdude who helps raise my itty bitty foster kittens and grooms my cats daily is certainly going to turn me into a chew toy...Never mind the fact that he's afraid of chihuahuas (me too!) and the dark. What nutjobs.

"Does he bite?"
"Only if you bite first! (or piss me off)"

My favorite is the woman and her son who came up to my dog and were petting him, he was kissing the little boy's face and doing his best helicopter-nubby. She tells her son he's a greyhound (wtf?) I correct her and let her know that he's a doberman. She yanks that kid back so hard he falls 5 feet behind her crying and then proceeds to scream at me for endangering the life of her son. Meanwhile, my dog is now staring very hard at this crazy lady and seriously considering rectifying the situation. I let her know that he doesn't go after kids, only bat-shit crazy broads like her. Idiot.

xwatchmerunx said...

At least to some extent people have reasons to consider such breeds as 'dangerous'...not that i agree.
I own a Scottish Terrier and my boyfriend's mum won't come near him because they are a 'nasty breed'...yeah right, he's even scared of my rabbit lol *headdesk*

damsel78 said...

I have a female Rottweiler, and a Chihuahua, go figure. I like to take the 2 of them to my daughters soccer games. It never ceases to amaze me that people will whirl past my Rott like she is about to attack at any time (mind you, she is sprawled out on her back, completely submissive) clutching their children close to them headed over to the out of control black lab who has been pulling their owner all over the place, jumping on everyone it sees and is completely out of control to go pet it. Ummmm...excuse me. Lab acting dominant and out of control vs. Rottweiler acting submissive and under complete control. Who would I want my children near? The big oaf literally rolls over the second a child gets within 10 feet of her! People have a huge misconseption about canine behavior as a whole. Oh how cuuute..she's jumping on me and so happy to be near me. No, moron, she's unbehaved and seeking a dominant position. I'll never understand why some refuse to learn. Never. And then they blame to confused dog. Awesome.

megan colleen said...

I have a pit bull x dachshund cross. I've experienced the same things already mentioned here - including a mother who let her little girl run up to him and pet him, then when i said he was a pit bull yanked her back and told her that he was dangerous. Dangerous to who and how? Just because you know he's a pit bull now does not mean that he's going to turn into a raging lunatic.

Actually the worst person who flips out about my dog and how "dangerous" he is would be my older brother. So far my brother has accused me of being purposefully negligent of my family in adoptign a dangerous breed when I have young nieces and nephews. My answer to that was "I adopted my dog for ME, not for YOU, your wife or your kids. We don't even LIVE with you..."

It's completely sickening as a whole and he continues to make jokes about the subject even though it pisses me off to have to keep explaining to myself that just because Mojo is a pit bull *mix* does not mean that he's a demon. 'Course the entire family flipped out when I mentioned that I do plan on having pit bulls for the rest of my life...

Something about them being dangerous.... when I pointed at Mojo and asked "He's a pit bull, has he been dangerous?" My dad will say "Oh but Mojo is different..."


cherryblossomshiba said...

Amen! I hate it when we go out on the lake and though most people are okay with my sister's pit bull, some people look at her like she's a monster and say, "You better watch her." >_>

I was in PetCo once at an adoption day and there was this dog playing roughly with another. The lady said, "stop it, you're acting like you've got pit in you!"


Sarah said...

The wolf hybrid issue isn't one of 'breed profiling' as wolves aren't dogs. Apart from that, there is quite a lot of evidence that hybrids are more dangerous than domesticated dogs. Most of the time, the 'wolf hybrids' who deal well with being pets are those that probably aren't part wolf - as there is no way to actually PROVE that any given canine is part wolf, the only assurance a buyer has that Bozo is really 1/8 timberwolf is the word of the breeder. Good scam, though.

For people who deplore breed 'profiling' many people with the 'media bias' breeds sure love to do it to breeds they don't personally admire. What's the difference between one person's 'killer dog' reaction to your pit bull, and another's 'nasty ankle biter' reaction to a Lhasa?

nccatnip said...

Can someone explain the attraction to the wolf hybrids? I don't get it. I am not slamming it, I just don't get it. What purpose is there in this type of breeding?

PapSett said...

In the past, I have had several very sweet, well-trained, socialized Dobermans. One day, I was at the vet with my last one, Kaci; she was sitting very quietly at my feet. A woman walked in with a Chow, badly in need of grooming, lunging and barking at everyone in the office. She sat with a white-knuckled grip on the leash, GLARING at Kaci, who still never moved (except to crowd a little closer to me)

The woman finally couldn't stand it any longer. She began on her tirade, telling me she thought Dobermans should be illegal, they were horrible dogs that would turn on their owner (yeah, the brain swelling thing) and were a danger to everyone they came in contact with. I was actually too stunned to say anything, and just then, I was called into the exam room.

I told my vet, wnom I have gone to for many, many years, what she said. He just laughed and said (while hugging Kaci & getting his face washed by her tongue) that if any dog was gonna turn on their owner, HIS money was on the fuzzy one.

There are good and bad in every breed. I trained for a local obedience club for several years, and say many breeds come thru the doors. I saw a few sweet pits/pit crosses, and a LOT that were truly dangerous. I cannot rememebr seeing one Chow that I would trust. Now... I am not saying they are ALL like that... just my personal experience.

I love dogs. But I can say in all honesty that thwere are less than a dozen breeds I would personally own... most in the sporting & toy groups.

Might be an interesting topic of discussion... what breeds would you or wouldn't you own, and why?

mikken said...

I brought a foster Rottie in to see my vet. The vet was very cool with this dog and we got to talking about breed profiling.

She said, "Well, it's not fair to slam a whole breed for the actions of a few."

I said, "In your experience, which dogs are most likely to bite?"

She immediately said, "Chihuahuas. Now, there are some *nice* Chihuahuas out there, of course, but you can't help but be a little on your guard when they come in because so many of them are biters."

She then went on to show me the scars on her hands from - yep, Chihuahuas. She gets right on the floor with the Rottie, but has to watch her fingers with the little dogs...

may said...

I was about to say this, but someone beat me to it:

"The wolf hybrid issue isn't one of 'breed profiling' as wolves aren't dogs. Apart from that, there is quite a lot of evidence that hybrids are more dangerous than domesticated dogs. Most of the time, the 'wolf hybrids' who deal well with being pets are those that probably aren't part wolf - as there is no way to actually PROVE that any given canine is part wolf, the only assurance a buyer has that Bozo is really 1/8 timberwolf is the word of the breeder. Good scam, though."

Also, I think it is sickening that people purposely breed wolf hybrids. They make terrible pets and they can be very dangerous. (That's not breed profiling, that's a simple fact - wild animals are not good pets.)

Also, while we're on the topic of "dangerous" dogs... from my experience working in a dog boutique (selling fancy collars, clothes, booties, etc) the #1 most aggressive breed is the Pomeranian. On two occasions I had to get stitches and a rabies shot after being viciously attacked by an undersocialized Pom. You don't see people banning them or acting frightened of them though, do you? I've met a heck of a lot of Pit Bull types and other "dangerous" dogs, and despite getting a few over-enthusiastic playnips over the years, I have never had my hand shredded by any dog over 7lbs.

Crunchberry's mom said...

you're preaching to the choir here. i have pit bulls in my home, and i get that 'they'll turn on you one day' crap all the time.
it pisses me off too.

gillian said...

I almost commented on the wolf thing too. There are people qualified to handle dogs with appreciable amounts of wolf in them. Some of those people also have the time to do all the right things, and have people who can safely look after the dog in case of travel or emergency.

NO other people should have wolves! Those Dalmatians are so skeeery but look how noble the wolves on TV are.

LegendsLiveOn said...

"The wolf hybrid issue isn't one of 'breed profiling' as wolves aren't dogs. Apart from that, there is quite a lot of evidence that hybrids are more dangerous than domesticated dogs. Most of the time, the 'wolf hybrids' who deal well with being pets are those that probably aren't part wolf - as there is no way to actually PROVE that any given canine is part wolf, the only assurance a buyer has that Bozo is really 1/8 timberwolf is the word of the breeder. Good scam, though. "

I've got a few comments on that.

First, if your statement about hybrids being inherently dangerous is true, then why go on and contradict yourself by saying there's no way to prove that a dog does indeed have wolf in it?

And yes, there is a way to find out what breed(s) your dog is. You take it into the vet and have blood drawn.

We haven't drawn our dogs blood, because we've seen both of the parents. The male dog came from Nebraska (German Shepherd wolf hybrid), and the female was a pet (Chow Chow and Rottweiler) of a friends. Both dogs live(d) and work(ed) on a farm. The female died a while ago from running over a neighbor's cut PVC pipe while playing fetch and disemboweled herself.

As for the scam part, I do agree. If you throw it up that the dogs are "part wolf", then you'll have a lot more people interested in them. But I did not pay for either one of my dogs. It was an accidental breeding, and they didn't make any profit, nor was it mentioned that they were part wolf until I commented on Charlie's (the male) looks and was told he's about a quarter wolf, what kind, we're not sure.

Wolves aren't suited to domestic life, although researchers in Russia have seemingly tamed their wolves (yes, real wolves) down enough to take walks, be taught tricks, and, amazingly enough, accept the humans as their leaders without incident.

While I do agree that people shouldn't try to tame an animal and bring it home, I see nothing wrong with owning my low-percentage hybrids.

LegendsLiveOn said...

PapSett -

That's too bad to hear about your girl. I'd probably have strangled the lady with her dog's leash. I love the Dobes, especially the fawns.

Will start a new thread, good idea. :]

amanda said...

I used to have a German Shepard/Rhott cross. He was the best dog ever and wouldn't hurt anyone. He just had a tuff look and a mean sounding bark, but he was the sweetest dog we have ever had. When I would tell people what breed Bruno was they would always say something about what a scary dog he must be. The only time he was ever aggressive was when some one climbed a tree to get over the fence into our back yard, and like previous posters have stated, he was just doing his job at that point. Any other time, there would be small children climbing all over him and he was the most well behaved animal I have ever had the pleasure of meeting

Viatecio said...

I actually had someone mention the brain-swelling thing when we were talking BSL one day (it was a customer at the store where I used to work). Thankfully, as we were talking, I could tell she had a sense of humor about things, so I stepped out a bit and said "Hey, you know that happens to people too?" Of course she didn't! "Yeah, it's one of those things where their brain swells and their head actually grows to keep up with it, but no one except the person can really tell. The reproductive organs tend to shrink as well, so of course they're not going to WANT to admit anything's wrong!"

She left the store still laughing.

I actually had a very possessive dachshund at one point, who had bitten me and other people...I was dogsitting him in my home for a week and continuing his training that the owner had started and was having progress with. But OMG, the people who wanted to pet him because he was SO KYOOT! I had to get actually YELL at some kids to not pet my dog...not only did they NOT ask if it was OK, but even after I yelled at them, they STILL didn't ask or didn't even apologize. Thankfully, Shorty was OK with it, even if I wasn't.

Another thing that gets me with "profiling" is people who automatically think my dog is aggressive just because he's wearing a pinch collar. I use it for training purposes, and I must have missed the memo that states "If your dog is wearing a pinch collar, no matter if it is a dachshund or a Lab, it is immediately and henceforth a danger to everyone around it and if proven otherwise, then the owner is a cruel and inhumane excuse of a person-ish thing not allowed to be called 'human'."

On the other hand, the town where I live is overrun with pit bulls...strange though, every single one I've met so far is a ball of sugar who'd just as soon lick my face off! (I'm just waiting one day though, I know my time is coming to meet a bad one!)

Barb said...

viatecio wrote:
"On the other hand, the town where I live is overrun with pit bulls ... I know my time is coming to meet a bad one!)"

Actually, population is part of the pit bull issue. They are SPECTACULARLY popular dogs.

I don't care what kind of neighborhood you live in, the chances are very good that one or more of your immediate neighbors has a pit-type dog. In many neighborhoods, nearly everyone has one. There are millions and millions of them... so statistically it's inevitable that some of them are going to be dangerous.

But no one knows - or CAN know - the PERCENTAGE of dangerous dogs there are in any particular breed or type. Because there is no way to reliably know the number of dogs of any particular type in a community.

This is why the CDC no longer lists breeds with its dog bite reports.

They give the following as an example: if in your town 5 people are bitten by Golden Retrievers, and 10 are bitten by Pit Bulls, you want to say that the Pits are twice as dangerous. But if there are 10 Golden Retrievers in the community, and 100 Pit Bulls, then the truth is that any particular Golden you meet is 5 times more likely to bite you than any particular Pit Bull.

Sarah said...

"First, if your statement about hybrids being inherently dangerous is true, then why go on and contradict yourself by saying there's no way to prove that a dog does indeed have wolf in it?"

It's not a contradiction; known wolf hybrids (ie, an animal whose lineage can be reliabley traced back to a wolf through proof, not heresay) treated as pets have been shown repeatedly to be unreliable; they are not fully domesticated animals, and do not react like dogs 100% of the time.

"And yes, there is a way to find
out what breed(s) your dog is. You take it into the vet and have blood drawn."

DNA can't prove that a dog is a particular breed, or that a dog contains any wolf. It only prove what bloodlines a dog comes from, and that only if you have something to compare it to. You can't prove that a dog is a % wolf by a blood test unless you have a sample of known wolf lines to compare it to. Which is why it's impossible to get an limited listing with the AKC based on blood tests, or use blood testing for pit bulls in BSL. DNA just doesn't work that way.

Sarah said...

"Because there is no way to reliably know the number of dogs of any particular type in a community. This is why the CDC no longer lists breeds with its dog bite reports."

The CDC's purported reasonf for abandoning the collection of breed/type data was NOT that breed percentages are unknowable within a community, but that their source for that data, media reports, was not solid enough for good statistics. The percentage of dog breeds and types is knowable based on licensing and shelter intake. And the CDC essentially bowed to pressure by, coincidentally, people who owned the breeds most often found responsible for maulings and deaths.

caitstclair said...

Ugh. It drives me crazy. Whenever my boyfriend and I have both the dogs out people will always be afraid of his and ask if he's dangerous because he's a pit mix. Go figure it's mine that's more protective (Rhodesian mixed with Lab/Rottie/who knows, take your pick) while our pit will let 99.9% of the population into the house, even if we're not home.
Not to say that people aren't scared of Rusty, he's a intimidating dog. But that just makes the fact that people are scared of Bones all the more ridiculous.

deidaraisabang said...

someone got into a fight with me and told me she'd shoot my pit bulls if she ever saw them (yes, even if they were on a leash) i get people like that all the time though, even here, where bsl doesn't exist. she told me i was going to hell for putting them into therapy work. but the lady raises pomeranians, which she admitted that they had 'problems biting'. oh ya, my dog is really gonna kill someone. they roll on the floor when a corgi snaps at them!

deidaraisabang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pachebelle said...

Amusingly, claiming that his GSD straight from Germany is from a Schutzhund line is like saying that it came from a breeder here.

I own a Schutzhund titled GSD who is now on well earned retirement at the age of 12 and a half. The SV, the GSD registration body in Germany, only will register litters from dogs with at least a SchH1 degree... therefore, -all- GSDs that are registered are from 'straight Schutzhund lines' if they are German bred. ;)

Now -my- boy is from USA, German, and World champion Sieger lines... which is a little more bragworthy. ;)

Lightwing said...

My mom was berated when I was younger for letting her childern play with "a vicious pit bull". The dog they were referring to was my purebred Boxer.

As far as I'd heard wolf hybrids can be even more dangerous than wolves in the wrong hands. What I hate are people like a certain customer of mine who goes around saying, "Wolves make wonderful pets!" (exact quote) without any sort of disclaimer or attempt at education attached.

Mary said...

My vet (over 40 years experience) didn't trust 50% of his Pom patients, 10% of his labs and most of the Dalmatians. The Goldens were 99% fine with a few exceptions. Most of the Rotties were fine.

If you want a really dangerous animal to bring to the vet get a cat ;) (From a cat person)

Laurel said...

I learn to "profile" when I was a veterinary assistant. I still do it. I will always give chows a wide berth, mistrust mini dachshunds and cockers, and expect German shepherds to fear bite if pressed. What I don't do is tell people my opinion of their dog, especially if I haven't met the dog. That's just rude.

I was never harmed by a pit bull. The worst bite I ever had was from a collie.

LegendsLiveOn said...


We have taken our neighbor's dog to the vet to get his genetic makeup; came out he was a Golden Retriever and Chow cross like I suspected, not a lab cross golden like they were told.

True, DNA testing doesn't give percentages.

But the physicalties in dogs differentiate within their DNA and strains are detectable that can accurately tell you your dog's genetic composition.

Tasunke Hinzi said...

I'm a late comer to this blog, but couldn't resist posting about a recent bias against my dogs because I have 2 Akitas and a Chow Chow.

I am having to move and finding a place that will accept three dogs is hard enough, but having to deal with bias because of their breeds is infuriating me.

One place was fine with me having three dogs as long as I came up with the $200 per dog deposit, until the lady found out the breeds of my dogs. She then informed me that since they were on the "dangerous breeds list" that she could not rent the place to me.

Never mind I have them obedience trained, are my kid's "babysitters," are walked every day, are trained pack dogs (my family are avid hikers) they are socialized extensivly, take them to the dog park regularly (since they were pups) without incident.

Nope, none of that mattered, she had a list. Grrrr!

Tasunke Hinzi said...

I also remember having a small "cute" poodle as a kid, but he wasn't friendly with anyone outside the family.

Kids would run up to him trying to pet him and we'd often have to yell to stay back, that he would bite.

AS a teenager, I distinctly remember my brother's friend being attacked by a labrador, had his face bitten. Everyone started reffering to the dog as a pit bull or the incident as the pit bull attack (small town, word gets around fast about things that occured in the community). I was constantly trying to correct everyone, especially since I was there and saw it happen and knew that the dog was a purebred labrador.

Also, one of the best dogs I had was a pit bull mix. He showed up after we had moved into a rural neighborhood. The neighbors said he had been a stray out there for at least a year, that animal control couldn't catch him. One neighbor put food out for him when he would show up so he wouldn't starve, but for the most part, I think he was mostly surviving off the rabbits and squirrels as he would still hunt and eat them after we adopted him. He had bite scars on him from what we assumed was skirmishes with coyotes.

I don't know why he decided to come live with us after scorning the other neighbors who attempted to make friends with him. But he came in and stayed with us soon after we moved in.

He loved my kids and eventually became my husband's best friend and shadow (he kept his distance with other guys, we think he was abused). He was a great guard dog, without being overly agressive.

After I taught him not to eat my chickens, he was a good livestock guard, protecting my poultry, goats and cats from the coyotes :)

He was a sweet dog and loved to play with kids, but because of his obvious pit bull heritage, I had many parents that wouldn't let their kids come over to play after seeing him.

He lived to a great age (had him for nearly ten years after adopting him and don't know how old he was when he came to us), he was an awesome dog. RIP Cody.

Sarah said...

"We have taken our neighbor's dog to the vet to get his genetic makeup;...True, DNA testing doesn't give percentages.
But the physicalties in dogs differentiate within their DNA and strains are detectable that can accurately tell you your dog's genetic composition."

There are questions, to say the least, about the validity/reliability of the breed DNA testing out there. As far as it does work, it's because there are enough reliable, verifiable DNA samples of various breeds of dog. This doesn't apply to wolves, so wolf proof is still up in the air. On a side note, the AKC's approach to DNA gathering is touchingly trusting, to say the least - send out a kit, await the honorable efforts of their trusty breeders. With the pressure falling on breeders to produce DNA tests for sires, I think it's likely that puppy millers are going to be involved eventually, and that'll shoot the whole thing to hell.

"Nope, none of that mattered, she had a list. Grrrr!"

That's one that's not going to change soon - insurance companies are not happy with payouts, and as a private industry they are not bound to treat fairly if they perceive they'll lose money in various situations.