Pit Bull Who Saved Family From Fire Reunited With Owner

By Chris Metinko For Oakland Tribune

CASTRO VALLEY — More than a month after a devastating fire destroyed his family’s apartment, Darryl Steen finally was reunited Wednesday with the pit bull responsible for saving his life and the lives of his two daughters.

“I owe her everything,” said Steen, as he played with Diamond, the gray and white 1-year-old canine at the Eden Pet Hospital. “She’s a heck of a dog — a heck of a dog.”

Steen can vividly recall the details of the last time he saw Diamond. That was about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 24, when dog began barking.

“She almost never barks, so I knew something was wrong,” said the 40-year-old Hayward resident.

There was.

Steen’s apartment was on fire, and he and his two daughters were in danger.

“I woke up when I heard her barking and could smell something, but I wasn’t sure what,” Steen remembered. “I opened my bedroom door and then I knew what it was.”

Steen saw his living room ablaze as fire raged through his apartment near Mission Boulevard.

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Comments

  1. Deb Balobeck says

    They have that reputation for good reason. I watched one attack a man a few months ago and it was relentless. The attack on the man came after the man tried to stop it from its attack on a woman who it had just bitten on her arm. The dog simply would not let go. We who watched helplessly, and there were about 5 of us, threw things at the dog to try to stop him. A neighbor finally got a BB gun (all he had) and shot the dog 8 times to no avail. He would not stop. Just a few months before that a pit bull mauled a little girl in my same neighborhood just 5 doors up from my house. And a year before that in the same location a pit bull attacked a 10 pound dog and ripped it up. Its owner threw himself on top of the little dog in effort to save its life. That dog was hit from behind by a baseball bat (another neighbor) to get it to let go. I don’t trust them and never will. I feel the same way about German shepards. They cannot be trusted either. Unless you have a dog that has been professionally trained. (and most pit bull owners aren’t equipped with that expertise) you have a ticking time bomb waiting for the wrong person to cross its path. That’s my take on it. Many may disagree but they weren’t there the day I watched in horror a man being attacked. It convinced me for sure.

    • Maverickone23 says

      Its a shame that that happened. But you shouldnt tar all pitbulls with the same brush. Believe it or not..they are not all like that. I am a trainined dog trainer, have experience with all types of breeds and have a pitbull myself. I can say that they are one of the most if not the most misunderstood breed out there. Its like say all men are assholes! All women are cows! Not true. Dogs that bite the most are actually smaller breeds, but go unnoticed because they are so small. German shepherds and pitbulls are two of the easiest and obedient dogs to train. Its the trainer and/or lack of training that is the issue. Any human and any dog can attack without the proper love, care and respect. Look at humans – they dont get trained and are absolute monsters!

    • Cissymills says

      I saw the same thing a few months ago only the dog was a Labrador Retriever. There are many more incidents of Labs attacking humans, every year in America, than Pit Bull dogs. Racism is a terrible thing.

    • Tamiceta3 says

      Sorry you have witnessed only bad things with these breeds. I to have been hurt by a pit/rott cross…but its not the breed. Remember one thing….there are NO BAD DOGS..just BAD OWNERS

    • MC says

      I have a pitbull, HE IS MY LOVE!!! He is the best dog I ever had… We love him so much, he loves kids and protects them. Probably you should check on those pit-bull owners…
      Every time I see a pit-bull I pet them and all of them are just the same, they love people… well, that’s my experience…

    • Shelbus68 says

      that dog was taught that they do not attack just because they were born mean and if piece of crap people didnt hurt or teach them this shit it would not happen. i have owned pitbulls for 19 years and have NEVER AND I DO MEAN NEVER had one bite a person ever my responsibility i taught them well it is not the bred bugt peice of shit PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

    • Tired of Ignorance says

      You can sit there and say all you want to say about a particular breed of dog, however all you ignorant people do is bitch about this and that. Why do you not start bitching about all the rapists, child molesters and such that live in your area. Or how about the released murders, and people who hurt other people. How about the gun factor and people killing people with guns. Get a life and grow up. You only see the bad and not the good.

    • Daniela says

      Deb the incident you witnessed is an ufortunate one..just like people ,,most are good but sometimes there is a bad one. This breed is so misunderstood. They are people pleasers…actually bred to be obedient and loyal to their owner and also bred to want to please people. (look it up) The dog that did such horrible things was most likely trained to be agressive by someone who is also abusive. I am the proud owner of a pitbull, she is my third pitbull and is so gentle and loving. Actually sitting on my lap as i type this. The bad hype on pitbulls cause them to be euthanized just because of their name…sad to think such wonderful creatures dont even get a chance…and because people are so ignorant and those who abuse them and other animals dont even get just punishment. I hope one day you meet a true pitbull who will show you the way pitbulls really give the most love!!!

    • Mikey says

      im calling bs on that reply! you must have something personal against pits to make up stories like that. its not the breed its the owner. period!

    • says

      With all due respect ma’am, i have seen that the only pits that attack people are ones who have been abused by humans so before you go blaming that dog, maybe the owners sucked. My parents had a pit when i was just two years old and he would let me sleep on him, pull him out of his dog house by his tongue just to play with my babies in there. and as for the German Sheppard thing goes, HAHA!! i had a Sheppard/American gray wolf mix and the only time he showed his anger was when someone was messing with my brother, my sisters or myself. he lived to be 13 years old. in his older years, he would let my niece beat on him and he didn’t even flinch. it truly depends on the owner of the pit and Sheppard. it’s not the dog’s fault that it was raised wrong

    • Sweetone100percent says

       It’s amazing how many think they can even ID a pit. Are you aware there are 26 breeds that look like pits, and aren’t? I watched so many try to pick out a pit that couldn’t, yet everyone gets on the bandwagon, because of what they read. And, then everyone has some sort of story to tell about pits. Yet, even shelter workers can’t id them correctly, without a dna test. Amazing how the average joe thinks they can. If you listen to all the horror stories about dogs, in general, you could pretty much say, any dog could bite, and that would be true. But, any human could bite too. However, that doesn’t mean all of them do, does it? Any child could point a gun, that doesn’t mean all of them do. And, since we’re on the subject, let’s put all humans to sleep, since they’re all twisted and warped. ;) None of them can be trusted. The second we start profiling animals, we might as well call ourselves, HITLER, because that’s exactly what he did with humans. Isn’t it time we stopped the silliness? The news sensationalizes every attack there is, and according to them, they’re all pits and dangerous dogs. So, let’s just put all dogs to sleep. That includes the puppies, the seniors that can’t get up and all poodles too, since they’re being bred to pits, along with every other breed alive. Who knows, Deb, your little sweetie could be next to be profiled and put to sleep. Dogs don’t need to be professionally trained, humans do!

    • Racr Rescue says

      That is such a shame but they shouldnt all be tarred with the same brush for the few bad owners who have them as status symbols and treat and raise them badly. I work in rescue and the most agressive dog we had in that savaged many who needed stitches was a miniture poodle!! A dog is what you make it and how you socialise it and sadly certain breeds get the tough end of it because some stupid idiots owners raise them wrong. Any breed of dog is capable of mauling if not trained and raised right.

  2. Jenn says

    Absolutely Cissy and Maverick, These dogs are powerful, no doubt, and when they do attack- SCARY! And that’s way they need good training and a owner that takes the Alpha position, some dogs can have a wishy washy owner, but all dogs have the capability to attack. But these dogs are often bought for the scare factor, they are not trained properly or worse. I have friends with 3 Pit Bulls, all are wonderful pets.

    • Jonlow67 says

      My girlfriend and I are fostering Diamond.  She’s been with us since December.  I think she’s actually pretty happy with us.  She sleeps in our bed every night along with our two chihuahuas.

    • Jonlow67 says

      My girlfriend and I are fostering Diamond.  She’s been with us since December.  I think she’s actually pretty happy with us.  She sleeps in our bed every night along with our two chihuahuas.

  3. DottieGSDowner says

    Puppies of any breed are not born dangerous; unfortunately irresponsible pet owners make their pets dangerous. How many times have you heard of a well socialized, obedience trained dog in a loving home all of a sudden attack someone to death. It would be the same stupid mentality (Idiots like Deb) to kill all the sharks because one attacked someone on a beach in Florida. Banning or bad mouthing a certain breed is unfair to responsible pet owners and does not help the problem. People should have to be accountable for their pets and there should be much stiffer penalties and fines for irresponsible animal ownership or abuse. Dangerous dogs should be defined by their deeds, not their breeds.

  4. DottieGSDowner says

    Puppies of any breed are not born dangerous; unfortunately irresponsible pet owners make their pets dangerous. How many times have you heard of a well socialized, obedience trained dog in a loving home all of a sudden attack someone to death. It would be the same stupid mentality (Idiots like Deb) to kill all the sharks because one attacked someone on a beach in Florida. Banning or bad mouthing a certain breed is unfair to responsible pet owners and does not help the problem. People should have to be accountable for their pets and there should be much stiffer penalties and fines for irresponsible animal ownership or abuse. Dangerous dogs should be defined by their deeds, not their breeds.

  5. Pamelaelliott867 says

    Its not the dog…Its usually the owner… they dont have the experience in dog handling… It can be any dog who grabs another animal or a child.. Stop blaming the pit bulls…

  6. Dpenn882010 says

    When are people going to get it! It isn’t the dog or the dog’s breed, it’s the owners and how they have raised the dog to be.  There are great Pit Bulls and there are bad Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls are no worse than German Shepards, Chows, Rottweilders, or any other large dog.  They are all the same. I wish people would quit labeling these dogs when they are so loyal, loving, brave, courageous, and they make the best pets of all dogs in my opinion. In the wrong hands any dog can be trained to do bad if they have rotten owners. Also if the dog is abused, starved, beaten, forced to fight, all this makes them mean. oh I forgot being tied to a tree in all sorts of weather and left to fend for themselves, I could go on and on about the treatment of these wonderful dogs. PIT BULLS REALLY ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11




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