Tag Archives: dog attack

A Horrifying Haunt

“It’s a hard life when you don’t even feel comfortable in your own house.”

Said me.

It was dark and stormy night. No, wait. It was sunny? That’s right. And the middle of the afternoon. A nice lazy, sunny afternoon with temperate weather and the birds, thankfully, being quiet so as not to wake the sleepy pups. (The pups that had finally laid down to sleep after an hour walk that morning and a never-ending wrestling match on the living room floor afterwards. I digress.) Theresa and I were sitting in our front room, doing some work, when all of a sudden we heard it. That slight jingling glint that accompanies my worst nightmares. It was the sound of dog tags that belong on the little black and brown dog that lives just around the corner from us. What causes the nightmare-inducing terror you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is the fact that this dog, when he (or she) gets out of his house he makes a beeline straight for our front door, and I literally mean our Front Door. This dog, whenever he gets loose (which is quite a lot), runs as fast as his little legs can carry him over to our door and proceeds to attack it because he knows Rosee will be on the other side of it. Rosee, who hears him come by now of course, is right at the door barking her head off.

The whole episode is

terribly,

frightfully,

scarily . . . annoying!

It’s annoying.

This dog used to just try to pee on our lawn (which he still does, and the poop is a nice—meaning not—new addition). He then graduated to barking at our front window at which Rosee would perch and bark at him. He quickly promoted himself to actually running into our flowerbed in front of said window in order to try and get to Rosee through it. Finally, he has reached where he is now, which is coming right up to the screen door itself and attempt to break his way through in order to get to Rosee. (And I say Rosee because Simon is not as territorially minded as she is, and honestly he just doesn’t really care much about other dogs in front of the house.)

It’s annoying. (Feeling a theme yet?)

What’s worse is that the offending dog’s owners don’t seem to really care about his neighborhood exploits. We’ve even had some of the dog’s human family members (kids as well as adults) come around the corner looking and calling for their dog, and yet all they do when they see them running amuck in our front yard is to stand there and watch. It isn’t until either our mother or Theresa (in a state of anger), after pushing Rosee back, goes out front to tell them to get their dog away from our yard that the dog is then finally captured and taken home.

What’s worse than worse? This afternoon’s incident is about the tenth time it’s happened. The tenth you say? Preposterous you exclaim? Outlandish you yell? Outrageous you shout?

I say, yes, it’s true. The tenth time.

It’s annoying.

The people are always slightly apologetic to our faces, but I’ve started to doubt their sincerity after the third time it happened. It was after this tenth time though that Theresa had really had enough. She marched out our front door and told the two kids that had run up to get (i.e. watch) the dog that they needed to keep their dog off of our front yard and away from our house because he attacks our front door and pees all over the yard. The kids agreed and quickly left. However, it was about five minutes later that some of the adults apparently piled in their car and came to do a slow drive-by of our house. The nerve! All I wanted to shout at them is that we have nothing to be ashamed of, and that they all need to start taking more responsibility for their animal. Theresa swore that the next time this all happens (because let’s face it there will be a next time) she is going to call animal control. Fact is, in our city any dogs that are found to be running loose and acting vicious and aggressive can be reported, and this particular dog is doing just that. Of course, it’s not an easy decision deciding to make a report to animal control, the department certainly isn’t known for leniency, but it’s necessary.

And I am not going to try and be shamed for having my house and dog attacked again, and my sister telling off the kids that are responsible for said attacker. I’m not going to be shamed for expecting better of my neighbors (and of their children). I’m not going to be shamed for hoping for a little more respect and consideration from others for my dogs.

Breed matters not here.

My dogs don’t pee on their lawns (or poop for that matter). My dogs don’t get loose and run all over the neighborhood. My dogs don’t attack other people’s front doors. (And the world would see their breed banned and destroyed!) I think it’s only fair that I expect my neighbors to offer me and mine the same courtesy that we show them.

So, ‘til next time.

It Finally Happened

It finally happened.

It was the final nail in the coffin. The last straw that broke the camel’s back. The last straw…

I had to call Animal Control.

If you’ve poked around our blog before, you’ve probably seen more than one post about us being attacked, chased, or surprised by some dog we encounter during our daily walks. It’s not a new thing to us. In fact, the days me, Monica, Simon and Rosee don’t come upon a dog that may want to bite one of us are becoming rarer and rarer. I blame summer really, even though the season is practically over. It’s just that with summer more people are outside, which means that more people bring their dogs outside as well. I’m not talking about people walking their dogs more regularly because of the pleasant weather. Actually, I am all for people regularly walking their dogs. I’m talking about the people that think due to the pleasant weather that means they can just let their dogs run loose around their neighborhood, community park, or wherever they are. It’s the people that let their dogs run wild while not really paying attention to them, and when said dogs eventually run up to us and try to bite Simon and Rosee, their owners decide not to do anything, but stand there calling their dog’s name. That’s what gets to me. I don’t like that my dogs are subject to potentially dangerous situations and the ones responsible for the misbehaving dogs think that not taking responsibility for their dogs is alright. As dog owners we are responsible for our dogs. Just because my dogs usually turn out to be bigger than the attacking dogs doesn’t mean that they can’t be hurt. Just see Monica’s post about Rosee being attacked by a cat!

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Today, turned out to be one of those days. It didn’t start out that way. Our daily walk with the dogs was going pretty well actually. We passed by numerous dogs and people while walking past our local courthouse and public library, and both dogs handled everything perfectly fine. They were model citizens in fact. It was an enjoyable walk so far—just the way a walk with your dog should be. Then, we came upon the last few blocks until we reached our final destination. Everything seemed normal. We passed by houses that we regularly go by, and nothing was amiss. Yet, as me and Rosee (who I was walking, while Monica was walking with Simon behind us) got to the second to last house on the corner of one street before we turned right I noticed that something was, indeed, wrong. This particular house’s side fence, which is usually closed, was wide open and the resident’s dog was loose. Now, normally, I wouldn’t be so nervous about seeing a loose dog because not every loose dog we come across wants to bite one of us. However, every time we’ve passed this dog in the past, he’s always acts quite aggressive at his back fence (it’s a cyclone fence so he can see out and we can see in, by the way). Not only does he bark non-stop, but he bites at the fence like he’s trying to attack the fence itself.  So when I saw that he was loose, I admit, I got a little nervous.

In these types of situations, me and Monica sort of have a strategy. It goes like this: whoever is walking Rosee (we regularly switch off) keeps going to try and put as much distance between her and the loose dog. We do this because Rosee is still getting used to seeing and being around other dogs due to her lack of socialization as a puppy, and unless she is in a very controlled situation, we don’t take any chances. We want her to associate positive feelings towards other dogs, and having one charge at her is certainly not positive. So, Rosee and whoever’s walking her keep going, while Simon and whoever’s walking him sort of get in the middle. You see, Simon is pretty much the friendliest dog ever. He’s pretty good at greeting other dogs, and letting them sniff him. He doesn’t freak out, and is even sort of timid. Typically, any loose dog that comes rushing over will immediately calm down around him and just sniff him at first, which gives the other person time to put space between the loose dog and Rosee and things usually (thankfully) don’t escalate. Of course, it is at this point that most dogs try to bite Simon’s back legs, but we can usually push the loose dog away and pull Simon in an opposite direction and continue on our way. Do I like that this happens often enough that me and Monica actually have this strategy? No, I don’t. On the bright side (if I want to try and put a positive spin on things) most of the loose dogs we come across are small. As a result, even though these small dogs try to nip at Simon’s back legs after sniffing him, they eventually get frightened and run away. However, I have to say, their size does not excuse them from their bad behavior! This day though, the loose dog was not small or even medium. He was about the same size as Simon, and certainly not backing down.

Being that I had Rosee, I knew I couldn’t freak out. She can be quite sensitive, and if I started feeling anxious, afraid, or upset, then she would react badly as well. Therefore, I did my best to keep a level head and continued to walk by with Rosee, and for the moment things were okay. Unfortunately, the dog ran for Simon, but instead of stopping to sniff he barreled into his side and tried to bite him. Monica yelled, “NO,” and he sort of backed off. By this time though, Rosee had taken notice and was not too happy with another dog attacking her brother and let out something between a roar and a bark. Don’t get me wrong, she was still walking along with me, but that didn’t mean she was going to do it quietly. Luckily, her roar-bark was enough to scare the dog off and all of us quickly walked away. I’d like to say this is where our ordeal ended. However, the dog was still loose and running around the neighborhood, and pretty much stalked us all the way home.

Once we got home, I knew that we had to do something, and so I finally did it. I called our local Animal Control and made a complaint. To be honest, I never thought I would ever be pushed to this point. Most situations we encounter are not serious enough to prompt a call to Animal Control. I guess, I always wanted to believe in the goodness of people as dog owners, if that makes any sense(?). I want to believe that if someone’s dog tries to attack mine, that that person does feel some sort of remorse for their dog’s actions. In this case though, I had to think about my dog first.

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At the time it was the right thing to do. I mean, the dog was still loose, and his owners (who were home by the way) weren’t even the least bit concerned with him. Otherwise, they might have come out of their house when Monica was yelling or Rosee was barking. Yet, all was quiet on the western front. I do have to say that what really irks me about this whole incident is that the dog’s owners never had to take any sort of responsibility. The owners aren’t the ones that are going to get punished for being bad dog owners. They didn’t have to live through a somewhat terrifying ordeal. No, they just got to go about their daily business like nothing was wrong, and that is what really burns my bacon (if you will). I can’t even think that they’ll be upset at all that their dog was caught by Animal Control because, in my humble opinion, I don’t think they even cared about him. He was always left out in the backyard, he didn’t have a collar, he had no interaction with anyone or anything whatsoever, and he looked like he wasn’t taken care of very well since his coat was dingy and pretty shaggy.

Still, I can’t help but feel somewhat bad that my complaint may have proved to be the end of this dog. It doesn’t seem fair that this dog, who was set up to fail thanks to his neglectful and uncaring owners, should pay for his owners’ irresponsibility. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not forgetting or excusing the dog for attacking Simon. Frankly, I’m extremely thankful for Rosee’s boisterousness, which ultimately scared him off. Usually, I complain about how much she likes to “talk.” Yet, I know that all the blame should not be put on the dog, and I guess I’m frustrated that the other responsible parties won’t be reprimanded as well.

Ultimately, I was finally pushed past the point of no return. Everything about what happened is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that Simon was attacked, that Rosee couldn’t have a positive dog experience, that a dog had such uncaring owners, and that I had to involve the authorities. I want to remain positive though, and honestly hope that this won’t happen again. **Fingers Crossed**

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P.S. Wish us luck.

Living In a Whole Other Dog Park

When my family adopted Pit Bull mixes I guess I was a little naïve. I expected to feed, train, and care for two great dogs. I expected to be happy, frustrated, hurt, cuddled, kissed, splashed, stepped on, and so many other wonderful things. I expected to love and be loved so unconditionally that little else could ever compare. I was and still am right, of course. Owning a dog is an extra-ordinary experience that is full of ups and downs, leaving little to the imagination. Seriously, having to sort through dog doo-doo and not hyperventilating does wonders to your self-confidence. However, as great as having dogs has been, I have to admit having Pit Bulls has been an eye-opening experience; one that my naivety (lessened over the years by mean girls and meaner teachers) could not have adequately prepared me for.

You see, owning a dog is one thing, but owning a Pit Bull lives in a whole other dog park. You get stares and scared faces and even nasty comments. Veterinarians refuse to do exams and regular people cower as you walk by, on the other side of the street.

That face will undoubtedly haunt my dreams!
That face will undoubtedly haunt my dreams!

One incident, many months ago, was one of the nastiest I have ever encountered. While out at a local park one morning Theresa and I had stepped into a small grove of trees because Simon wanted to poop there. As Theresa made Rosee sit and wait, and I had Simon and his leash wrapped around my legs while I attempted to pick up his waste we were suddenly bombarded by a woman. Without warning this woman walked through the small grove we were in, loudly exclaiming that she just loved to walk in the shade! Um. . . except that the little shade was currently occupied by two people and two dogs that took up said space, leaving no room for her. To make matters worse this woman just pushed herself in between Theresa and myself, waving her elbows around. To say she scared not only the dogs, but us humans is to put it lightly. Rosee immediately jumped up in hopes of jumping back to put space between herself and this woman, but in such a small space to begin with there was nothing Theresa (who was holding her) could do other than to lean into the bushes with Rosee. Simon, thankfully, had wrapped his entire leash around my legs and so was forced to stand right next to me, as I with a bag full of poop in my hands scrambled to step back and out of this woman’s way. The entire episode lasted maybe twenty seconds, but is something that I will always remember with the utmost clarity, and unfortunately it did not end there.

Theresa was pretty traumatized by this woman’s actions and having to quickly shield Rosee from getting upset, so we switched dogs (I was now walking Rosee with Theresa leading Simon) and headed towards our car. However, I needed a minute to go through the many stages of anger, so we decided to sit on the grass next to our car. Next thing you know this woman starts walking towards us yelling at us that we needed to put a muzzle on our dog, spewing nothing but hatred and misconceptions at us. Rosee for her part sat on the grass with me and simply barked at the crazy woman yelling at us. Theresa, over her trauma, took Simon and walked after the woman telling her that she should be more considerate and not just ambush strangers’ dogs. This woman quickly proceeded to walk away. Needless to say, we have not been back to this particular park, not because our dogs did anything wrong, but because neither of us knows how to just let go of the bad taste this experience left in our mouths.

The water has successfully been liquefied.
The water has successfully been liquefied.

But parks are not the only places full of intolerance and misguided fear. A veterinarian we took Rosee to last year took one look at her, became frightened and refused to perform her physical exam, even after I put a muzzle on her. I called their bluff when they tried to make me pay for the exam, they protested that without it they couldn’t prescribe her any heartworm medication. I reminded them that it was the veterinarian that refused to touch Rosee, not Rosee’s own refusal to be touched. I got the heartworm medication.

Certainly, I make no excuses for my dogs’ behavior. I have explanations. I can tell you why Rosee gets nervous around people and dogs, and that we are diligently working on it and she is getting better. I can explain that Simon loves people, but hasn’t learned all his manners yet (he still jumps) and again, we work on it as much as possible. I can tell people that my sister Theresa and I always make sure to have complete control of our dogs when we take them out into the world, and our evidence is the fact that they have never hurt anyone or anything. They are good dogs, just like the million other good dogs (Pit Bulls or not) that exist in the world. They are not perfect. They are not terrible. They are good. Simon and Rosee don’t deserve for misguided people to heap upon their shoulders stereotypes and singular stories about dog attacks and dog fights. Simon and Rosee and all the other good Pit Bulls in the world don’t deserve to be labeled for offenses they did not commit.

It's the monster of W. . . oh wait, it's just Simon.
It’s the monster of W. . . oh wait, it’s just Simon.

I was naïve in thinking that my dogs were just dogs. They are Pit Bulls. Rosee’s face gives her away quite easily, and most people look at Simon and call him a Staffordshire Terrier, which is just a more eloquent name for Pit Bull. They get treated like Pit Bulls, sometimes for the better, most times for the worse. You know something’s wrong with the world when your dog (Pit Bull) gets attacked by another dog, yet that dog’s owners are afraid of you and yours.

In fact just two mornings ago the four of us were out on our daily walk. We stopped at a crosswalk, looked both ways, crossed the street, and were promptly greeted with a mean, snarling, barking little black dog that had just escaped from its backyard’s broken fence. This dog went for the face, biting and lunging. I pulled Rosee (who had frozen in shock) back, grabbed her collar, and pulled her through the opening between two parked cars to the other side of the street. Theresa, who had Simon, pulled him back, but with the attacking dog still pushing forward into Simon’s face space she too had to drag him across the street. Finally, did the owner come out and grab his dog. Fortunately, no one got hurt. Simon and Rosee did not get bit and a car didn’t hit us on our haste to get away. Unfortunately, we didn’t even get a sorry. No admission that his dog did something wrong. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Goose egg. Nothing. All we were left with was upheaval, fear, and anger.

Now, as you may know (whether from personal experience or other stories from me) these experiences and their following feelings are nothing new. I didn’t scream at the world. I didn’t cry at the injustice. I didn’t stomp my foot. I gathered my wits, my dogs, my sister, and moved on. But I have to tell you, I’m tired. I’m tired of dealing with other people’s stereotypical beliefs, of not being told “sorry” after attacks, of simply not having my dogs treated like dogs. Let’s face it, I’m tired of writing stories headlined “Guess who attacked us this month?”! The world can be a wonderful place, full of happy people and nice dogs. I’d rather write stories about that, but I have Pit Bulls. I bring my Pit Bulls out into the world. I walk them, I take them to parks, and I bring them around people. Doing such activities brings the stereotypes, misconceptions, scared stares, and nasty words.

Take that pesky bugs!
Take that pesky bugs!

Bright side? When the dog attacked us that morning Rosee and Simon did nothing. They just stood there. They let Theresa and I pull them away. They continued with their walk. In that one moment of time they were perfect. That moment, whether anyone else saw it or not, is enough to let me know that every mean word, every bad rap about Pit Bulls simply isn’t true.

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