Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Dog Tale, Revisited

 I went to church today for the first time in a long time. It is the same church that Connie, my quick thinking neighbor from the dog attack incident goes. Her phone rang during the service and she quickly left. 

After church, I looked her up. I wanted to tell her that I'd seen Diane out walking the dog that had been attacked. She was happy to hear that. "Guess who that was on the phone?" she asked. "It was the police. They want to talk to me about the incident."

Thinking of the man with dementia and his distraught wife, I said, "Oh. That's too bad that it went to the police."

Connie said, "Well..." and she went on with the rest of the story. 

After the apologetic phone call and the offer to pay all the vet bills incurred, the woman suddenly began to back pedal. Moreover, other people in the neighborhood began to step forward. The dog had attacked before. Once was a small dog on the next street over. Those people had no legal recourse because the dog was sitting on their porch with them, unleashed. When it saw the other dog walking by (leashed) it ran off the porch barking. It was viciously attacked, required multiple surgeries and barely survived. Because the 'victim dog' had been unleashed, the owner of the 'attacking dog' was not found to be liable. 

There is a man down the street who has a small white dog. They are frequent sights around the area.  He knows of at least two other dogs that were attacked by the same animal, not as seriously injured as the first dog, but that seems to be due to the quick response of both dog owners, both of them. 

The aggressive dog is a rescue. A pitbull mix. It had obviously been treated roughly in its formative years. The situation is sad. 

I can only think of one thing. I had a dog, a big stray named Buck, and I really loved that dog. As he aged, he began to develop some strangeness. He would spend long periods staring fixedly at the wall. It made me uneasy. During these periods, he didn't respond when I spoke to him, and if I touched him, he would start as if he was unaware that I was there. 

Long story short, my very sociable dog, without warning, lunged very aggressively at a puppy. When I jerked him back, he snapped at me. This was not my dog. 

It broke my heart, but I had him put down immediately. He was too big to be unpredictable. 

I still feel bad about that, but I know that it was the right thing. He was used to roaming because we lived in the woods. He would have had to be chained to be outside, always leashed to be walked. He would have been a very unhappy boy. 

Sometimes when you own a dog, you have to make hard decisions. 

9 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. My first husband had always wanted an English Bull Terrier and a white one too. We finally located one and bought her - a bitch on the recommendation of our vet who said a bitch was better for the first bull terrier. She was fine until we had had her about six months and then one evening when my husband bent down with her food to feed her - she bit his hand. We had her [ut to sleep immediately on the advice of the vet and we subsequently found out that she was one of a litter of twelve and was the runt of the litter and had always had to fight for her food. It broke our hearts too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a sad, sad story. (and shame on the dog owner woman for a multitude of reasons) Yes, we sometimes have to make unfortunate decisions regarding our animals, whether in their best interest or that of others. You may remember I had to have two of mine put down after they packed up with a stray who'd been hanging around and attacked (ultimately killing) some of our livestock. It nearly did me in, but I knew it was the right thing to do. And I do not for one minute blame the fact the dog in your story is a pit mix. I firmly believe 99% of the time it's bad owners -past or present - rather than bad dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pit bulls and mixed pit bulls are banned here. It is one thing to be bitten by a snappy medium sized dog. A pit bull locking its jaw onto a limb or worse can easily be fatal.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It sounds as if Buck might have been having silent seizures. That could indicate something going on in his brain that would also account for his behaviour changes. You did the right thing - sad but responsible. - Caroline in Oz.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dogs can do a lot of damage. Dogs can end up confused, deaf, blind or in pain, all things that can contribute to their responses. We had an old dog that started to snap at the kids, turns out she was in a lot of pain. When the pain was dealt with, she was gentle again, but you never know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Decisions which, unfortunately, people are often loathe to take until it is too late.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think an animal staring at a wall is a sign of dementia. Think, don’t know but have heard. We had a cat do that in his senior years

    ReplyDelete
  8. Many (most?) dogs can be unpredictable; they are after all close to their wolf forebearers. Pits and other large breeds can do a lot of damage and inflict too much injury. I hope the situation will be resolved.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll say it again -- the dog at the very least needs a muzzle. It is not normal for a dog to attack another dog so severely when they're merely walking past each other. (And certainly not normal when it's a pattern!) As you know I own a rescue bull terrier mix so I'm sympathetic to them, but in this case there's a deeper problem. I think police or animal control may need to intervene.

    ReplyDelete

I'm glad you're here!