|Barked: Tue May 21, '13 7:49pm PST |
|Before I go on, let me just say that I have nothing against the "dangerous" breeds. In fact, being the daughter of a dog trainer and handler, we've had a few Staffies and Rotties growing up. But we never ever let them get out of hand like these two people have let their dogs get.
One evening I was walking Rhye, who was seven or eight months old at the time, around the block when we approached a Rottie who appeared to be chained to a tree by a 20 or so foot long towing chain. As we got closer, the dog slowly began approaching us but I could clearly see a chain and an owner in the yard so I didn't think much of it. Bad mistake, because turns out the chain wasn't connected to anything and the dog was left to just drag it around.
By the time I noticed the large dog barreling towards us I had just enough time to react before he was in biting range. My first instinct was to grab my defenseless little Collie pup, who not only had not the strength nor the skill to defend either one of us, but by then had become too heavy for me to carry. I pushed him has far back behind me as his short slip-lead would allow and braced myself for the impact. But instead of going for the martyr, the Rottie ran around me and continued its initial course after Rhye, binding himself to me with his chain in the process.
Fortunately, I now had the dog by the chain so I felt safe releasing Rhye as he ran to safety. Unfortunately, I am a small lady, weighing in at ninety seven and I could not stop him from dragging me. My initial fear of protecting Rhye quickly evaporated to form a new wave of terror: I now had a mad dog bound flush against my body. I grabbed the dog by the collar and made an attempt to push him off me, but he responded by snapping at my arm. Primitive defenses set in and I slugged him in the maw, but it didn't phase him. A neighbor who had been going to his car ran over finally and pulled him off me to end the madness. Mind you, the owner of this unmannerly beast was less than five yards away, yet she did not even call this dog's name once. She literally sat and watched as her dog attempted to tear into a defenseless little puppy and then gets down from her porch, approaches me still on the ground, gets in my face and begins swearing and yelling at me for punching her dog. How does that work? Had I done anything wrong?
Now a few months ago, now at two and a half, ninety six pounds and unaltered, Rhye is much more defensive of his property. We're on our way home from the vet when a random Pit Bull bolts out in front of my car. I politely stop and wait for him to pass but instead, the damn thing jumps up at my open window and snaps at me. Startled, I floored the gas but had to brake again because, once again, he ran in front of my vehicle. This time Rhye pokes his head out the window and gives a warning growl and then it was all over. The Pit Bull whips around, attempts to climb in the window after Rhye who then makes a victory leap from the window and stands between my car and the Pit Bull, daring him to move closer.
Once again, even though the owners are clearly right there watching in the driveway, I have to go handle the situation myself as I usher my Collie back into the car and stupidly in a fit of rage and fueled by adrenaline, charge up the driveway to give the owner a piece of my mind. Not only because of his dog's atrocious behavior, but he had tore up the side of my pristine '95 DeVille which I love as much as my dog. The Pit Bull looked ridiculous, though, because for some reason he had no front teeth... It's a good thing he had no front teeth, because twice he attached himself to my leg. And once again, I am told it was all my fault and that I need to control my animal.
There have been a half dozen or so close encounters with those and a few other loose dogs as well, many of which an owner was always present yet did nothing. Am I just an overly-crazy dogmom, or are these people really genuinely absolutely insane for thinking their dog attacking mine or myself is my fault? Granted, I suppose I could have controlled my dog better on account of him leaping from the car like he did but in my panic I had no time to think to close his window. So, what do you think I should have done better in these situations? I'm not sure if I'm just a magnet for these type of accidents or if I am actually doing something wrong.
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