My Dog Could Have Been Hurt Today

Warning: This might trigger anxiety; please read at your own discretion.

I was walking my dog (10 y/o mini schnauzer named Missy, who I have raised since she was a month old) as I normally do in my neighborhood. There has been a problem with owners in the neighborhood not using leashes on their dogs. During the walk, my dog let out a screech and I turned my head and this guy's dog- about seven times her size- came barrelling out of nowhere (slamming into my legs) and attacked my dog, pinning her, biting her neck. She was screaming, and the owner of the other dog was wailing on his dog and kicking it to get it off of my dog. Eventually my dog broke off of her leash and bolted away, and the owner apologized repeatedly. But, I was only concerned about my dog, so I ignored him and sprinted after her. I was torn between trying not to lose my temper and do something reckless and saving my dog.

At the time, this whole ordeal really pissed me off. Firstly, one of my mom's dogs was previously attacked by an unleashed dog in my neighborhood when I was walking him. I am seeing more and more dogs running freely with their owners chasing them around. This is becoming a problem, and owners aren't being the responsible owners I grew up around. I was worried about my dog firstly, but I was furious all the while of this situation.

An hour ago, though (and the attack happened about 6 hours ago), a flash of the memory resurfaced and I was thrown into a small panic attack. The sound of my dog screaming filled my mind and now I am writing this in hopes that I can find some relief and get to sleep. I thought I got over this sort of thing long ago, but anytime a pet of mine is in some kind of danger I have a difficult time. It probably has to do with my inability to accept some parts of fate, I don't know.

I am also having a moral crisis of sorts. I am a firm believer in having a backbone; I did not have a backbone during the attack. I should have intervened immediately and thrown the bigger dog off of my dog, and I should have told the owner that this was not acceptable. But, I simply was silent, and attempted to yank my dog out from under the big one. My dog could have been hurt due to my fear, and I could have been less of a doormat than I was. But, I wasn't. I hate hypocrisy more than anything, and now, I realize I am a hypocrite for what happened while I always advise others to stand up for themselves. It will be difficult getting over this.

The anxiety and the shame combined is sure to keep me up...again.
jayjangle jayjangle
2 Responses May 9, 2012

Don't feel bad about the way you acted during the attack and how you feel now afterwards. My dog, a Biewer Yorkshire Terrier, weighs only 4 pounds and when I approached a local dog store to pick up an order, I never imagined that the dog store owner's black lab would pick my dog up in its mouth and shake it around before throwing it down the sidewalk. My dog appeared to be in shock, but was not bleeding. I insisted on being driven to the vet immediately and when we arrived, they found a 6 inch long, 3 inch wide skin flap on his neck with a deep puncture wound in the middle, as well as a bruised lung. He needed 3 surgeries to fix the wound, with over 150 stitches in all. I was terrified to take him out for walk for months. I felt so helpless as it happened, but not getting in between the dogs is the best solution, even if it seems like it is not the most brave thing afterwards. (Just as the previous commenter said).<br />
As for the anxiety and flashbacks, I have them still today and my dog was attacked over a year ago. Witnessing your own dog being attacked can be devastating, even if your dog is OK in the end (which I am so glad to hear, as this is not the case in most dog fights where the dogs are vastly different in size). <br />
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Witnessing a dog attack, even between two dogs you have no emotional connection to, can be sickening and even cause long term emotional damage. I was a witness to an attack on a medium sized mixed breed dog (who was off leash) at a local park about 3 months ago. A large on-leash German Shepard was approached by the mixed breed. The German Shepard launched onto the other dog and proceeded to rip apart the mixed breed's entire face and upper body. I had my dog with me, but he was safely in a carrier at the time. I handed him to my mom and got closer to the attack in order to call the police and try to help. I carry a spray bottle of vinegar at all times, as it can stop biting if sprayed in a dog's eyes. I sprayed the German Shepard and stopped the fight, but the damage was quite bad to the other dog. I helped them find a local vet using my phone and tried to get the owner of the German Shepard to give them a phone number so that they could contact them with vet bills. The German Shepard's owners were unfazed by the attack, said it was the 5th dog that their dog had bit and that they needed to leave before the police arrived, otherwise their dog would be put down. I told them that I would gladly hold them down myself to keep them from leaving, but I was too afraid of their dog to do so. My mom got sick to her stomach after the attack she was so upset. I still have nightmares and a fear of larger dogs. I never let my small dog interact with them anymore. <br />
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My best tips are: Carry a large umbrella when walking your dog (opening it between you and an aggressive dog can scare them off), keep your eyes out for unleashed or aggressive dogs and pack a small spray bottle of vinegar in your pocket or purse (mine is in my poopie bag holder) to spray in the face of an attacking dog. It hurts their eyes but doesn't cause any long term damage.

I would report this to the police or the animal officer. You can always write to the mayor and express your concerns. If you don't take action, then people will continue to allow their dogs to run free around the neighborhood. Call the dog officer, and maybe he will do more partols in the area, and start fining owners who have their dog running around without a leash. <br />
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Don't blame yourself, you were probably frozen by the shock. The one who should feel guilty is the owner of the unleashed dog, and he should also pay any vet bills if she was injured. <br />
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Take action now, and make some calls. Thats the best way to do something, getting in the middle of a dog fight is dangerous and you could of got bit, so you did the right thing at the time.