Three years ago, I suffered an attack by an enraged canine. My own dog, Chris, took the brunt of the damage protecting me and his small companion dog, Fuzzball.
The small dog, Fuzzball, is unfortunately no longer with us. He suffered a stroke last year, and had to be put down.
But I have added a new dog to the pack, another rescue from the streets. His name is Pete the Puppy.
I suppose I’m just an old softy when it comes to dogs.
The neighbors were moving, and had agreed to keep a few dogs owned by their kids while they packed up. One of them tunneled under the fence separating our yards during the night. When Chris and Pete were let outside in the morning, they were attacked!
As usual. Chris stepped in and got the worst of it.
(Click on any picture for a larger version.)
It cost me $365 USD (£283 BP) for the sutures, antibiotics, and pain medication. But it was money well spent as the vet managed to save the left eye, though it was touch and go there for awhile.
I didn’t shoot the attacking dog the last time, as I was living in a densely populated area and was afraid of a stray round striking an innocent person. But I now live in more of a country setting, and while I can’t toss bullets around with a gleeful lack of care, it is certainly a lot more wide open. I also have a policy where I go outside with the dogs the first thing in the morning, and monitor them closely. As long time readers know, I am always armed as long as it is allowed by law. So why didn’t I shoot this time around?
Because I wasn’t there.
Work requires me to spend several weeks a year in another city for training. How far away? About 325 miles (523 KM) from my home. I am not a bad shot, but that is a bit too far even for me.
A friend of mine lives in my rented cabin while I am away. It provides some time away from his wife, and he takes care of the dogs for me.
The problem is that he never goes armed. “Never needed to!” he likes to say. To each his own, and it is certainly a personal decision with no right or wrong answer, but I really wish he would reconsider.
The people living next door promised all sorts of things.
Compensation for the vet bills, a little extra for the trouble and trauma, their heartfelt and sincere apologies. The day before their lease expired they slunk away in the dead of night, leaving the vicious dog behind with no forwarding address. They had mentioned in passing that they were moving back to their home state, over 1,000 miles (1,600 KM) away, with no indication of even which city where they would reside. To be honest I expected no less, but was hoping they would at least take the dog with them.
The landlord called the county to report abandoned livestock, and an animal control officer came by to collect the beast. I doubt the owners went by the dog pound in order to claim the animal, which means it has been put down by now.
The attack occurred five weeks ago. The sutures have come out, the medication did its job by preventing any infection, and Chris and Pete spend most of their days playing and chasing each other around the same yard where the attack occurred. Chris will forever be scarred, with hard tissue embedded in his skin. You can feel the shape of the sutures when you pet him, like little fingernails growing under the fur.
Soon enough I will have to pack up and spend a week far away from home, where I will not be able to protect my dogs. My friend will once again be spending a week in my cabin, happy to have a vacation from the stress of family life. But this time around, and every time hereafter, I will leave behind a little something to ease the way should another dog find its way into my yard.