At the end of April, on a beautiful evening, I took the dogs to our neighborhood dog park. I live in a little town so the dog park is almost always empty and I never have any worries about the few dogs we’ve met there before. I let Zu and Bandit in as I usually did and they ran around checking out the surroundings. There was a woman with 3 dogs there already at the other end of the park. I’ve been working on socializing Bandit since he gets over-excited when he sees other dogs and I was excited at the prospect of him being able to see other dogs. Unfortunately 2 of those dogs were highly aggressive and within seconds of them noticing Bandit they had knocked the woman over (she was holding them), had Bandit on the ground, belly up and were violently attacking him.
Immediately I went into panic mode and ran to save my dog. The woman was able to pull the main aggressor, a German Shepherd, away and I was able to get a hold of Bandit. Unfortunately the dog got away and came after us, this time attacking me in the process as I was trying to drag Bandit away. Between all 3 dogs, and Zu and the other non-aggressive dog hanging out at the edge of the crowd, it was almost impossible to get Bandit out without more injury. So I did the stupid, overprotective thing and covered him with my body. They would bite down and lock their jaws and were shaking so hard I was afraid if they got ahold of any exposed parts of Bandit they would fatally injure him. It felt like forever but I know only a few minutes passed. Eventually the woman got both aggressors locked in a kennel. By that time Bandit had run off. I thought he was running in fear but it turned out he was only looking for a tennis ball… When I caught up to him he dropped it at my feet and gave me an expectant look.
I felt so bad and was in such shock that I picked it up and threw it a couple times before realizing what had happened. So I had to round both of the dogs up and get them home to check for injuries. Zu was, thankfully, untouched. She’s a dominant lady and never exposes her belly to other dogs. She just stands in the background barking fiercely. Bandit, however, was not so lucky. With his dark fur and refusal to let me look at his back end, I couldn’t tell how bad his injuries were. I knew he was bleeding because he was leaving blood behind everywhere but it wasn’t until Wayne got home, a couple hours later, that I was able to get a good look. We went back and forth about taking him to the emergency vet or waiting until morning but finally we decided better safe than sorry. So we trekked in to have him examined. He was such a trooper. Unless you were near his injuries you would never have been able to tell he was hurting.
The vet looked him over and had to take him away to get a better look at his injuries. 😦
When he was returned to us his back end and 2 spots on his tail were shaved. One cut was wider than expected so they had to staple him as well. By the time we left he was finally tuckered out. I think his adrenaline had finally run its course and he crashed on the drive home.
He was given a cone to wear when not directly supervised so we put it on him when we got home. He proceeded to run into everything until his medication kicked in and he passed out on the bed. ZuZu also joined us on the bed, which is very unusual, and made the bed very crowded. We had all just settled in when the battery on the smoke detector started sounding. ZuZu started freaking out and pacing the bed. Everyone piled out of bed and we went in search of which detector. We had it figured out but it was on the vaulted ceiling and we don’t own a ladder. Unsure of what to do we decided to just let it beep until morning and we piled back into bed with Bandit. After 5 minutes of ZuZu continuing to pace Wayne retreated o the guest room. An hour of misery passed and finally I decided enough was enough and we would get that alarm reset. Using the cat tree as a ladder we eventually got it off the ceiling. Relief was abound and we were so happy we could get sleep. So imagine our surprise when that stupid alarm went off 10 minutes later. This went on all night. We would find the right smoke detector, unplug it and then go to bed only to be woken up minutes later. Our alarms are hardwired so taking the batteries out means nothing! At one point I turned the power off to the other side of the house. And yet it still beeped! At no point was logic used to figure out what was going on and eventually we all passed out from adrenaline crashes and sleep deprivation, except Zu who didn’t sleep a wink that night. In the clear light of morning Wayne finally realized it was the carbon monoxide alarm that needed new batteries.
Even though the night was one of the worst ever I woke up to this face and couldn’t help but smile. Even now it makes me laugh to see this picture. Poor guy.
He had round the clock meds for a few days and after 10 days he was able to have his staples removed and was released back to normal dog life.
One of the worst things about this attack was that Bandit immediately recovered emotionally. There was no lingering fear or anxiety. All he wanted to do was play with his ball but we couldn’t risk his staple falling out or infecting his wounds with dirt. The poor guy had no idea why we were ignoring him. And ignoring a lab/collie mix that wants to play ball and constantly drops it at your feet…very difficult.
We returned to the dog park for the first time last weekend even though I was super paranoid. They are suffering from cabin fever and really needed to run. Luckily there were no dogs at the park and they were able to get lots of exercise!
Due to this entire debacle I never got around to publishing Z of the A-Z challenge so it will appear after this post!