Wednesday, April 15, 2009

doggy dilemna

On Easter Sunday a friend and I went for a walk. The afternoon was beautiful and we both wanted to catch some of the fresh air. While we were walking we approached a fence and didn't see the danger that lay behind it until too late. My friend called out "dog" and I turned to see a dog coming at mine. It made a quick attack and then backed off a little. We yelled at it to go home and I checked my dog over. I thought my dog was okay, but I was wrong.

I hadn't been putting two and two together the last few days either. It was the little things that I wasn't putting together. Like he wasn't coming to greet us at the gate. He didn't eat supper last night and looked really glum. When I brushed him yesterday his underbelly looked wet and matted. I thought it was odd at first, but then thought it was probably because the ground is still so wet. When I brushed him, he whined and grabbed at the brush. He never does that. Yet still I didn't clue in! Today we came home and my oldest daughter went to play with him and he wouldn't chase the ball. She asked what might be the problem and I didn't have an answer. She came running in about 10 minutes later though and said he was bleeding. She can be a little dramatic, but this time she was right.

He has a gaping hole on his left belly by his back leg. Right in the area the other dog bit. I guess I missed it because of its location and all the fur that a golden retriever has. I feel sick about it! It was all green and gross and will need several stitches.

My question is what to do? I called the town bylaw enforcement officer. I was walking our dog on a leash on town property. The attacking dog was off its property by at least 50 m. The owner came out, called him and went right back in before anything could be said.

Now the bylaw officer said I have two options:

  1. File that the dog is an "aggresive" dog. This means it has to wear a muzzle at all times, be leashed whenever off its property and a whole other list I can't remember
  2. Petition that the owner's of the dog pay the vet's bill and they get a slap on the hand?

What would you do? I hate being confrontational and dealing with messy things. My questions:

  • has this dog bitten before?
  • will it bite again?
  • what if one of my children had been with me and had gotten in the way, would the dog still have attacked? Would it bite a child, my child? What would I do then?

I feel sick about it and confused!


Lena V said...

His dog bit your dog, you have a witness, yes, well then the vet bill is his, and the rest is not yours worry about.
Just make sure you check your dog really well to make sure he has no more injuries.
Give him a hug for me.

Big Daddy said...

Here is my thought. Approach the home owner (go with Rick) and not with Jessie and see if it can be resolved without involvement of others. Take pictures. Note everything that is different.

Treat it like he is your child. I find it amazing how dogs react, the last 2 nights as we went for a walk, multiple times I watched dogs go crazy as we walked with Lady.

Take care sis.

Stephanie said...

I would make the owner pay the vet bill and hopefully that would help them to understand how serious of a situation this is, because next time it could be a child. Hope your dog is feeling much better!

mmichele said...

That is hard. I would definitely report him because it's true... it could have been a kid. Dogs who bite once often bite again.

Probably approaching him would be the best, most honest thing to do, but if you aren't comfortable with that (or if he seems volatile or easily angered) then I would just go through the town.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dog's injury! A dog that is viscious and attacks unprovoked is a real worry. Owners can get very defensive about their dogs. I hope you manage to find a solution!

stitching under oaks said...

oh. man. that is awful. I would take your husband like Big Daddy suggested. Depending on how the owner responds, you'll probably have an idea as to whether or not anything else needs to take place.

Renee said...

A dog that has bitten before will bite again. Dogs that have dog aggression do not however necessarily have aggression towards people.
The dog's owner should definitely assume all your vet expenses. If they do not they are not being responsible for the damage and suffering their dog has inflicted. If they're child vandalized your home they'd have to pay too.
Take photos, copy your vet bills and expenses and present them with your husband along to the owner. This should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Dog on dog aggression is dangerous and people get bitten when they try to get between the dogs and stop things.
You've learned from this. What's done is done and if anything like this happens again I'm sure you'll go over your dog with a fine tooth comb.
If you don't report this, realize your dog or another dog could be bitten again. If the dog was people aggressive he'd have gone for you, not your dog.