The title should have more aptly read "Attacked by a pit bull", but that wouldn't have been fair to the dog since it was the owner who was a complete idiot.

Just need to vent after being traumatized at our local beach the other day by a completely out of control pit bull that I had to be forcibly pulled off Chewey's neck...  Talk about scary ;-/p>

I saw that the dog was a potential problem  as soon as it came down onto the beach.  Mostly because it was very over-excited and had no sense of "personal dog space".   Chewey absolutely does not do well with bigger dogs who come charging up to him and will warn them off (which as you can imagine doesn't work out so well if the other dog is reactive), so I made a note to keep an eye on the dog.    The beach isn't huge but there's usually enough room to stay  away from a potential situation there just by staying on one side of the beach or the other.

In any case, sure enough within 5 minutes that dog had a small black and white dog pinned, although I didn't see what started it.  The fight was split up and the dog was unharmed - but the owner still left her dog off-leash (!)    Once that happened I immediately put Chewey on his leash to keep him away (with the intent of leaving or moving if the dog came over to our side).   Unfortunately I clearly didn't take it seriously enough or move fast enough...   I was talking to some of the locals about the antics of one of the dogs (who had just found a nice pile of dog crap to chow down, ick) and in the process didn't notice that the dog had run over towards our group.  The next thing I knew he had charged right into the middle of us and I wasn't fast enough to  keep him away from Chewey.  Sure enough they got into it and he had Chewey down on the ground and was clamped onto his neck within seconds.  It took 2-3 of us to get the dog off - I actually ended up having to pry the dog's jaws open with my hands because nothing else was working.   In hind-sight not the smartest move but at that point Chewey was shrieking so my brain shut down and instinct took over.  In some sense it wasn't as bad as if it had been a "real" fight, since the dog was stationary, I just wanted it off him before it was able to regrip or start shaking him. 

Thank goodness there were a bunch of fellow dog owners who knew Chewey. and jumped in to help.  I wouldn't have been able to get the dog off on my own and the owner was completely useless.   I vaguely remember her saying in the background that her dog "had never done that".  I guess she had already forgotten it had happened < 5 minutes earlier.  At any rate, we were both very very fortunate - it could have been so much worse.   It turned out that the dog mostly had Chewey by his neck ruff (thank goodness for that thick Corgi fur!!!) so the only damage was some scrapes to his ear.     I had a couple of minor puncture wounds which could have been from either dog.

To add insult to injury the woman gave one of the witnesses a bogus phone number after it happened (I was occupied keeping Chewey down and away from the dog), so I couldn't even follow up with her to find out if her dog was up to date on rabies!  Chewey is so I'm not worried about him, but I would have been much more comfortable to know that the dog was up to date.     Arggh...   I couldn't believe it.  It would never even have occurred to me to lie about something like that.   Since then I've heard from multiple sources that it's all too common ;-<  Hopefully there won't be a next time but if there is we'll just have to make sure to follow the person to their car and get ID, take a pic, or whatever.  

If you've gotten this far, thanks for letting me ramble ;->   I've had nightmares the past couple nights about it and I'm hoping this will be cathartic!   I learned lots of lessons from this one.   The sad part is that in the long run it will be her dog who will probably pay for this owner's irresponsibility.  

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Comment by Diane on March 8, 2014 at 5:16pm

I  completely agree and understand that you do take certain risks when you take your dog to an off-leash park/beach of any kind.  I am hyper aware for that reason and often won't take him if it's crowded or looks too sketchy because it's not worth it. 

In this particular situation the dog had already attacked a smaller dog within minutes of getting there and the owner did nothing.  So yes, that to me is being irresponsible (as was giving us a bogus phone number). 

If my dog is misbehaving in an off-leash area I recall him and either put him on a leash or remove him from the situation (or both), I don't let him continue to cause problems.    And if my dog attacked another dog or person, then I would take responsibility for it -  I wouldn't give the person a bad phone number and flee the scene, which is essentially what this person did.   

Comment by Vicky Hay on March 8, 2014 at 11:05am

There's something to that, Anna. For example, I no longer take Cassie to the park on weekends, when the worst offenders show up, and before crossing the road to go into our park, I look carefully to see whether anyone's pooch is running loose -- if so, we go somewhere else. I also carry a large, heavy walking stick now, every time I take the dog out.

But these folks do deserve some blame: we have a county leash law, and they're willfully breaking the law. In doing so, they put their own dogs at risk (bounding up to a dog-aversive German shepherd is a fair way to lose your friendly little doggy head...) and they put other people, other people's children, and other people's dogs at risk. Joggers -- those delicious-looking targets -- are regularly bitten by these folks' "friendly" out-of-control pets. We all pay our taxes to support that park, but because of a few inconsiderate law-breakers, many of us can't use a facility we pay for.

Comment by Anna Morelli on March 8, 2014 at 10:50am

Glad your dog is OK, but it will not serve you well to blame others.  When you take your dog to any place where they are allowed off leash, you accept certain risks.  One  risk is unpredictable dog to dog behavior or situations arising that are beyond your control.  The other risk you accept is that other people can  make wrong judgements regarding the temperament, behavior or control they have over their own dogs.  You have the choice to take your dog where other dogs are allowed off leash, or not to go there.   You cannot change the rest.  Another option, when it comes to a public beach, would be to petition your local governnent to require all dogs to be leashed when on the beach, but many people want their dogs to be able to run and play off leash and, when there is controversy, it ends up that "NO DOGS ALLOWED" becomes the easier solution for the officials involved who have bigger fish to fry....

Comment by Diane on March 4, 2014 at 9:43pm
I know what you all mean about dog parks... That can be an issue at our local dog beaches as well (they aren't that big). If it's too crowded to the tide is too high I'll take a pass, but otherwise I take him so he'll get some exercise besides walking. He's not at all a ball or toy dog (but he loves chasing dogs who are chasing balls!) so if there aren't other dogs to run around with and chase he doesn't get enough running in - which we pay the price for at night when those bat ears detect every little sound :-)
Comment by Vicky Hay on March 4, 2014 at 3:59pm

@ Susan: gosh, yes! My vet agrees with you about the dog parks...I don't take my dogs there. In fact, our neighborhood park, which has large DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH signs posted all over the place, attracts people who just insist on letting their dogs run loose. One couple brings FIVE DOGS over there every weekend morning and lets them run around at will. Five BIG dogs. Then there's the matched pair of idiots with the Great Dane that won't come to call for love nor money....they show up all the time, too. I don't take Cassie to the park on weekends, and I never took the dog-aversive Ger-Shep there at all.

But like Denis, I also use a retractable leash. Whoever had Cassie trained her in many extraordinary ways. One lesson they taught  her was not to walk in the street. She doesn't like to go on asphalt at all, but in our area she has to because many streets have no sidewalks. Most of the time she won't leave the sidewalk. She also knows the command "wait!" and will stop dead if I suddenly tell her to "wait!" This effectively stops her from stepping into the street when we come to a crossing.

The button on a retractable leash is not very hard to use. ;-)

Comment by Denis J. on March 4, 2014 at 2:57pm

I walk with Wally with retractable leash (25ft.) all the time and I agree that if you use it be prepare for unexpected.   It's not the best for sidewalks as anything in the road could make them run after in the street, and those nylon cords will cut and burn around an anchle.

But it's ONE simple button and if you can't figure it would you should keep regular leashes.   My wife has a tendency to call Wally back by sometime having the instinct to grab the cord.   I've been cut once so I'm reminding her to use the Half Circle gesture to bring him back if needed or to shorten the leash during walks.  

Once you have it set is pretty fun to have your dog with some freedom to explore when walking.

Comment by susan on March 4, 2014 at 2:50pm

This is exactly why I'm practically paranoid about going to dog parks or beaches where people let thier dogs off leash.  I don't trust the people to know what they are doing or what their dogs about!  And I'll add those blasted retractable leashes to the mix as well.  People don't know how to put the darn brake on!  I had two encounters with that issue this weekend.  So frustrating.  I'm not even nice about it anymore.  So glad it didn't turn out worse for you. 


Comment by Vicky Hay on March 3, 2014 at 4:15pm

Argh! People are SOO stupid! The only thing they're stupider about than dogs is horses!

I'm so glad your dog is OK.

And I'm sorry, but it would be fair to identify the breed. This is an animal that was developed for bull-baiting and dog-fighting. Certain carnivore instincts are exaggerated in it. When your moron said "he's never done that before," she or he was probably sincere: she undoubtedly never saw the dog launch into action. The dog did what it was supposed to do: what we humans bred it to do.

Bull-baiting and dog-fighting are now illegal in the US. That's why breeds designed for the pit and the ring should not be bred in this country anymore.

Cassie was pounced by a young German shepherd off the leash -- his pet morons were letting him roam around a front yard, and he spotted us as we were coming up the street a 3/4 of a block away. Fortunately her "mane" is so thick he couldn't get a good enough grip on her neck...he did his weenie-best to shake her to break her back.

And of course that was the evening I chose to carry a cup of tea instead of the coyote shilelagh.

The idiot owners came over and wrested their berserk dog away from mine. I'm afraid I had such a sh!t-fit the air is still blue at that corner...and it's been a year or more.

They were renters, and they moved out THAT WEEKEND. Must have thought they'd be hearing from my lawyer any day.

Comment by Linda on March 3, 2014 at 1:13pm

The only time I ever gave out a bogus number was when I was in my 20s and single and a guy would just pester me way too much for my phone number and he wasn't someone I really wanted calling me.  I know...bad girl.  Now I just wouldn't think of doing it.  

Max is not fond of jumpy dogs and I know he hates the chi that lives behind us.  Chico is noisy and obnoxious but the pitbull they also have seems to be a total sweetheart, hardly barks and is very good with the 3 little boys there.

Comment by Diane on March 3, 2014 at 10:37am

You know what's really sad... Both the triage nurse and the police officer said that giving out bogus numbers in that situation happens all the time!   It just never would have occurred to me that someone would do that. 

Interesting what Denis said about Wally not liking Boston terriers... Chewey is the same way with certain breeds - notably Boxers and Huskies.  We always say he's doing racial profiling ;-)

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