There was a VERY dog aggressive pit mix at the park today. She was off leash and Waffle was off leash and we entered the park at the same time on opposite ends. The park is actually a soccer field, but it’s used as a dog park when there aren’t any soccer players or kids in it. Not knowing whether the dog was okay or not, we stuck close to the fence and moved as far away as possible. The other dog’s owner was just kind of standing in the other gate not making any moves or otherwise indicating what was what so we just stood in the corner and did the same. The other dog ran towards us and STILL the owner didn’t move or anything or even call her dog, so I was like, “Well, okay, it must be nice then!” expecting the dog to try to play. That is the unwritten etiquette of the soccer field dog park—if the dog is okay, you let it go do whatever, and if it isn’t, don’t have the dog off leash. With no warning, that pit was on Waffle trying to rip his throat out. Waffle gave out a shrill yelp and wriggled free but the pit chased him down again. I jumped on top of them and grabbed the pit’s back legs and yanked her feet into the air. She lost Waffle and he got up and circled towards the gate. I told him to wait but he was pretty much like, “UM, I’M NOT SAFE HERE,” and he left the field and started heading home, about 0.25 miles away.
I stood there hoisting this dog’s feet into the air while the owner started walking towards us. I watched Waffle get further and further away. By the time I let go of the dog’s feet, he had been out of sight for a while, but she ran towards the gate even though her owner was calling her. Seeing that she may take off down the street after Waffle where I would have no chance of rescuing him at all, I entered feral mode. I slumped my shoulders, bent my knees, held my arms out, and growled the deepest, loudest growl I could muster while moving quickly towards the gate. She stopped moving, buying me enough time to put myself in the gate opening. She tried to make it past but I blocked her. She bit my arm (which I put in front of me to just in case—good thing I did!) and pulled at it—fortunately I was wearing my heavy winter jacket. I think she realized that she was biting a human, so she let go and backed up. A few more moments of me intimidating her from the gate and her owner calling gave way to her finally leaving me alone. I then took off towards Waffle at full speed and saw him reaching the end of the street. I called him and he turned around and stopped.
I caught up with him, hugged him and slipped his leash on him before he could keep going home. I checked him for wounds. There was a lot of spit on his neck and on his shoulder, a little red skin, but no actual wounds. Then I noticed my pants were ripped open and I got bit in the leg, probably before I managed to pull her back legs off the ground. The owner caught up with me finally—she was pregnant, which would explain her lack of running or anything, really—and told me she was up to date on her shots and she would buy me new pants and pay for any medical bills. She didn’t see us enter the park at the same time she did, even though I was wearing bright blue and Waffle is bright orange… but okay, I guess. I told her not to worry, the bite wound isn’t bad at all, but I would like new pants.
I took Waffle back to the park so we could calm down and get some running in. We met up with our neighbor’s dogs when we got back to the apartment so he could have a good experience with a dog before we went back inside. I hope he’s okay. He hasn’t been the same since our old roommate’s dog attacked him the first time they met, so I hope this didn’t escalate his dog-fearing issue—at least not permanently.
This is a situation that could have been avoided if that lady had kept her dog-aggressive dog on a leash and was paying even a modicum of attention to her surroundings. Fortunately I am understanding and pretty dog saavy, but if this were someone else or even me with a different dog, it may have ended in tragedy for both of us.