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.

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Comment by Teresa on February 13, 2012 at 10:42pm

I never realized dog parks could be so dangerous.  I'm just thankful that neither of you were seriously hurt.  You are a good puppy mom!

 

Comment by E on February 13, 2012 at 5:48pm

Start training your corgi immediately.  My male corgi has been attacked twice at dog parks.  He's a scrapper and doesn't back down so the fights were pretty bad.  Luckily, he never got physically hurt since he's fast and the other dog couldn't get a good hold of him.  We haven't been back to dog parks ever since then.  I don't know if we'll ever be able to go back.  My male has developed dog-on-dog aggression as a result of the attacks.  I wish I had started working on him from day one, but his issues developed gradually so I didn't see it until it was too late.  Now when he sees a dog, he barks and lunges at other dogs when I'm walking him.  If he were to get loose, I have no doubt he would start a fight.  He thinks they're out to get him so he's going to get them first.  I've been working on him but it's a very, very, very slow process.  Some days are good, and some days it seems like we're back to square one...and we have a lot of these back-to-square-one days. 

 

I understand about not reporting the bite.  I have been bitten trying to break up dog fights.  Under those circumstance, the dogs are already caught up in the heat of the moment and will bite anything, even their own beloved owner.  Now, if the dog deliberately goes after a human, then report immediately. 

Comment by Nicola Porter on February 11, 2012 at 7:50pm

I am so glad you and  our waffle baby are okay. People annoy me and this is why.

Comment by Sandy Stickney on February 11, 2012 at 6:39pm
Very scary. Glad you & Waffle are OK. I have friends that have two pits. One is aggressive towards other dogs. My friends are responsible enough not to take the aggressive one out in public. It's really not to hard to be a responsible dog owner. One of our puppy class trainers was really not a big fan of dog parks, and I think your experience is a great illustaratuon as to why she might feel that way. She had also relayed a story of a vet tech (scary thought) who told our trainer a story of how she dropped her dog off at a dog park & left him there UNATTENDED while she went to a bar, only to come back & find out her dog had been involved in an fight, and this vet tech was talking about how irresponsible the other dog owner was. Unfortunately, common sense really isn't so common.
Comment by Ludi on February 11, 2012 at 6:33pm

Oh goodness. You and Waffle are among my favoritest Internet people and pets. I hope you are both okay and going to get past this unfortunate incident for the better. I don't know if I would be as quick-thinking as you were, should the same thing happen to me and Ace. You are my hero, and Waffle's!

Comment by Cindi & Twinkie on February 11, 2012 at 10:08am

Wow!  What a scary story!  I hate that pits get such a bad rap but, let's just say I own a Ferrari.  I wouldn't drive it wide open in a school zone.  Owners need to be extra vigilant when they have strong, aggressive dogs.  Twinkie is pretty snarly at the dog park sometimes and I stand beside her the whole time we are there.  I hope you are okay. You are such a good mommy to keep Waffle's state of well-being in mind while your pants are hanging off in shreds.  Be well.

Comment by Teresa on February 11, 2012 at 8:20am

You need to see a doctor ASAP.  Even though the dog was up to date on his shots, you can still get a nasty skin infection.  Before hospice I worked in Emergency Medicine for 25 years and saw alot of infected cat and dog  bites.

Comment by Judith Andre on February 11, 2012 at 1:36am

In our city, if you go to a doctor or hospital with a dog bite, they are required to notify animal control and they respond very quickly.  If that's the case where you live, that would take you off the hook if you feel weird about reporting it.

Comment by John Wolff on February 10, 2012 at 11:11pm

File a formal complaint with the police.  That animal is not safe.  If it has a history of other attacks, it should be put down.  Make as much trouble as you can.  Such owners need the message.  You could be preventing a major injury simply via word-of-mouth -- someone might hear the story and be more careful with their choice of dog.

At the very least, if it broke your skin, make her go to her vet and present written records of rabies shots.  Do NOT take her word for it.  If that dog is rabid (highly unlikely), you would die, nastily, without prompt rabies vaccinations.

The issue is not the attack on Waffle.  The issue is that it bit a human, twice.  Sad for the family and the dog if it must be killed, but not sad for the child whose face you might be saving.

At the very very least, talk to these owners and ask them to think about the situation they'd be in if their dog had bitten a child.  They could lose their dog and their house.

Sounds like you broke up the attack correctly -- grab the hindlegs, pull and lift -- but dangerous:

http://leerburg.com/dogfight.htm?set=1

This author does not like dog parks because unacquainted dogs have no established pack structure.

I can add that Al behaves just like this pit -- he will occasionally attack another (bigger) dog without provocation, but apparently with bite inhibition (he has never drawn blood).  My little angel, a monster who I cannot allow offleash around other dogs.  He always picks on bigger dogs.  At 24 lbs, he is plenty scary in attack mode.  Glad he's a corgi, not a mastiff, and has never attacked a human.

My admiration for responding well in a scary emergency.

Comment by Lois B. Allen on February 10, 2012 at 10:55pm

So sorry you had such a terrible situation.  You did extremely well.  It seems you must go armed to walk dogs anymore.

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