Thursday, July 12, 2007


Another vicious dog encounter, this time two St. Bernards and a smaller herding dog about knee high. But for a woman passing by, who stopped to join in the fray, one or both of my dogs would surely be dead.

Little Bill, Deaf Betty and my sweetheart, Mike, all confronted with the slavering jaws-o-death while innocently trotting through the neighborhood. Mike's been taking an ancient Irish shillelagh on his walks, but forgot yesterday afternoon. I told him to start packing my little purse sized .22, but he won't do it. Wyoming boy, the one who got me started carrying guns.

I'm not sure what to do about this. Every time we get comfortable after a few weeks of not having seen any free roaming animals, something like this happens. The terriers are like crack for big dogs: high spirited, cocky little smarty pants dogs. I imagine the lumbering St. Bernards and Pit Bulls and Rottweilers look at these little dogs, who imagine they're giants, and want to put them in their little dog places.

Yuck. Reminds me of one of my worst ever boyfriends, who said he was attracted to me right away because "you looked like you needed to be taken down a peg." He mentioned that as I was shrieking at him to "leave me the fuck alone." That was only moments after I attempted to crush his pelvis with his kitchen table, which effort succeeded only in crashing through the drywall and studs into the next apartment. Whew! Ever had one of those out-of-body rage experiences? I could see myself doing it, could say "stop it, stop it!!" in my head, but it was as if a wild thing had taken over my body and simply couldn't be stopped. The real me had taken a step out and was observing the madwoman in action. Thank God for sobriety.

If that's anything like how these big dogs feel when they see my little ones, that's very, very scary. From dogs to men. Not so much of a leap in some cases.

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Anonymous tater said...

Tell Mike that one gun in his pants, just isn't enough. He needs to pack the .22, or better yet a snubnose .38 Special. Scaring off three dogs would require a little thunder, and taking one down mid-lunge; some extra fire power. Are your little guys alright? Any damage? Thinking of them...

July 12, 2007 8:48 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

they're good, tater. betty is oblivious because she can't hear the snarls and growls of the beasts that want to eat her. billy's ready for another round, my sweet little man. and mike's considering another form of protection, an old sword cane. . . . sigh.

July 12, 2007 8:59 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

I hear your sigh. what the hell is a sword cane going to accomplish? By the time he draws the sword and takes a swing, it might be too late. Better yet, WHO are these fucking dog owners that let their beasts roam wild in your neighborhood? Tell Mike he can cane them, but pack the gun for their attacking dogs. Glad your babies are alright!

July 12, 2007 9:40 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

i think he watches too many old westerns. he envisions drawing his sword and skewering the hairy beasts, but i think what about the leashes? do you just drop the dogs and what if they all run away from you in a herd and you're having to chase the, waving your skewer? guns. guns are the answer.

the dogs just broke down the neighbor's fence. the male st. bernard is enormous ~ stands chest high on me and probably weighs over 150 # . . .

July 12, 2007 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Joe / Kusala said...

It's probably worse than that feeling you describe, since they're animals and we're... oh yeah, animals. Sorry, I forgot my point.

And I'm glad you specified... yes, sometimes dogs do just get out. It's not necessarily that their owners are idiots. And yes, spunky terriers sometimes are too brazen to know what's good for them when they egg on the big beasts. I don't know what the solution is, but gunning down other people's dogs on a public sidewalk in a subdivision doesn't seem like the answer!

July 12, 2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger Doralong said...

Cattle prod- no really I'm serious. Think about it- no lethal force, no accidental stray bullet nailing someone.. perfect solution.

But you are right, terriers really are crack to big dogs. My big fella is about as laid back as they come, unless there's a bear in the yard, or one Jack Russell that is the bane of the area because his owner lets him run free. And he's an aggressive little monster that has a bad habit of (literally) jumping in other dog's faces and snapping at them. There have been any number of near lethal incidents.

One day it will end badly I fear.

July 12, 2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

no, it's likely not the answer, joe. it just seems so the heat of the moment, when i imagine my sweet puppies crunched in the jaws of vicious beasts, i think "if i had a gun," but the truth is that even if i had one, i doubt i could use it on a dog and neither could mike. still, he thinks he could skewer one ;-)

July 12, 2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

I don't know... If something were trying to attack my baby, I think I could use anything at my disposal, even a gun. Perhaps it is just heat of the moment, but I fear not. I love my little girl enough to rip an another dog limb from limb with my bare hands. Perhaps this is why I have a great fence around my large backyard, and let her roam free there, instead of walking her around the block. Well that, and I avoid extra exercise.

July 12, 2007 11:18 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

hoping i never find out what it would feel like to see a huge dog attacking my little ones, wanting to do something, being unable to.

doralong, honey, my little bill has a terrible habit of rocketing up from the ground toward peoples' faces. i demand that people do not bend down to pet him. he gets so excited and then he rockets. one terrible time, he hooked his tooth on a woman's lip (truly, he wasn't biting, they just crashed tooth to tooth) and it was bad. she admits she was in error in persisting in trying to pick him up despite my shrieking DON'T! DON'T! DON'T! but i would NEVER bend over a terrier. never. still love them, feisty little creatures.

July 12, 2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

Yikes, how scary. A neighbor's poodle was once gored by a German Shepherd that lived down the block; he lived, but the wound was somethin' fearsome.

I like the cattle prod idea ...

July 12, 2007 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Joe / Kusala said...

How about a taser or something?

July 12, 2007 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Or pepper spray?

Or something like this product:

July 12, 2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous lynette said...

eric, how awful! can't stand to see animals hurt :(

joe . . . tasers are SO scary! are they legal? (asks the gun-totin' mama) . . . that could be interesting and would work on those late night walks too.

joe, that citronella spray might be something to try. humane, nontoxic. stops them, or so they say. might try that. thanks!!

July 12, 2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger Doralong said...

Somehow I don't think the spray is going to slow down 150 lbs of hell bent for a fight dog.. Just sayin'

Big fella got out of the fence years ago when he was young and spry ;) That 125 lbs of mastiff/shepard/chow/who the hell knows what took a bear down.. A teenage bear I grant you- but a freakin' bear. Canines can be pretty damn determined when they're riled up.

I'd stick with the cattle prod- much less damaging than a tazer, but sure as hell enough to stop the offending critter in it's tracks. Not to mention that whole aim, point and spray in the heat of the moment.. probably about as effective as the sword cane idea.

July 12, 2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Willym said...

damn that is bloody scary... only ever had that sort of thing happen once... not sure what the solution is - gun seems excessive, spray seems ineffectual. Guess the one that scares me most is poor Betty - she can hear the approaching danger. Give them both a hug from me and Reese and what the hell give Mike one too.

July 12, 2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Brion. said...

Scary stuff Lynette! Glad to learn that the little guys are OK.
Basenji's can behave in a similar fashion to Jack Russells/Terriers.

I have fond memories of my little fella, when he was a bit more spry and had his sight, lunging towards a rottweiller that suddenly appeared, unleashed, from amongst the sandhills at the beach. My dog is/was always on a leash (actually a chest harness, kinder on the dogs neck etc, with 30 metres of polypropolene cord!!) but this other dog was running free. A Basenji will 'stalk' as if they are hunting....just like a cat, on its belly with its legs 'akimber'.. and when the ugly dog looked a bit confused...who wouldn't with a small dog 'eyeballing' them.. and froze, my dog leapt at it and hung from its jowls!! The dog, big and all that it was, was yowling with fright. The owner appeared eventually as I was attempting to retrieve my dog and proceeded yell at me for having a 'dangerous' dog?

She didn't seem to get the point that mine was on a leash...hers wasn't...and has to be by law!!

Don't we just love our 'babies'!!


July 12, 2007 4:23 PM  
Blogger rodger said...

My neighbor walks the neighborhood every evening and encountered a rather vicious pit mix. Someone suggested a spray, the name of which I'll find out for you, and he only had to use it once. The next time the dog saw him coming down the road it turned and went home.

I'll try to find out tonight and get back to you. In the meantime, I'm glad to hear the kids are okay.

July 12, 2007 5:48 PM  
Anonymous GRRSteve said...

Lynette, I'm so glad that everyone is okay.

I volunteer at the local Humane Society as a dog walker -- it's a fun gig to play with dogs for an afternoon. I have Rufus (yeah, after Mr. Wainwright), a three-year old Katrina refugee Yorkshire that I adopted in December 2005 after his owners could not be located. I've never lived with a terrier before. All my kids prior (bless their souls) were female and spaniel-mixes, collie-mixes, and lhasa-mixes. Having a purebred male (and larger than average for his breed at 11 musular pounds) with a strong territorial sense is much... different. Rufus yells at everything and everybody. He picks and chooses who he likes and who he doesn't. (He really likes most guys, but he's not fond of women, really.) And like you've pointed out, the other dogs either want to be BFFs or they want to kick his little stubby-tailed ass. More often than not, it's the latter.

I agree with Joe's suggestion very strongly. Non-lethal sprays work well for all but "red-zone" dogs; that is, those dogs so fixated on attacking that only brute force with a blunt object or multiple injections with sedatives will turn them off. Fortunately, most pets won't fall into this category. The only time I've heard about it at the HS was with a very unpredictable (and very likely mistreated) young male Pit who latched onto another dog's throat. It took two volunteers, a hose, and three shots from the on-staff veternarian to bring him off. He was eventually euthanized, sadly.

The other thing you should do is contact the police if your area has a leash law. Not having your pet under reasonable control and confinement is subject to a fine. At least it is here. Get together with other neighbors and have them call in, too.

Using a firearm in an adrenaline-charged situation, to me, only expands the possiblities of things getting worse. Much worse.

Let us know how things go. We (me and Ruf) are thinking of you.

July 12, 2007 10:59 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

Hey Lynette, I found this on a site about dealing w/ dog attacks:

"...a mix of ammonia and Tabasco sauce in a small pump sprayer. Ammonia alone works almost as well, but you have to use more, and I think the increased dose is enough to cause permanent harm to the dog. The sprayer should be set halfway between stream and mist, so that you get good coverage. It works well when sprayed into the dog's eyes, and even better if you can get it into the mouth and nostrils, too. After you've used it once, all you need to do is flash the bottle at the dog and it will leave you alone. The spray has caused no permanent physical damage to the dogs I've used it on and hardly any discomfort to me."

The guy goes on to say that pepper spray is probably not going to be effective on a fast moving dog, so I'm assuming that the ammonia/tabasco mix would be more potent than that for a dog.

I really hate viscious dogs but more so, their irresponsible owners. I may be posting about both soon ... sigh.

The whole gun suggestion scares the bejesus out of me. I heard a story about a situation where a 7yr old girl was shot -- she was in her sliding glass porch door, a bullet from a guy who was being attacked by a dog went the wrong direction, and hit her instead.

July 13, 2007 1:39 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

My friend owns a huge Akita. That dog went after me when I entered my house and nicked my neck right near the jugular. She calls this beast "Care Bear," and hinted that I frightened him or that it was my perfume or something.

I refuse to set foot in her house until that dog is contained. When they let the dog out, they tell the children to go into the dining room. Why would anyone want to play Russian Roulette with such a vicious animal?

It's not the dog's fault; it is the owners', but there comes a point where you have to give up and think of the safety of others, and have that dog put down.

July 15, 2007 8:58 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

S'cuse me, entered her house.

July 15, 2007 8:58 AM  

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