Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My Poor Fred

I take Fred to the vet for his health screening for the Delta Society Pet Partners program. What a great charitable reason for a vet visit, huh? Some of my bad weekend luck must have leaked over.

I get to the vet and stand in the entry hall. On the dog side is a pit bull leaping and jumping at the entry door. I keep Fred close and wait for the handler to get the dog under control. I am hoping that he takes the dog to a chair across the room, away from the door. Fred is 100 lbs. and long. They aren't leaving too much room between the door and the chair. I wait. They stay in their seat. It appears that the pit bull is under the handler's control. So I open the door and Fred and I enter.

Fred wants to sniff the dog's nose. I have him on a very short lead, but his body is so long, that all he has to do is get one step ahead of me (his shoulder in front of my leg) and turn his neck toward the other dog. That's what he does, and the other dog didn't like it. Fred's nose gets about 2 inches from the other dog's nose and it leaps out and bites Fred on the nose. Not only does it bite him, but it holds on. This dog has got Fred's nose in it's mouth, Fred is crying in pain, and the pit bull doesn't let go. Finally the handler gets the dog to release. I mean, this wasn't a quick bite and release warning. This dog grabbed and held on.

Fred is bleeding all over the lobby as we quickly move to the other side of the room. I look at Fred's nose and see the bleeding and scratches. I say, "oh no!" as the vet and vet techs come running. They move me into a waiting room immediately. As we go, I turn to look at the handler and I say (not angrily), "You know, you could have moved your dog to the other chair, away from the door, if your dog could be dog aggressive." The woman at the counter looks at me angrily and says, "That is MY dog, and she has never been aggressive to any other dog before!" I look at her and reply only, "Okay." Really thinking, Well now you have a dog aggressive dog on your hands. Good luck.

Fred didn't seemed too phased by the bite. I don't think he understands what happened to him. He was still happy with all the people and attention. He was in pain and kept wanting to be close to me, but he never seemed scared or aggressive himself. He's an amazing dog. I got a free exam because of the ordeal.

The other dog's owner had to stay for Animal Control to come to take a report. This dog now has a report filed on it, so I feel better. What I really hope is that the owner is more careful with who handles her dog and she is more aware of the dog aggressive tendencies that are bred into pit bulls. I hate it that it was a pit bull that bit Fred. I especially hate it because we own a pit mix and hate the reputation to be justified. We trust Stella, and yet we make sure we keep her out of any situation that could lead to bad things like dog aggression. Because you never know with the breeding. We don't even let Stella and Fred stay together during the day. They are separated unless we are with them. We don't know what Fred might do to piss her off and what she would do to him if she "lost it". That is being a responsible owner. I don't feel this woman at the vet's office was a responsible owner. My vet said that the dog will have to muzzled whenever it comes back to their office. I hope the woman now internalizes that she has a dog aggressive dog. Again, this dog bit and held on; it didn't do a warning nip or quick bite. That's being dog aggressive. Scary.

Fred's wounds are healing well. I'm not sure if he will have any scarring. The vet said there is a chance. Time will tell if he becomes more wary of other dogs around him. So far I haven't noticed any change in him.

Please, everyone, be responsible pet owners!


Anonymous said...

hope fred gets better, it's great however that the owner actually took some sort of responcability and didn't just say 'well it's your falt for the dog getting so close'.....

epona said...

Fred has fully recovered. No scars! The owner couldn't have said my dog was too close. The fact was that the person who held her dog is the one responsible for it. He did not move to allow Fred and me to be any further away. Fred remained a respectable distance from the dog. In fact, the other dog had to lunge forward to grab his nose. Keep in mind, Fred is 100 lbs, and has a long nose. It took some concerted effort from the pit bull to make the kind of bite she did.